Archive for June, 2012

The Protecting Veil

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Rehearsing today for The Protecting Veil, Tavener’s gigantic masterpiece for cello and string orchestra, I realised again just how much I love this piece. It is 45′ of continuous playing, and therefore exhausting, but that somehow amplifies the effect of a huge journey, undertaken at cost. The form is gratifyingly geometric, lots of symmetry, lots of repetition (although you wouldn’t immediately know that), and lots of unadulterated beauty. It’s the only piece in the ‘classical’ repertoire where I feel like I am improvising. So I can’t wait for the concert with the Royal Academy Strings, who sound magnificent under the highly skilled baton of Nicholas Collon, at Shoreditch Church, 9.30pm on Wednesday – the last concert I give as Associate Artist with the Spitalfields Festival.

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Spitalfields updates on Twitter

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

You can follow me now on Twitter with updates on all the goings on at the wonderful Spitalfields Festival. Last night’s concert was an amazing buzz! Reading through Mozart oboe 5tet with Nick Daniel, Brahms clarinet with Julian Bliss, and then Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence with Priya Mitchell, Giovanni Guzzo, Krzysztof Chorzelski, Simone van der Giessen and Jamie Walton – amazing! Without rehearsal, we wanted to show the exhilaration of the first run-through, and the intensity of concentration that we found was quite intoxicating. One of the year’s highlight for me.

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My Spitalfield’s Festival dates start in a week

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

I have been invited to be Associate Artist at Spitalfields Festival, starting next Saturday June 9th with a performance/lecture called What’s Music For? I will be exploring, er, what music is for, in different cultures around the world, playing some examples on the cello, and recordings of others. Hopefully, my answers to that question will surprise and delight…

Then on June 11th, I  will be reading through some great works of chamber music with a seriously stellar group of musicians: Nicholas Daniel, oboe: Julian Bliss, clarinet; Priya Mitchell and Giovanni Guzzo, violins; Krzyzstof Chorzelski (Belcea Quartet) and Simone van der Giessen (Navarra Quartet); and Jamie Walton and myself on cellos. Works by Mozart, Brahms and Tckaikovsky, played without any rehearsal to raise money for the education work of the festival – prepare for sparks!

On June 20th I will be playing Sir John Tavener’s The Protecting Veil with the Royal Academy String Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Collon, late at night, with just candles in the church. Should be special. And finally, on June 15th I will spend a day playing in the Royal London Hospital for patients on a number of different wards, but this will not be open to the public. It’s a very exciting festival to be involved in.

Details for all the concerts including for booking are here – scroll down for the 2nd and 3rd dates.


I shall be tweeting about the festival all the way through – to follow me, click here.

But before that, off to St Petersburg for the white nights (no proper darkness at night, in other words), and the Peasant Girl in the legendary Philharmonic Hall…fun fun fun

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