Lesley-Jane Rogers / Bergamo Ensemble

Over the last few weeks I’ve been working on a new piece for Lesley-Jane Rogers and the Bergamo Ensemble, under their director Michael Downes. I’ve found a fantastic story about a poor pedlar who has an extraordinary dream – it’s an old folktale, and this particular telling of it is from the diary of Abraham de le Pryme, a 17th-century cleric who knew Pepys and Newton, among others. This will be my second folktale setting, following on from The She-Wolf which was premiered by Marie Vassiliou a couple of years ago. And now I’m beginning to think about a third…

The new piece is called The Pedlar of Swaffham, as is scored for the whole ensemble (which is the often-used combination established by Schoenberg in Pierrot Lunaire: soprano, flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano). It’s going to be premiered together with a new work by Roderick Watkins in a concert at 3pm on Saturday 27 October in the Canterbury Festival, and will receive a second performance at Fitzwilliam College Auditorium, Cambridge at 8pm on Sunday 28 October, before being recorded the following day.

Music by Jeremy Thurlow

another six-piano extravaganza

When I wrote Music for strings and hammers for a six-piano extravaganza as part of the FUSELeeds festival last year, I realised that its completely impractical (and expensive!) instrumentation would mean that it wouldn’t get too many performances, except maybe in piano shops… So it was a real pleasure to hear it given in an excellent performance on Friday (March 9th) in West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge, together with music by Eliott Schwartz and Yumi Hara Calkwell. The players were Joseph Fort, Clare Hammond, Tim Harper, James Long, Alex Soares and Cordelia Williams, conducted by Dan Hill. This included the premiere of a new first movement, a calm exploration of music woven from different tempos and spaces, before the high energy of the main piece.

Music by Jeremy Thurlow

Hear and Now

Rolf Hind’s Wigmore Hall concert with the Duke Quartet, based around his piece Eye of Fire, is being broadcast tomorrow – Saturday 3rd February – on Hear and Now (Radio 3, 11pm), where it’s introduced by Rolf talking with Sarah Mohr-Pietsch. It includes his performance of my piano piece The Will of the Tones, and can also be heard as a webcast any time during the following week (up til 11pm on Saturday 10th) – click here for the link. It’s a really fascinating programme, very well played, so it’s well worth a listen.

Music by Jeremy Thurlow

Matthew Schellhorn

Matthew Schellhorn will be performing The Will of the Tones in West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge, on Monday, 22nd January at 8pm. The piece was written for Matthew, and he gave the first performance in St Martin-in-the-Fields, London in November 2004. This will be the first time Matthew has played the piece publically in Cambridge. You can hear an excerpt from his performance on this website, at >listen > one piano.

The recital will also include music by Jane O’Leary, Ian Wilson, James Macmillan, Hugh Wood, and Schumann’s Carnaval.

And there’s a pre-concert talk at 7.15, when Jane O’Leary and I will be talking with
Tim Watts.

For more details see http://www.westroad.org/listings//index.php?listing=321

and also http://www.matthewschellhorn.com/

Music by Jeremy Thurlow

Will of the Tones: Wigmore Hall BBC broadcast

I’ve just heard that Rolf Hind’s performance of my piece The Will of the Tones at the Wigmore Hall this Tuesday (5th December) is going to be recorded by the BBC and broadcast early next year on Radio 3. When I have the date for the broadcast I’ll post it up. My piece is being played as part of a programme called ‘Eye of Fire’, which includes music by Alfred Schnittke, Phil Venables, Naomi Pinnock, Shiori Usui and Rolf Hind, played by Rolf and the Duke Quartet, and after their appearance at the Wigmore they’re going on to play the same programme in Edinburgh and Cardiff. For full details of the tour, see the earlier news post on this site titled ‘Rolf Hind’.

Rolf will also be appearing on Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’ on Monday 4th, to talk about the concert.

Music by Jeremy Thurlow

British Contemporary Piano Competition

Two pianists, Simon Smith and Paul Kean, have chosen to play The Will of the Tones as part of their programme in the British Contemporary Piano Competition, which is taking place at the University of Surrey in Guildford over the next few days. This is a fantastic competition, in which a number of incredibly brave young pianists tackle a terrifying mountain of contemporary piano repertoire and are gradually whittled down over three rounds. For more information, see http://www.britconpc.co.uk/

Music by Jeremy Thurlow

Rolf Hind

Rolf Hind is going to be playing my piano piece The Will of the Tones in three concerts with the Duke Quartet, which will also include new pieces by Rolf himself and Phil Venables, and the Schnittke Piano Quintet. (You can hear some of The Will here on this site, at listen > one piano.)

The tour is called ‘Eye of Fire’, and the concert dates are:

Tuesday 5 December, 7.30 – Wigmore Hall, London

Wednesday 6 December, 7.45 – Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh

Thursday 7 December, 8.00 – The Gate, Cardiff

See also

Music by Jeremy Thurlow.

six pianos…

This is the opening of a piece for six pianos which I wrote earlier this year, for a first performance in Leeds Corn Exchange, an extraordinary building encasing a large oval-shaped space on three levels, linked by curving staircases. This was for a FUSELeeds/spnm concert in May curated by Rolf Hind, who had the great idea of filling this wonderful space with the sound of lots of pianos. I thought of my music working on different layers like the architecture it was written for. It’s called Music for Strings and Hammers, performed by Rolf Hind, Sarah Nichols, Noriko Ogawa, Andrew Ball, Richard Casey and Daniel Becker.