Introducing: Celeste Cronje

1 - CelesteSoprano Celeste Cronje has been on the Artistic Board of The Riot Ensemble since our official launch in 2012. In addition to being a soprano up for absolutely anything voice-related, she founded and runs the foreSOUND School of Music in North London, where we will be hosting the 2015 ‘Riot Young Composer of the Year’ project in 2015.  She’s going to be singing a huge array of repertoire with us in 2015, not least, Jose Manuel Serrano’s Velado in our October Concert: My Life on the Plains. Get to know Celeste a bit better, in her answers to our questions below.

What is the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you while you were singing?

Burping mid-note…okay, it was when I was 17 but it was hilarious and I’ll never forget it! I was ‘test running’ my diploma repertoire at a local charity concert and felt a little ‘rumble’ in my tummy as I approached the ‘F#’ in O del mio dolce ardor….I managed to hold on to about a quaver worth of the pitch before the naughty little belch made its way north! The audience were stunned and I had to make a split second choice. Do I carry on or do I stop and apologise? I carried right on. Apparently I only missed about an extra quaver worth of time! *sing-burp super loudly-sing* A lady came to me afterwards and asked if I was feeling okay. Very funny.

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What are you looking forward to in 2015?

No longer having to teach on Saturday mornings, learning how to make muffins that aren’t as arid and dry as the Sahara, getting my amazing students excited about writing music for our Young Composer Award, and last but not least SINGING all the epic music I get to sing with Riot Ensemble!

What is your favourite Riot Ensemble story, so far?

I can’t give just one!  Here are my top three (so far…)
1) Realising that my lips are too fat to make flutelike whistle harmonics and/or having to bellow at a snare drum because my microphone broke! (Jenna Lyle!)

2) Hitting any sweatshop we could find in Brighton to ask for anything ‘grim looking’ so that we could decorate the piano at our NMB Halloween event in 2013 (Watch out, Brighton, we’re coming back for Halloween this year!).
3) Burning a thousand candles in one of our earlier concerts, which took place in London’s craziest venue, run by London’s craziest woman.  It took a while to get the place into concert shape, but it ended up being a hilarious and really fun night!

Breathe AHR: 4

In association with Breathe AHR, the Riot Ensemble presents a free 1:00pm lunchtime concert at Guys’ Hospital.  The concert features Riot Ensemble’s soprano Celeste Cronje and accompanist Charis Hanning in an array of music circling around the ideas of Sleeping and Waking.  Music includes Maconchy, Mozart, Berg and Alexina Louie.

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I Shall Contemplate… by Djuro Zivkovic

Live recording from The Platnauer Concert Series at Brasenose College, Oxford of the UK premiere of Djuro Zivkovic’s I Shall Contemplate...  

The Riot Ensemble

Kate Walter, Flute; Celeste Cronje, Soprao
Claudia Maria Racovicean, PIano
Theo Kung, Violin; Reinoud Ford, Cello
with Artistic Director Aaron Holloway-Nahum conducting.

Les Citations (in memory of Henri Dutilleux)

Near the one-year anniversary of his death, The Riot Ensemble brings  Henri Dutilleux’s Les Citations to the Divinity School Recital Hall at St. John’s College, Cambridge. Presented along Dutilleux’s masterwork are an array of newly-commissioned works by composers from across the globe for the same lineup of instruments (with an additional soprano in two of the works).

These new pieces will come from Jose Manuel Serrano (Argentina), Jenna Lyle (USA), Arne Gieshoff (UK), Chris Roe (UK) and Drew Schnurr (USA).  The concert will also feature Ken Hesketh’s transcription of Dutilleux’s piano piece Blackbird (1950) for Les Citations forces, Arlene Sierra’s Petite Grue, and a short piece for Doublebass and Soprano by The Riot Ensemble’s 2014 Composer in Residence Amy Beth Kirsten.

 

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I Shall Contemplate

We’re extremely excited to present the UK premiere of Djuro Zivkovic’s I Shall Contemplate for soprano, flute, piano, violin and cello.  This evening concert at Brasenose College, Oxford, will also feature works by J.S. Bach, Vox Balaenae by George Crumb, and Claude Debussy’s piano prelude Brouillards.

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Les Citations (in memory of Henri Dutilleux)

Near the one-year anniversary of his death, The Riot Ensemble brings Henri Dutilleux’s Les Citations to The Forge, Camden. Presented along Dutilleux’s masterwork are an array of newly-commissioned works by composers from across the globe for the same lineup of instruments (with an additional soprano in two of the works).

These new pieces will come from Jose Manuel Serrano (Argentina), Jenna Lyle (USA), Arne Gieshoff (UK), Chris Roe (UK) and Drew Schnurr (USA).  The concert will also feature Ken Hesketh’s transcription of Dutilleux’s piano piece Blackbird (1950) for Les Citations forces, Arlene Sierra’s Petite Grue, and a short piece for Doublebass and Soprano by The Riot Ensemble’s 2014 Composer in Residence Amy Beth Kirsten.

 

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Songs and Haiku Resonance FM Broadcast

Yesterday evening, our Artistic Director Aaron Holloway-Nahum and Artistic Board Member Celeste Cronje spoke on Resonance FM about our recent Songs and Haiku concert at the Warehouse.  The discussion ranged from advice for composers in writing for the voice, to thoughts of programming and presentation, and included a number of the live performances from the concert including:

Seven Haiku – John Cage
Five Songs – Witold Lutoslawski
At Last the Secret is Out (from Three Auden Songs) – Huw Watkins
In Thy Beauty – Marc Hyland
Three Venus HaikuMartin Suckling
Seven Haiku (2nd live performance) – John Cage

Unfortunately we can’t play the entirety of the broadcast (due to copyright restrictions) but we’ve broken down the hour into a few usable snippets which you can listen to below.

The broadcast opened with Claudia Racovicean’s first performance of John Cage’s Seven Haiku, before Celeste gave a short introduction to The Riot Ensemble and our artistic aims.  This section concluded with Lutoslawski’s Five Songs:

The middle of the broadcast included some advice for composers writing for voice, and for young vocalists working with contemporary composers:

The broadcast ended with Martin Suckling’s Three Venus Haiku (with Riot Artistic Board Member Kate Walter playing Flute) and the second performance of John Cage’s Seven Haiku:

Thanks so much for joining us for this broadcast and we’ll be back to you soon with videos from the concert, and blog posts from composers featured in our upcoming Transatlantic Collaborations concerts!

Breathe AHR: 1

In association with Breathe AHR, the Riot Ensemble presents a new series of free 1:00pm lunchtime concert at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospitals in central London.

Our first concert – 23 songs from around the world – features Riot Ensemble Artistic Board Members Celeste Cronje (soprano) and Claudia Racovicean (piano) performing Lutoslawski, Ligeti and Elizabeth Maconchy among many others!

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Songs & Haiku

At The Warehouse at 7:30pm on Saturday 15th June 2013
A concert featuring contemporary songs by Huw WatkinsLutoslawskiLigeti & Marc Hyland, intersperced with instrumental Haiku by John Cage, Jonathan Harvey & Martin Suckling, accompanied by video projections inspired by Rothko.

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