New artistic director for a contemporary music gem

Stephan Meier

Stephan Meier

I realise it’s not exactly “jazz” but in the interests of encouraging the thought that all music being created right now is exciting and relevant to us all, and in the light of the fact that Birmingham Contemporary Music Group has always been open to jazz collaboration, here is an important announcement from Birmingham Contemporary Music Group’s current artistic director, Stephen Newbould.

It goes like this:

“I am writing to let you know… that we are today announcing the appointment of Stephan Meier as my successor as BCMG Artistic Director. 

“I am delighted with this appointment and believe Stephan to be an exciting choice, wishing him well in this wonderful job as he takes BCMG into the next stage of its development as one of Europe’s most dynamic performing arts companies. He will work alongside a successor to Jackie Newbould (BCMG Executive Producer), to be appointed this spring with an announcement in due course.

“Percussionist, composer and conductor Stephan Meier is currently Artistic Director of Hanover’s Das Neue Ensemble and he also chairs Musik21, a national network for the promotion of new music in Germany.  He has worked with leading composers internationally including such figures as Wolfgang Rihm, Harrison Birtwistle and Helmut Lachenmann. He will continue as Artistic Director of Das Neue Ensemble following his appointment at BCMG.”

Melinda Maxwell, BCMG principal oboe who also sits on the board (and who also plays jazz!), commented:

“I was impressed by Stephan Meier’s imaginative and intelligent approach to the Artistic Director role at BCMG; I can’thelp thinking we are destined for a wonderfully invigorating future – fresh, different, at the musical heart of Birminghamand the UK, and connected to a wider Europe.”

BCMG is a jewel of an organisation. The amount of brilliant new music that exists as a result of BCMG’s efforts is mind-boggling, and it has brought huge kudos to Birmingham in contemporary music circles around the world. Its Sound Investment scheme for financing new works was a world leader when it was invented – crowd-funding wasn’t even a glint in the imaginative eye at the time – and is still the gold standard,

It’s quite hard to imagine the company without Stephen Newbould at the helm, so a lot rests on this appointment. On paper Meier sounds like the right man for the job.

  • More about BCMG here.
  • BCMG are with Hans Koller’s Quartet on Saturday playing his new Jazzlines commission, Twelve Re-inventions for George Russell. More here


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