Classical music
Chamber & Recital

Franco Donatoni Composer Portrait: Music of Today

Part of Classical Season 2018/19

Discover Franco Donatoni, a contemporary of Italian modernist genius Luciano Berio, who adopted a unique style in the Seventies and Eighties, building on the innovations of John Cage.

In an approach Donatoni described as ‘imaginary jazz’, Hot fuses the idea of improvisation with techniques of repetition and manipulation.

It opens with the familiar jazz combo rhythm section, before the instruments of the ensemble gradually emerge, shadowing each other’s darting melodies to create a highly-charged atmosphere.

Gentle, chorale-like moments in the woodwind are placed against percussive sonorities, led by the mandolin..

Written five years later, but using the original as a model, Refrain II builds on that intensity, with punchy rhythms and driving tempos.


Players from the Philharmonia Orchestra
Tonino Battista conductor
Amy Dickson saxophone


Franco Donatoni: Refrain; Refrain II (UK premiere); Hot for saxophone & ensemble

Dates & times

This event has passed.


Purcell Room


Free, but ticketed