Featuring pioneering mixed reality concerts, genre-bending compositions, climate crisis-inspired soundscapes and more, Manchester International Festival’s programme of classical contemporary music promises a peerlessly diverse array of instrumental innovation, performed by an array of world-class musicians and conductors.

KAGAMI | Versa Manchester Studios | Thu 29 Jun - Sun 9 Jul | 1.30pm, 4pm, 7pm, 9.30pm | £10-£28

Promising ‘a new kind of concert’, KAGAMI fuses dimensional moving photography with the real world to produce a unprecedented mixed reality experience. Created by legendary composer and musician Ryuichi Sakamoto in collaboration with Tin Drum, KAGAMI invites audiences to wear ‘optically transparent’ devices to view a virtual Sakamoto, performing on piano alongside dimensional art aligned with the music. Simultaneously individual and collective, attendees can watch the show in their seats or wander around in order to connect to the work and each other.

Versa Manchester Studios, 3 Good Yards St, Manchester, M3 3BG
AFRODEUTSCHE | The Hall, Factory International | Wed 5 Jul | 8.30pm | £10-£25

Billed as ‘a night of musical innovation from three creative forces’, Manchester’s own polymathic DJ, producer and composer AFRODEUTSCHE merges contemporary classical, techno, house and electro in a new composition for MIF23, performed by Manchester Camerata and led by internationally renowned conductor Robert Ames.

Factory International, Water St, Manchester M3 4JQ
Sonic Geography | Bridgewater Hall | Fri 7 Jul | 7.30pm | £10-£30

Inspired by the climate crisis and performed by the BBC Philharmonic, Sonic Geography features three new spellbinding works from acclaimed musicians, each celebrating the resolve, resilience and soaring majesty of the natural world. Grammy Award-winning composer John Luther Adams evokes rugged Arctic landscapes with Prophecies of Stone, while Alissa Firsova’s A Spell for Creation explores the intricate interdependence of the natural world and Ailís Ní Ríain considers environmental awareness through a new composition, The Land Grows Weary of its Own.

The Bridgewater Hall, Lower Mosley St, Manchester M2 3WS
Anna Meredith: FIBS | Depot Mayfield | Sat 8 Jul | 7.30pm | £10-£25

Bringing her mysterious, captivating sound to Depot Mayfield, MIF23 welcomes pre-eminent composer and multi-instrumentalist Anna Meredith for a genre-bending rendition of her ‘infectious, joyous and exhilarating’ Mercury Prize-shortlisted album, FIBS. Conducted by Robert Ames, the RNCM Festival Orchestra joins Anna for a performance which unites contemporary classical, art pop, techno and experimental rock to produce music sonically engineered for a giant space.

11 Baring St, Manchester M1 2PY, Tel: 0161 806 0161
All Right. Good Night. | HOME | Thu 6 Jul - Sat 8 Jul | 7pm, 7.30pm | £10-£28

Weaving personal tragedy with catastrophe on an almost inconceivable scale, All Right. Good Night. offers an arresting meditation on disappearance, loss and how to deal with uncertainty, set to a haunting contemporary score from Barbara Morgenstern and arranger Davor Vincze. Performed by award-winning German theatre group Rimini Protokoll, the show blends a poignant contemplation of the vanishing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 with director Herman Haug’s recollection of his father’s dementia in a brutally affecting exploration of unfulfilled grief.

HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Pl, M15 4FN, Tel: 0161 200 1500
Manchester Collective and Slung Low: Noah's Flood | The Hall, Factory International | Sun 9 Jul | 3pm | £10-£25

Featuring a cast of world-class musicians, an army of performers from local communities and legendary Mancunian poet Lemn Sissay as the voice of God, Manchester Collective and Slung Low present a vibrant, all-embracing production of the Old Testament story. Family-friendly and open to all, director Alan Lane’s vision of Benjamin Britten’s beloved community opera unites an internationally renowned orchestra with a motley crew of recorders, wind machines, mugs, bugles and more for a celebration of true inclusivity in performing arts.

Factory International, Water St, Manchester M3 4JQ
A Manchester Wire Partnership post
Thu 29 Jun - Sun 16 Jul, Manchester International Festival
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Tue 20 Jun 2023