Archived News for June 2011
01 Jun 2011
Pleased to have been awarded the Shinn Fellowship at the Royal Academy of Music for next 2011-2012. This will enable me to build on the work I've been doing as Lucille Graham Opera Fellow this year, with more of a focus on coaching and assistant conducting. The opera department has a varied line up of operas for next year: Berlioz's Béatrice et Bénédict, Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos (Prologue), Britten's Curlew River, Vaughan Williams' Riders to the Sea. Looking forward to getting stuck in!
07 Jun 2011
After the intensive week of working with singers up at Samling, it has been back to chamber music in abundance for a couple of weeks! Last week saw a recital with flautist Thea Cramp (colleague on the visiting music staff at Eton) as part of the lunchtime series at Windsor Parish Church. Tomorrow will provide a pleasing excuse to visit Winchester (where I worked for my gap year), giving a concert for the Friends of the Cathedral's 80th anniversary with Alexandra and Charlotte Reid (violinists). As usual we are mixing up some staples of our repertoire (a Handel trio sonata, the Martinu Sonatine) with some new pieces (a vibrant Haydn sonata and the virtuosic Muskowski Suite) as well as taking the chance to revisit Jon Galton's The Awakening which we premiered last year. Meanwhile, time is also filled with rehearsing for Sunday's concert in Cambridge with cellist Cara Berridge (Schumann and Rachmaninov - no shortage of semiquavers...), revising the Dvorak Piano Quintet for the next Music at St Peter's concert later this month, and preliminary rehearsals with clarinettist John Slack for a concert in Germany a couple of weeks later (Mozart, Debussy, Brahms...). Phew!
17 Jun 2011
Documentary and extracts now available of RAO's Kommilitonen! première in March - click here to watch the documentary, or here to watch a clip of the Act 2 finale. Acting as chorusmaster on this brand new Peter Maxwell Davies / David Pountney collaboration was an extraordinary, and ultimately hugely rewarding, process!
20 Jun 2011
Flattered to have been asked by the Renaissance Singers to be their Guest Conductor next term, while their regular conductor David Allinson settles into a new teaching post at Bristol University. Having played for the Renaissance Singers' excellent Christmas concert last year, it will be great to be at the helm this time round!
26 Jun 2011
Last night was a fantastic end to the second year of the Music at St Peter's series, with superb performances from the Hampden Quartet and from soprano Sara Lian Owen. The first half of the concert saw a programme of Welsh songs, ranging from Dilys Elwyn Edwards' Caneuon y Tri Aderyn, a beautiful cycle about birds, to more familiar folk songs and the sumptuous tunes of Ivor Novello! This was followed in the second half by Dvorak's Piano Quintet, a glorious highlight of the piano quintet repertoire, and such fun to play. Based at St Peter's Church in Ardingly, West Sussex, these concerts have developed a very loyal following; each works on the basis of bringing talented emerging professionals down from London to beautiful rural Mid Sussex, and each raises money for a different local cause. Looking back at the array of performers to date, it has been a hugely varied lineup: Alexandra and Charlotte Reid (violins), Alexandra Kidgell (soprano), James Turnbull (oboe), Carris Jones (mezzo-soprano), Lucia Siwy Capilla (violin), Peter Davoren (tenor), Fiona Slominska (flute), Sam Queen (baritone), Matthew Lowe (cello), Laura Kelly (mezzo-soprano), and then last night the Hampden Quartet (the return of the Reid sisters!) and Sara Lian Owen (soprano). What a pleasure to perform with all these people in such a beautiful setting, and to have raised money for Hands of Hope in Uganda, Family Support Work in Mid Sussex, Ardingly Old Jeshwang Association in the Gambia, Tearfund Pakistan Floods Appeal, St Peter's Church Centre Appeal, and St Peter and St James Hospice in Sussex. Here's to the next year of this series!