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Voicing Pierrot

Jane Manning

Photograph Jane Manning was born in Norwich and studied at the Royal Academy of Music and in Switzerland. Highlights of a long career have included Bach under Karl Richter, Salieri under Nikolaus Harnoncourt, major operatic roles by Mozart, Purcell, Lully, Britten and Kurt Weill in Australasia, Israel, Ireland and the UK, and countless BBC broadcasts, including many Promenade Concerts.

She is of course especially celebrated as an interpreter of contemporary music and has given more than 350 world premieres, working closely with composers such as Bennett, Birtwistle, Boulez, Cage, Carter, Maxwell Davies, Knussen and Weir. An extensive discography includes the major song cycles of Messiaen, all Satie's vocal music, and works by Berg, Dallapiccola, Schoenberg and Ligeti with conductors including Boulez and Rattle. CD releases of music by British composers include several for NMC, plus re-issues of her earlier recordings of major works by Birtwistle, Bedford, Bennett and Maw. Her latest CD My Own Country is available on Meridian, and a 2-disk set of vocal music by Schoenberg and his contemporaries is due for release on Metronome.

In October 2007 she completed 3 years of performance-based research as AHRC Creative Arts Fellow at Kingston University. Her subject was Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire, of which her interpretation is regarded as definitive. She has recorded the work 3 times and lectures on it frequently, including giving a Saul Seminar at the British Library. In 2012 she will curate a special Pierrot Centenary project at the Royal Academy of Music.

She continues to enjoy an active performing career. Concerts in recent seasons have included Maxwell Davies's Miss Donnithorne's Maggot in Turin with the London Sinfonietta, and in Barcelona with Psappha, as well as Pierrot Lunaire at the Southbank Centre, and in Helsinki, where she also performed in Schoenberg's Die Jakobsleiter. A special Southbank Centre concert in 2010 celebrated her 45 years of singing, and was broadcast by the BBC.

She is also a published author: her two volumes on contemporary vocal repertoire are published by Oxford University Press, and her ground-breaking study of the vocal part of Pierrot Lunaire will be published by Southern Voices. She has contributed the chapter on vocal performance, 20th century and beyond, to Cambridge University Press's forthcoming History of Musical Performance. Other writings include the chapter on the vocal cycles for Faber & Faber's Messiaen Companion and articles for various musical journals such as TEMPO.

She was awarded the OBE in 1990, holds Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Durham, Keele and York, and is a Fellow of both the Royal Academy and Royal College of Music.

Currently Visiting Professor at Kingston University, and at the Royal College of Music, she is much sought-after for her lectures, master classes and composer workshops, having appeared in this capacity at many of the world's leading campuses including, in the USA, Harvard, Princeton, Cornell, Stanford, Yale and Columbia.

She is married to the composer, writer and broadcaster Anthony Payne.

Voicing Pierrot

A Practical, Analytical and Personal Guide to the Vocal Part of Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire

An Audio Book, read by the author, Dr Jane Manning
In preparation: will appear here when final editing is complete.

NB: Java is required, and you can play the chapters separately or all sequentially.

Play Preface

Play Pierrot in context

Play The poems

Play Cultural and stylistic influences

Play Modes of delivery

Play Starting out

Play Priorities

Play Practicalities and settings

Play The performing experience in detail

Play A detailed guide

Play Afterword and Coda: Thoughts and connections

Text files (downloads below: others forthcoming):