Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Preparing to Record the Lazarus Requiem

It's only a month now until we begin recording the Lazarus Requiem.   This is an exciting time for me since it's seven years since I completed the work and three years since it was premiered at The Cadogan Hall. It has taken all this time to find a window of opportunity.... 

We have the Royal Scottish National Orchestra lined up to record in Glasgow. Then, because the Exeter Philharmonic Choir are preparing for a March performance and we have the cathedral choir to sing the tableaux, all the choral parts are being overdubbed in Exeter Cathedral in early February. Thomas Walker (who sang so brilliantly at the premiere) will sing the role of Christ with Elin Manahan Thomas as Mary and Rachael Lloyd as Martha. Albums will be available after the launch in Exeter Cathedral on March 17th.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Final Concert in Laura Wright Tour

The last concert in my tour with Laura Wright takes place this evening at the city centre church in Peterborough - St. Johns. The Raven Quartet has been with us for the rest of the tour but, tonight, I'm delighted that the Toki Quartet are to appear. The concert starts at 7.45 pm. This is a neck of the woods that I can almost call home since its just a few miles from Bourne in Lincolnshire where my parents and brother have lived since the 1980's. It will be great to share this special occasion with friends and family. 

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Organ Recital in North Walsham

On Saturday 22nd October, I'm giving an organ recital on the newly refurbished organ at St. Nicholas North Walsham. It's a beautiful building and a fantastic instrument.  I hope to learn my Toccata in time! This was written for the organist Roger Sayer and he plays the piece so well on my album Song of Songs.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Rehearsal with Laura and The Raven Quartet

Just finished my rehearsal with Laura and The Raven Quartet.  We met at the Royal College of Music which brought back lots of memories.  The last time I was there was to film for the Highrove Suite BBC programme with Claire Jones. The repertoire for the concert series sounds lovely - and we are all set now for the first performance in Lancaster Priory tomorrow!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Tour with Laura Wright Kicks Off!

I'm so excited that my tour with the fabulous Laura Wright is about to begin.  We start in Lancaster on Friday Night (16th) and then we visit Exeter, Norwich, Newcastle, Warwick, Bristol, Cardiff and Peterborough over the coming months. Laura's album has been a huge success - four weeks at number one.

Friday, 22 July 2011

An amazing premiere

The premiere of my Te Deum took place in Lancaster, Ohio last night and received a tremendous standing ovation. I don't think I have ever been so moved by the warmth of the reception at a concert of my music. The Catholic Church of St. Mary was filled to capacity - an audience of just under a thousand. The Lancaster Chorale, the two soloists and the Festival Orchestra absolutely excelled themselves. Gary Sheldon conducted brilliantly. Thank you to all who performed on the night and the many generous people who made it happen.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Arrival in Lancaster, Ohio

I arrived in Lancaster yesterday to a wonderfully warm reception. Last night the Lancaster Chorale rehearsed the Te Deum with piano ahead of the dress rehearsal with orchestra this evening. What a choir! Bob Trocchia has done the most fantastic job in preparing them - and Gary Sheldon (artistic director of the Festival) provided inspired direction. The magnificent Catholic Church of St Mary must seat almost a thousand, and the concert is a sell out for tomorrow night. I have to thank the Chorale board (particularly Susan Lantz) and Father Don Franks for their help and support.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Laura Wright

I spent a few weeks in April working on seven new arrangements for Laura Wright's new album The Last Rose. This is due to be released late in July by Decca and I have just seen the album cover. It's really lovely and does real justice to Laura and her beautiful voice. Watch this space for more details over the next couple of weeks!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Te Deum Premiere

I am delighted to say that my Te Deum has a premiere looming! Bob Trocchia and the Lancaster Chorale based in Ohio have performed quite a few of my pieces and have recently posted a beautiful rendition of Perfect Love on Youtube. They have now commissioned the Te Deum for premiere on July 21st this year at the opening concert of the Lancaster Festival. I am really excited about this and delighted that I will be there to hear the performance under the expert conducting of Gary Sheldon.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

New Piece for Oboe and Harp

I am sorry to any regular readers for the late arrival of a new blog. I had the dreaded flu virus just before Christmas and it's taken me ages to get over it properly. But I am back on course - and there are lots of exciting things happening in 2011. The first is a new piece for oboe and harp. It is just finished and is being rehearsed today by the oboist James Turnbull and my dear friend Claire Jones. They aim to premiere the piece on the 28th of this month at the Avon Valley Concerts

The piece is called Earth Rise. It was James's idea and this is what he wrote to me about it:

The picture was taken by Apollo 8 in December 1968 and it was the first time humankind caught a glimpse of the planet from deep space. A while ago I read an amazing book about how the Apollo missions changed the way we view our existence and how it changed the astronauts and believe it is considered to be a highly significant moment, showing how fragile, and small the Earth actually is.