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Dark Sun: August 1945 – Festival of Ideas 2011

Conducting 51

Accomplished American composer Stephen Montague led a large orchestra and choir of local amateur musicians, school pupils and University students through a performance of several works designed for amateur and mixed ensembles, including his 20-minute work on the theme of the nuclear bombing of Japan. Participants ranged in age from 5 to 70 years, and in musical experience from complete beginner to professional. A rehearsal on Sunday 16th was followed by a concert on the 20th at West Road Concert Hall, in which all the works were performed, including an audience rendition of Earle Brown’s December 1952, one of the earliest pieces of music in graphic, rather than traditional, notation.

Inventive, interesting, excellent to see mixed ages and abilites.”

Hi I am 12 and I did Dark Sun with my friend. It was so cool and strange and interesting. I cannot get music lessons at the moment as they are too expensive so it was great to come to something like this where I could be with other people playing their instruments and get to play my flute for a big session then get to play on a University of Cambridge stage, wonderful thanks. Mum says it was amazing and the composer was inspirational! Thanks : – )”

- Participants and audience members.

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