Archive for March, 2007

This Is It

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

Have just had the most wonderful week in Eccles working with brilliant 6th form students and the Eccles Community Choir.

We’re written a very exciting piece, “This Is It”, that we’ll perform and record for BBC Radio 3 tomorrow night. It has been genuinely moving to find such enthusiasm for music here – the college has been amazing; great facilities, wonderful staff, and a very chilled out atmosphere. I’m sure the concert will be a great success, and all thanks to the great energy and music that the students and choir have come up with. We will be the second half of the concert; in the first half I play Mark Anthony-Turnage’s Kai with the BBC Philharmonic which is a beautiful piece – a requiem for the death of young cellist Kai Scheffler back in 1989. The whole thing is so well supported by the BBC and the college.
I wish all projects could be like this.

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BBC Philharmonic/Turnage

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

Sunday morning and I’m on a train from Edinburgh to Manchester – thanks to GNER’s ‘Wifi on the move’ I can blog from the train. Very good.

Just had a very satisfying two days with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, preparing players for the Double Concerto for Sarod, Cello and Strings that we’ll premiere next year with Maestor Amjad Ali Khan, and now it’s down to Manchester for the BBC Phil and a week of workshops and Turnage.

I’m particularly excited about this week, as it’s the first time I’ve had a concerto directly linked to a major community project. We will work with some players from the Phil, a group of A level students and a community choir to create new music based on the work of composer Mark Anthony Turnage. On Wednesday, conductor Charles Hazlewood comes to join the fun, and on Thursday and Friday we rehearse, record and perform the Turnage chamber concerto, Kai, and the new piece. There will also be a VJ, Gemma Briers, filming the week and projecting her images as we perform on Friday night – which makes me wish I’d had time to get a haircut – as my daughter astutely observed, it looks like I have a sheep on my head…
Can’t wait to meet the students and choir, and see what kind of piece we’ll come up with!

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