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Sofia Gubaidulina: The Latest News

On 16 March 2002 an important concert event will take place in the Hauptkirche St. Michaelis in Hamburg, to be realised during the course of the series "das neue werk" by North German Radio. The North German Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Choirs of North German Radio and the Maryinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg and the St. Petersburg Chamber Choir under the direction of Valery Gergiev will be performing Sofia Gubaidulina's St. John Passion, which received its premiere in Stuttgart in 2000, together with St. John Easter, commissioned by North German Radio, as a complete cycle bearing the title Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ According to St. John. The jubilee concert series "das neue werk" forms a bridge between Gyrgy Ligeti, who was at the centre of interest in 2001, to the second great composer personality in the Hamburg region.

Whilst NDR Television in collaboration with Arte documents this Hamburg premiere on film, ZDF/3Sat has commissioned the Berlin journalist Irina Parfionova and the director Daniel Finkernagel to produce a portrait film about Sofia Gubaidulina, in which the St. John Passion, Opus summum and central life's work of the composer, is to be at the centre of attention.

On the occasion of the composer's 70th birthday (24 October 2001), an homage concert took place on 9 December 2001 in the Rolf Liebermann Studio of North German Radio in the presence of the composer. Besides selected chamber works of Gubaidulina, compositions dedicated to her by Peter Michael Hamel, Reinhard David Flender and Viktor Suslin were on the programme, either as world premieres or first performances. As interpreters, it was possible to engage the services of Elsbeth Moser (bayan), Alexander Ivashkin (violoncello), Daniel Hope (violin) and Alexander Suslin (double bass), amongst others, all interpreters who are personally close to the composer and have for many years disseminated her works in the world. The concert was a joint project involving Hans Sikorski Music Publishers, North German Radio 3 and the Free Academy of the Arts in Hamburg, and was furthered by the cultural authorities of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. The artistic direction was in the hands of Ccilia Cartellieri.

Sofia Gubaidulina has received a commission from the annual cello ensemble festival in Beauvais (France) "Rencontres d'Ensembles de Violoncelles de Beauvais" to write a work for 8 violoncelli. The world premiere will take place on 10 May 2002 in Beauvais.