Classical Beat: Andre Previn, London Symphony Orchestra, Frank Zappa ...

Holland Festival to run from June 3–25.

André Previn will conduct the British premiere of his work Diversions with the London Symphony Orchestra in concerts at London's Barbican center, June 11 and 18. The piece was commissioned by the Mozarteum International Foundation and debuted in Salzburg, Austria, in January. ...

The annual Holland Festival is known for its wide-ranging productions of theater, opera, dance and music (in 1995, the event featured the world premiere of Karlhaeinz Stockhausen's Helikopter Quartet). This year's festival includes the live premiere of Frank Zappa's 200 Motels, which was originally realized as a film that starred the composer, ex–Beatles drummer Ringo Starr and others. The Holland Festival runs from June 3–June 25. ...

The London Sinfonietta will present the premiere of two works by American composer Elliott Carter, at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall on May 24. The pieces are part of the song cycle Tempo e Tempi. Carter, 91, will attend the event. ...

Frederica von Stade will perform pieces from her recent album The Faces of Love: The Songs of Jake Heggie, in a performance at San Francisco's Herbst Theatre on Wednesday (May 24). The concert will include an excerpt from Jake Heggie's opera Dead Man Walking, which will be debuted by the San Francisco Opera in October. ...

Russian-American violin virtuoso Isaac Stern and folk-rock legend Bob Dylan were honored with Sweden's most prestigious music award Monday (May 15) in Stockholm. King Carl Gustaf XVI presented the musicians the ninth annual Polar Music Prize, which comes with a purse of one million Swedish crowns ($110,400) each. ...

Music by composer Earle Brown, a member of the "New York School" of the 1950s and '60s that included John Cage and Morton Feldman, is featured on a new CD from the CRI label's American Masters series. The set comes with performances by the late pianist David Tudor, violinist Matthew Raimondi and others. ...

Michael Nyman's The Piano Sings, James MacMillan's Chamber Works and the world premiere recording of the original version of Aaron Copland's Quiet City are among the works to be released shortly on the UK label Black Box. ... Former Beatles singer Paul McCartney will be joined by a star-studded ensemble for the U.S. premiere of the music from A Garland for Linda, the recently released tribute album to his late wife. The concert, which will be co-produced by National Public Radio, will be held June 3 in New York. ...

French singer Raquel Bitton has been signed to OMTOWN/Higher Octave Music, a Virgin-associated label. Her debut CD for the label, Raquel Bitton Sings Edith Piaf, Vol. I is due July 18. Bitton recently extended her current Piaf-based tour into next year. ... On Wednesday, Friday and Saturday (May 17, 19 and 20), Mount Vernon College and the Czech Embassy will present the U.S. premiere of Opera La Serra, by Czech composer Michal Vich and librettist Jaroslav Dusek. The work uses a meaningless, invented language, "Operanto." ...

A recording of Simon Rattle's first performance with the Berlin Philharmonic after being named the orchestra's next music director will be released on CD on June 6. The performance of Mahler's 10th Symphony was recorded in September. Rattle led the Vienna Philharmonic in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D Minor in the quarry of the Mauthausen memorial Tuesday (May 9) in Austria. The concert was part of a commemoration celebration of the 55th anniversary of the liberation of the former Nazi concentration camp. ...

The first Australian production of Wagner's epic four-opera cycle, The Ring, will be performed by the South Australian State Opera in Adelaide from Nov. 17 to Dec. 11, 2004. ...

Queensland, Australia's two major orchestras, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra, have announced that they will merge. ... The modern music ensemble Bang on a Can will perform composer Steve Reich's New York Counterpoint and Four Organs at the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York on July 11. The group recently released a CD on the Nonesuch label that includes those pieces and Eight Lines....

— sonicnet.com staff report