Archive for January, 2008

In the Deep South!

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

I’ve just arrived in Birmingham, Alabama and had my first rehearsals of The Protecting Veil with the Alabama Symphony, who are absolutely first class. Chief Conductor Justin Brown is doing an amazing job, and there’s a city-wide buzz about the orchestra, who are evidently on a steep upward artistic curve. The Alys Stephens Hall is very good to play in, so I’m really looking forward to the first concert tomorrow night, which starts with an arrangement that Justin and I made for cello and strings of Albinoni’s Adagio.

I guess this is what Birmingham UK felt like 30 years ago when a young Simon Rattle took on the job there and went on to do such extraordinary things. If they get the funding they need, I think something similar will happen here. Watch that Deep Southern space!

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Sunday, January 13th, 2008

It’s been very strange to take nearly 5 months off touring! I’ve been catching up on a million things that I’ve been putting off for years and years, and preparing repertoire for a busy 2008 that includes world premieres by Peter Wiegold (cello concerto with improvised cello part with Northern Sinfonia), Amjad Ali Khan (concerto for sarod, cello and orchestra with Scottish Chamber Orchestra), Fraser Trainer, Thomas Larcher and John Metcalfe, as well as lots of Bach and Vivaldi. I will also be giving my first performances on my new electric cello in a UK tour of cathedrals in April full details on the concert page), and recording Tavener’s Protecting Veil for BBC Radio 3 with the BBC Philharmonic and Charles Hazlewood.

The year starts next week when I travel to America to play with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra: this little known orchestra was singled out by the New Yorker alongside Berlin, New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics as one of the musical highlights of 2007. See this link for details.

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