Writings

‘Long Memories’: The diary of an unfolding project for Toccata Press – First stop: Lithuania

‘Long Memories’ – the original idea for a book of interviews with senior composers came as the result of meeting and working with two very different composers who I hope will be part of the final publication. I have known Betsy Jolas (born in 1926) for many years but, perhaps foolishly, it occurred to me only earlier this year that I should sit down and talk to her a little about her extraordinary life and her music

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Alan Bush 100th

Alan Bush would have been 100 years old on December 22nd 2000. When I got to know him, around the time of his 85th birthday, it seemed as if he would make it to his century.

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(Classical Source, November 2000)

Henri Dutilleux at 85

The great French composer Henri Dutilleux was 85 on January 22nd. He occupies a unique place in the music of our time, which is especially extraordinary considering that his reputation rests on no more than 10 major works. By Dutilleux’s own admission, and regret, he works very slowly

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(Classical Source, January 2001)

Out of the Depths

Many composers would agree that the biggest difficulty when writing a choral or vocal work is finding a text that might be suitable for a musical setting and sets off their imagination

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(This article was first published in the Mar/Apr 2010 issue of Choir & Organ. Copyright Rhinegold Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.)

I Hear America Singing

The earthy Walt Whitman poem I Hear America Singing, written ten years before the birth of Samuel Barber and William Schuman, could have been a signature tune for both US composers

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(This article was first published in the Sep/Oct 2010 issue of Choir & Organ. Copyright Rhinegold Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.)

John Ireland in Chelsea Festival

Welcome to ‘John Ireland in Chelsea’; a Festival to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of John Ireland.

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(Welcome from the programme book, June 2012)

A Subversive Conventionalist

It is perhaps unlikely that many composers profiled by Choir & Organ can list such a varied and diverse collection of collaborators as Gavin Bryars.

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(This article was first published in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Choir & Organ. Copyright Rhinegold Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.)

A profile of Sir Andrzej Panufnik to celebrate his centenary

Andrzej Panufnik was born in Warsaw on September 24th 1914. His father was a respected violin maker and his mother a talented violinist who studied with Carl Flesch. The young Panufnik began to compose, completed a Piano Sonatina at the age of 9

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(Written for the Cheltenham & Presteigne Festivals, Summer 2014)

Lux Perpetua

It seemed inevitable that at some stage in his life Pawel Łukaszewski would write a Requiem. Born in 1968 into a musical family (Łukaszewski’s father Wojciech, 1936-78, was also a composer), Pawel was brought up in the city of Czestochowa in southern Poland

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(This article was first published in the Jul/Aug 2014 issue of Choir & Organ. Copyright Rhinegold Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.)

Play On

“If music be the food of love, play on….” Shakespeare’s lyricism, imagery and wit has fired the imaginations of the playwright’s contemporaries through to present-day composers

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(This article was first published in the Sept/Oct 2014 issue of Choir & Organ. Copyright Rhinegold Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.)
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