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Simon Holt

Publisher: Chester Music

Lilith (1990)
Commissioned by BCMG.
Chester Music Ltd
Large Ensemble (7 or more players)
Year Composed
11 Minutes

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Programme Note
Simon Holt Lilith (1990)
“Lilith was a serpent; she was Adam’s first wife and, according to Dante Gabriel Rossetti, gave him: ‘Shapes that coiled in the woods and waters, Glittering sons and radiant daughters.’

Throughout the Middle Ages the influence of the word ‘layil’ (Hebrew for night) gave a new turn to the myth. She becomes an apparition of the night and at times a demon who assaults those who sleep alone or those who travel lonely roads – a tall, silent woman with long black hair.”

© Simon Holt

Preview the score:

  • Ensemble
    Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
    Ulrich Heinen (vc), Rolf Hind (pf), Rinat Shaham (Ms)
    Simon Rattle/Martyn Brabbins
  • Large Ensemble (7 or more players):
  • 09 MAY 2014
    Mannheim, Germany
    Ensemble Incontro
  • 07 DEC 2013
    The Rest is Noise
    Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, London
    RCM New Perspectives
    Timothy Lines, conductor
  • 21 APR 2012
    Cologne, Germany
    Ensemble 20 / 21
  • 14 MAR 2012
    Windsor Auditorium
    Royal Holloway Sinfonietta & CHROMA
  • 26 NOV 2011
    Maison de la musique Nanterre, FRANCE
  • 31 OCT 2011
    Mozart Hall Konzerthaus, Vienna, AUSTRIA
    London Sinfonietta
    Franck Ollu, conductor

    Other Dates:
    13 November - Hudobne Centrum Bratislava, SLOVAKIA
  • 27 JAN 2011
    The Sage Gateshead
    Northern Sinfonia
    Thomas Zehetmair, conductor
  • 12 NOV 2010
    La Fabrika, Prague
    Klangforum Wien
    Clement Power, conductor
  • 01 JUN 2010
    Festival de Violoncelle Beauvais
    Beauvais, France
  • 21 MAR 2010
    L'Auditorio Chamber Hall, Barcelona, Spain
    London Sinfonietta

    Other Dates:
    22 March - Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain
  • 02 MAR 2010
    Radio Kulturhaus, Vienna, Austria
    Klangforum Wien
    Jonathan Stockhammer, conductor
  • 02 MAR 2010
    Wien, Austria
    Klangforum Wien
    Jonathan Stockhammer, conductor
  • 19 JUN 2009
    The Sage, Gateshead, UK
    Northern Sinfonia
    Thomas Zehetmair, conductor
  • 19 DEC 2008
    Orquesta de Alumnos de Musikene
    Estelles, conductor
  • 08 DEC 2008
    Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
    London Sinfonietta
  • 06 SEP 2008
    LSO St. Lukes, London
    London Contemporary Orchestra
  • 10 JUN 2005
    HMT Z/Music High School
    Lehel Donath, conductor
  • 22 MAY 2005
    musikFabrik im WDR
    WDR Funkhaus am Wallrafplatz, Cologne, Germany
    musikFabrik / Ensemble für Neue Musik
    Stefan Asbury, conductor
  • 04 APR 2004
    Edgton Village Hall & Wem Town Hall, Shropshire, UK
    Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
    Martyn Brabbins, conductor
  • 28 FEB 2004
    CBSO Centre, Birmingham
    Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
    Diego Masson, conductor

    Other Dates:
    29 February - Corn Exchange, Cambridge
    7 March - Town Hall, Oxford
    11 March - RNCM, Manchester
    12 March - Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, York University
  • 25 NOV 2003
    Porto, Casa das Artes, Portugal
    Remix Ensemble
    Stefan Asbury, conductor
  • 23 NOV 2003
    Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
    St Paul's Hall, Huddersfield
    Remix Ensemble
  • 23 NOV 2003
    - Huddersfield, UK
    Casa da Música / Porto 2001 - Remix Ensemble
    Stefan Asbury, conductor

    Other Dates:
    25 November - - Porto, Portugal
  • 27 AUG 2003
    Schleswig-Holstein Festival
    London Sinfonietta
    George Benjamin, conductor
  • 19 MAR 2003
    Chicago, IL
    members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • 21 FEB 2003
    South Bank Centre
    Nash Emsemble
    Jean Rigby; Diego Masson, conductor
  • 24 MAY 2002
    St George's, Bristol, UK
    Brunel Ensemble
    Christopher Austin, conductor
  • 29 JAN 2002
    Halle, Germany
    Ensemble Konfrontation (Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Halle)
    Thomas Müller, conductor
  • 24 JAN 2002
    Halle/Saale, Germany
    Ensemble des Philharmonisches Staatorchester Halle
  • 06 OCT 2001
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    London Sinfonietta
    Diego Masson, conductor

Reviews's a fascinating work that can hardly be revisited often enough
Alfred Hickling, The Guardian online,1/31/2011
Friday's most valuable revival was the Lilith of Simon Holt (1990), a fissured, tightly wrought portrait of an obviously dangerous presence.
Geoff Brown, The Times,6/23/2009
Simon Holt's 'Lilith', a menacing work that is tightly constructed out of expressionistic gestures and fascinating instrumental detail, was given a forceful and firm performance from Mason and his players, who confidently attacked Holt's wicked depiction of the serpent Lilith.
Stephen Graham,,12/12/2008
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