Epic online music marathon will showcase best of Midlands’ talent

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

An epic one-day online music marathon will bring together artists, composers and musicians from across the Midlands (and the world) this Sunday (29 November), and everyone is invited.

The NottNOISE New Music Marathon, which is funded by the University of Nottingham, is curated by Nottingham Forum for Artistic Research (NottFAR), and will feature nine concerts, 35 composers and 38 musicians from around the world.

Performed by an array of international soloists and ensembles, the hugely varied programme will journey from works for toy piano to contrabass clarinet, and Iron Age carnyx to string quartet.

Founded in 2016, NottFAR is an ongoing programme of new music concerts and outreach initiatives curated by University of Nottingham Associate Professor in Music Composition and composer Elizabeth Kelly, Assistant Professor in Music and composer Duncan MacLeod, and Assistant Professor of Performance and pianist Xenia Pestova Bennett.

The NottNOISE New Music Marathon was originally planned to be shown live earlier this year, however after collaborating with Lakeside Arts, the team are excited to bring this free programme to audiences online.

Assistant Professor in Music and composer Duncan MacLeod

Dr MacLeod said: “We are extremely excited to be hosting these ambitious performances online. After the first lockdown, the initial plan was to postpone, but as we entered the second lockdown we decided to migrate the series online and have worked tirelessly with over 70 professional composers and musicians in pulling this programme online – which in itself is fairly unique. Moreover, the marathon is almost entirely comprised of works written by living composers.”

Dr Kelly said: “If this event had happened live, it would have been attended by local individuals who attend live music events, so this is more accessible for an entirely new audience. Putting it together has been a back-breaking task, but it has been inspiring to bring together a community of artists from across the Midlands and further afield, a community who because of Covid-19, hadn’t been able to perform together in months.”

Associate Professor in Music Composition and composer Elizabeth Kelly

The full programme and details on how to watch the marathon can be found here. The marathon is digitally hosted by Lakeside Arts.

Dr Kelly added: "We also feel that this is a real opportunity to showcase the extraordinary talent in the Midlands which is very often overlooked because we are outside of London. We are making a really powerful statement on the vibrancy and resiliency of the Midlands new music scene. We have an eclectic programme and there will be something for everyone!”

Story credits

Composers: Frank Abbot, Logan Barrett, Léa Boudreau, John Cage, Joe Cutler, Fabio Fabbri, Ben Gaunt, Annachiara Gedda, Jonathan Harvey, Tom Hill, Toshio Hosokawa, David Jackman, Amanda Johnson, Dorian Kelly, Elizabeth Kelly, John Kenny, Dan Kessner, Lore Lixenberg, Duncan MacLeod, Ronald MacNiven, Julia Mermelstein, Fumiko Miyachi, James Opsted, Ashley Pegram, Helen Papaioannou, Ivano Pecorini, Susie Self, Miroslav Spasov, Sohrab Uduman, Thomas Whitcombe, Tom Williams, Michael Wolters, John Young, Nina C. Young, and Yixuan Zhao

Performers: Jason Adler, Oguz Buyukberber, Antony Clare, Ikuko Inoguchi, John Kenny, Lore Lixenberg, Pascal Meyer, James Opsted, Simon Paterson, Xenia Pestova Bennett, Carla Rees, and Sarah Watts.

Ensembles: Cobalt Duo, Galvanize Ensemble, Mariabrice Sapphocatherin, Primary Music Group, SCAW Duo, Skipton Camerata, rarescale, and Villers Quartet.

More information is available from Assistant Professor in Music and composer Duncan MacLeod from the University of Nottingham, at

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Notes to editors:

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. The University’s state-of-the-art facilities and inclusive and disability sport provision is reflected in its status as The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 Sports University of the Year. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally. Alongside Nottingham Trent University, we lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, a pioneering collaboration which brings together the combined strength and civic missions of Nottingham’s two world-class universities and is working with local communities and partners to aid recovery and renewal following the COVID-19 pandemic.

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