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Michael White’s music news: Czech songs; Robert Hugill; The Da Vinci Requiem

03 May, 2019 — By Michael White

Nicky Spence

• ANYONE who saw Janáček’s House of the Dead at the Royal Opera last year will remember the stand-out performance of tenor Nicky Spence and want to hear him singing more Janáček as part of a recital of Czech songs at the Temple Church. He appears alongside authentically Slovenian mezzo Barbara Kozelj and one of Britain’s best accompanists Julius Drake. Recommended. Tuesday May 7, 7pm, £5-£45, Temple Church, off Fleet Street, EC4Y 7BB, 020 7427 5641, www.templemusic.org

• ROBERT HUGILL is a London-based composer who writes lyrically attractive art songs in what you might call the mainstream English tradition. And there’s a showcase of his work in that genre – mixed appropriately with songs by Bridge and Butterworth – at Conway Hall on Sunday. It features the eminent voices of James Newby and Anna Huntley, with the pianist William Vann. And if nothing else it’s proof that contemporary music can be tuneful. Sunday May 5, 6.30pm, £10, under-25s free, Conway Hall, Red Lion Sq, WC1R 4RL. conwayhall.org.uk

• SOMEONE else who writes melodically is Cecilia McDowall, a composer best-known for choral works that are part of the contemporary church canon. Next Tuesday sees the premiere of her largest score to date, called The Da Vinci Requiem, and written to mark Leonardo’s 500th anniversary. With the Philharmonia Orchestra, Wimbledon Choral Society, and quality soloists like Roderick Williams. May 7, 7.30pm, May 7, £10-£40, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, SE1, www.southbankcentre.co.uk

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