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N E W S
I enjoyed a superb concert of new music for harp on Saturday, including the first performance of my Prelude to Perle, given by the amazing Ruth Lee. Ruth had offered tremendous support in the writing of the piece and gave an intense, committed performance and front of a large audience, who were clearly enthralled by her playing! I hope we can do it all over again sometime! (6.3.23)
Thanks to the British Horn Society for part-funding the commission of Fell. There's a nice little article about in on their website. (17.2.23)
On Sunday I had the pleasure of attending the first performance of Fell, given in York by Soon Amore choir, with Martin Lawrence the soloist on natural horn. It was a superbly shaped performance, directed by Chris Bartram, and was very well received by the audience and by this reviewer! Chris, Martin and I were students together at University of York some forty years ago, so the moment we stood on stage and took a bow was a special experience! I'm very much looking forward to future performances of Fell later in the year, and hope it will be available in print soon. (15.2.23)
Many thanks to Susie, Chris and James - a.k.a. 'The Lapins' for an exciting and atmospheric performance of Au Lapin Agile on Saturday at Late Music, to start a wonderful programme of music and words. I'm sure that this will be in huge demand, and I very much look forward to future performances! (5.2.23)
There are already some exciting performances planned for 2023, which are listed here. The first of the year will be a performance of Au Lapin Agile (in a new, expanded version for bass clarinet in addition to flute and guitar), performed by Music on the Edge at Late Music on Saturday 4 February. (10.1.23)
Huge thanks to everyone who played, sang, conducted, recorded or listened to my music in 2022. It was a real privilege to work with so many wonderful performers, and a treat for any composer. Following on from two very quiet years, 2022 has shown signs of recovery for music and musicians; let's hope this continues in the New Year. (1.1.23.)
This is a big weekend for my music! On Saturday evening - 3rd December 2022 - you can hear the first performance of Hells Bells Bagatelles at Late Music in York, performed by the brilliant Gemini chamber ensemble. And in Skipton, on the same evening, you can hear Of Trumpets and Angels, performed by the Skipton Choral Society and the York Railway Institute Band, with soprano soloist Jennifer Webb. If you can't decide, go to Late Music, because there's another chance to hear Of Trumpets and Angels at Selby Abbey next weekend! (And the Skipton concert is already SOLD OUT in any case)! And on Monday, Angelus Inquit Pastoribus, a new piece for SSA choir, will be performed in York Minster by the YSJ University Choir, conducted by Catherine Birch, as part of the University Carol Service. (1.12.22)
Huge thanks to the Elysian Singers (and their conductor Sam Laughton) for a beautiful performance of Feathers in St Pancras Parish Church, London, last week. The offstage soprano solo (sung perfectly by Miranda Johnson) was a spine-tingling moment, and the whole piece was so beautifully well-shaped. I can't wait to hear the CD recording when it comes out next year! (8.11.22).
Completely out of the blue, I was thrilled to hear that the Elysian Singers - one of London's leading chamber choirs - were going to perform Feathers in their next concert, they have also recorded it for their forthcoming CD! I can't wait to hear the performance on Wednesday 2nd November at St Pancras parish Church, on Euston Road. For details of the concert, visit the choir's website. Details of the CD to follow! (25.10.22)
I'm absolutely thrilled that Ian Bousfield will be performing Becoming Winter twice in October, in York and Birmingham. Ian (formerly principal trombonist of the Halle, LSO and Vienna Philharmonic orchestras) will give the premiere in York on Sunday 23rd with the York Railway Institute Band, and then with the Birmingham Conservatoire Brass Band on 30th October. I couldn't wish for a better soloist - very much looking forward to this one! (8.10.22)
Very pleased to learn that Orichalcum Classic Brass will be performing my short brass quintet Jump at Hathersage Parish Church on Sunday 25th September, starting at 3:30 p.m. They have previously performed my longer quintet Breathless and they are seriously good, so do come along if you're in the area! (21.9.22)
Two recent choral pieces have now been published by UYMP: Feathers is an SATB setting of Ovid, describing the 'sweet-voiced' Sirens who lure sailors onto the rocks, and it features a 'hidden' soprano soloist. The second is a setting of Magnificat, in English, which would work equally well in concert or church service. Feathers was first performed in November 2021 by the Elysian Singers of London, and Magnificat has been recorded for release on Resonus Classics label. Both are available from UYMP or Musicroom. (20.8.22)
If you're around Sheffield on Friday (29th July) you can hear Henrietta Hill (viola) and Tom Owen (piano) perform my Six Downie Nocturnes, which were composed in 2013 in memory of ceramic artist Martin Downie. The performance takes place at St Swithin's Church, Holmesfield, at 12:00. (26.7.22)
Following two superb - but very different - choral performances last weekend (At the Edge of the World on Friday with Ex Corde Vocal Ensemble, and Gently on Sunday with Soon Amore), this weekend is time to rest, and to update the website, Soundcloud, You Tube and British Music Collection pages! Do drop in and take a look! (8.7.22)
Very exciting news! At the Edge of the World will be performed on Friday 1st July at All Saints Church, North Street, York. Free tickets are available from this link. Composed in collaboration with poet Abi Curtis, this is the tale of Emma Raughton, an anchoress who lived in solitary isolation in this church during the early years of the 15th century, and who allegedly received visitations from the Virgin Mary. The performance will be given by the Ex Corde Vocal Ensemble directed by Paul Gameson - this is a unique opportunity to hear this music in the intimate church where Emma Raughton lived. I've written more about this remarkable story here in a blog. (26.6.22)
During the pandemic, the Soon Amore acapella choir made a remote recording of Gently, and now they are back together again they can perform it live. That will take place on Sunday 3rd July at 5:00 pm in the Cemetery Chapel, York. This is a choral re-setting of the short song based on words by Rumi, originally composed for soprano and marimba in 2015. I'm very much looking forward to hearing the premiere of the choral version. (8.6.22)
On the weekend of 4th/5th June - when the rest of the UK is celebrating - well, an extra day's bank holiday - there will be no fewer than three performances of my pieces: On Saturday lunchtime Josephine Peach will play Metronome (one of the recently-published Three Pieces for Piano) and then on Saturday evening the wonderful Trilogy Ensemble will play Before I fall asleep, the city, again... for flute viola and harp; both of these take place at Late Music in York. On Sunday it's the turn of Music on the Edge who will present the Irish premiere of Au Lapin Agile at Baltimore Castle, County Cork. Thanks to all the performers - I can't wait to hear these! (24.5.22)
Following the sad news of the death of Harrison Birtwistle I wrote a short blog, trying to explain why he meant so much to me as a composer. He was always a massive influence upon me and my work, and he leaves a significant legacy. Thank you, Harry. (18.5.22)
In May 2020, when the music world went into a sudden state of paralysis in the first Covid-19 lockdown, I composed Renaissance for the Delta Sax Quartet - a sort of prayer for the return of our musical life. The first performance takes place at Late Music on Saturday 7th May 2022. (1.5.22)
Thanks to Susie Hodder-Williams and James Boyd, who gave a second performance of Au Lapin Agile (for flute and guitar) on Sunday 13th February 2022 in North Norfolk. I'm looking forward to hearing it soon! (15.3.22)
Anna Snow (soprano) and Kate Ledger (piano) gave a wonderful first performance of Court, as part of their recital of '100 Second Songs' at Late Music in York last weekend. This was a wonderful programme of miniature songs, curated by Dot DasH Music. This song will ultimately form one of a short cycle, setting words by poet John Goodby. I really need to get busy with those... (8.3.22)
February 2022 will be a busy month with several performances taking place, given by wonderful soloists and ensembles. On Wednesday 2nd Feb the Delta Saxophone Quartet will play Rendez-vous (with film) at the concert which marks the opening of the new Creative Centre at York St John University. Saturday 5th Feb sees a welcome performance of The Dark Gate by soprano Jessica Summers at Late Music in York. Then two performances further afield: Swan will be performed by the Kaleidoscope Sax Quartet in Pinner, Middlesex, on 19th Feb, closely followed by the premiere performance of Au Lapin Agile for flute and guitar (performed by Susie Hodder-Williams and James Boyd) at Holy Trinity Church in Gidleigh, Devon on 20th Feb.
Flautist Amy-Jayne Milton will be including my solo Long After Tonight is All Over in her recital on Saturday 4th December 2021, at Late Music, York, in a programme which also includes 20th century French music and the premiere of Shades 1 by David Power. (24.11.21)
I could not be more pleased with the two performances of my pieces this week - on Wednesday Kaleidoscope gave a sparkling performance of Swan, as part of the University of York concert series, and on Friday Trilogy Ensemble were outstanding in their controlled, committed performance of Before I fall asleep, the city, again... at St James', Piccadilly in London. It was great to be back in London, and to be busy again! (31.10.21)
There are several performances of my pieces in the next week. Tonight, Transit of Venus and Eclipse will be performed by the York Railway Institute Band, and then on Wednesday 27th October Swan will form part of the Kaleidoscope Sax Quartet's concert at University of York. On Friday 29th in London, Trilogy Ensemble will give the first live performance of Before I fall asleep, the city, again... at St James, Piccadilly. (23.10.21)
Performances! After so many months with little or no performance activity, it felt very good to update the list of upcoming performances on this website - see here. I am looking forward to all of them, but particular highlights are the return of the wonderful Late Music concert series in York, and London performances from Trilogy Ensemble and Kaleidoscope Saxophone Quartet. (1.9.21)
It's in the post! I have dispatched a new work today to Harrogate Band, commissioned to mark the 50th anniversary of the band's formation. Fortunately this coincides with bands being able to return to rehearsals and concerts, so hopefully it won't be long until the first performance. Entitled Fox, the piece is a journey from darkness to light, named after the man who brought street lighting to the town (and who funded the building of Harrogate's wonderful Royal Hall and the Royal College of Music, in London). (18.8.21)
I'm delighted to be able to tell you that I have been promoted to the position of Associate Professor for Composition at York St John University. Several colleagues and friends wrote in support of my application, for which I am eternally grateful. And now that the summer vacation is here, I can finally get back to writing some music! (22.7.21)
We spent three very productive days in June recording Apocalypse for future CD release on the Resonus Classics label. The wonderful Ex Corda Vocal Ensemble (conducted by Paul Gameson, and including Anna Snow as the high soprano soloist) explored the vivid, sometimes violent musical imagery of the score, which portrays the final fifteen days of the world as depicted in some of York’s medieval stained glass. Alongside ‘Apocalypse’ on the recording will be a new work, which similarly draws upon aspects of York’s rich medieval history. (20.6.21)
I'm delighted to announce that Three Pieces for Piano (comprising Angelus, Metronome and From New York to Bedlam) are now published by UYMP, and are on sale from Musicroom. Many thanks to Josephine Peach, who assisted with the editing and fingering of the pieces for this new edition. (16.6.21)
Eclipse - composed for remote brass players during the first UK lockdown - is now available in print, as bands start to return from their enforced silence. It was commissioned by Harrogate International Festivals and featured the amazing Mike Lovatt on solo trumpet. You can watch the recording here, and buy the music here! (14.5.21)
The online store on this website is currently being revised and updated, with new recordings and sheet music added. Please continue to visit: it will remain fully functional while the revisions are being made! (18.4.21)
I have spent the last month making an arrangement of my choral work Of Trumpets and Angels with brass band - instead of orchestral - accompaniment. And I must confess to being very pleased with the result: John Donne's apocalyptical text and the melancholy sounds of brass combine to create a powerful effect, so I am very much looking forward to hearing this in performance, all being well, in late 2021. (18.4.21)
I was delighted to learn that the Unitarian Church in York showed the amazing video of my brass band piece Eclipse during its service on Sunday! (30.3.21)
During the early days of lockdown in 2020 I composed in substantial trio for flute, viola and harp. It received a scintillating first performance in a live online concert from Helmsley Arts Centre on 20th March 2021, given by Trilogy Ensemble. It was wonderful to hear Before I fall asleep, the city, again... although the first performance in front of an audience may still be some way off. (30.3.21).
A big thank you to Josephine Peach, who gave a lovely performance of From New York to Bedlam in her online concert from Bootham School on 4th March, as part of a wonderful programme of British music for piano. View her concert here. (30.3.21)
Trilogy Ensemble will give an online performance of my new piece for flute, viola and harp Before I fall asleep, the city, again... in their concert from Helmsley Arts Centre, on 20th March. In a programme called 'From Isolation to Connected' the event will feature an audio visual presentation based around photographs taken during lockdown. (18.2.21)
Song of Light received an excellent review in the February edition of Choir and Organ magazine. Jeremy Jackman wrote that 'the composer has built a lovely little house from very few bricks'! (12.2.21)
I'm delighted with Paul Conway's 5* review in Musical Opinion for Duncan Honeybourne's new CD of piano music composed during lockdown: 'David Lancaster's Angelus was inspired by a poem of the same name by Bret Harte that features 'bells of the past, whose long-forgotten music still fills the wide expanse'. This introspective, directly communicative music perfectly captures confinement's slow passage of time'. Contemporary Piano Soundbites is available from Prima Facie recordings. (22.12.20)
The Chimera Ensemble will perform Grotesques (for woodwind quartet) as part of their online evening concert on Friday 27th November 2020 at 7.45 p.m. Please join them at www.youtube.com/yorkconcerts (23.11.20)
Really thrilled today to receive copies of Duncan Honeybourne's new Contemporary Piano Soundbites in the post. This follows on from Duncan's lockdown project in which he commissioned new pieces to perform online from his home, including my Angelus, which appears on the CD. It's a beautifully produced recording on the Prima Facie label. (7.11.20)
Charles Hutchinson has written a very nice article about my work on the Eclipse project, and a composer's work during lockdown for his online magazine CharlesHutchpress. It's well worth subscribing if you follow the arts in and around York. (1.10.20)
There's a lovely article on the Cross-Eyed Pianist blog about Duncan Honeybourne's new CD recording, which includes Angelus. (1.10.20)
Piano soloist Duncan Honeybourne commissioned Angelus as part of his online 'Contemporary Piano Soundbites' series. Duncan has now recorded it, and it will be released on CD (and online) by Prima Facie Records on 6th November. Follow this link for further details and pre-orders. (25.9.20)
Tonight sees the first performance of Eclipse, for brass, which was commissioned by Harrogate International Festival at the start of the UK lockdown, and which has been recorded remotely by 120 musicians from all around the world ahead of tonight's performance on the HIF website. This exciting project has generated a great deal of interest, and I've been invited to speak about it on BBC World Service and BBC Radio 4, along with several local radio stations. Trumpet virtuoso Mike Lovatt recorded a specially-composed solo line which provides a thrilling ending! The pandemic is obviously proving a very difficult time for brass players, so I was pleased to be able to write something that enabled people to come together for a performance, if only from a distance, and I hope that we'll be able to repeat the piece, live and in front of an audience, when the Harrogate Festival returns next year. I've written more about Eclipse in my blog. (24.7.20)
A second online performance for Angelus! American pianist Francesca Hurst performed my piano miniature as part of her 'Daily Dose of Piano' sequence. It's a beautiful, sensitively controlled performance, and you can hear it here. (12.5.20)
Rough Cut was first performed by Peter Sheppard Skarvaed in York and London in 2016, and he gave an online performance on 10th May 2020 during the lockdown, as part of a survey of the many composers he has worked with. Oddly enough this piece was due to be performed in concert on 6th June (now postponed, of course) so this was a very opportune moment for Peter to revisit this piece. Here's the link to his performance. (11.5.20)
Duncan Honeybourne invited me to compose something for his Contemporary Soundbites series, and he gave the first performance of Angelus as the first part of that project. Duncan plans to perform these new works in concert (as soon as concert activity can resume) and make a CD recording of the pieces he has commissioned during the pandemic. Hear it here. (1.5.20)
Congratulations to Delta Saxophone Quartet for another fine performance of Rendez-vous in York, to open the 2020 Late Music concert series. I was delighted with the performance and the enthusiastic reception! They have recently recorded Rendez-vous, and I can't wait to hear the studio version. (9.3.20)
After a long time in preparation I'm delighted to announce that Song of Light is available in a new anthology published by the Royal School of Church Music. It's a collection of ten anthems for sopranos, altos and unison male voices, intended for smaller choirs (but suitable for all!). It's available from the RSCM shop and it's already one of their best sellers! (5.3.20)
I was very surprised to hear Another Field in a concert at YSJU on Thursday evening - I had no idea it was in the programme! But thanks to Faye Robinson and Hannah Fruin for a super performance! (14.2.20)
My music returned to Charterhouse School in January, when the Kaleidoscope Saxophone Quartet performed Swan in their recital there. Back in the 1980s I was Composer-in-Residence at Charterhouse for three very happy years, supported by the RVW Trust: RVW had been a pupil at the school and their music centre is named after him. (10.1.20)
We had a wild, wet and windy time in Cornwall on Saturday, where the Delta Sax Quartet performed Swan and Rendez-vous in their programme at Calstock Arts Centre - a fabulous venue with lots of local support. Next stop Soho! (29.12.19)
Thanks once again to the Delta Sax Quartet for an energetic performance of Swan at the inaugural Festival of the Sky in Cleethorpes last night. It was great to be a part of such an amazing event! (7.9.19)
It's always good when a new ensemble takes a piece and makes it part of their programme: the Kaleidoscope Saxophone Quartet performed Swan today, as part of the Summer Festival at St Lawrence Jewry, London, and they will be performing it again at in their concert at St Johns, Smith Square in September. (6.8.19)
The last few months have been a whirlwind of activity, with more than twenty performances of my pieces since the beginning of May, from York to Sicily, including many premieres but also a large number of repeat performances, which are also very gratifying since second performances are sometimes much harder to come by! Thanks must go to all of the performers and promoters who have made this happen. It won't always be as busy as this but thankfully there are still many exciting things to come: more details here very soon. (12.7.19)
One fabulous weekend: on Friday evening the Delta Sax Quartet performed Rendez-vous in Hadleigh, Essex, then on Saturday Il Cor Tristo gave the first performance of Porta dell Inferno at Late Music in York, as part of a fabulous Dante-themed programme. On Sunday the charismatic Chris Bartram directed Soon Amore a capella choir in the premiere of my Durham Proverbs in a wonderful concert in York Cemetery Chapel(!). If only all weekends could be like this! (8.7.19)
Sincere thanks to Sarah Redgwick (soprano) , Robert Secret (conductor), the Orchestra of Stowe Opera and the Oxford Harmonic Choir for a thrilling - and at times deeply moving - premiere of my piece 'Of Trumpets and Angels' in Oxford Town Hall on Saturday. This has been a huge project, spanning over a year, and the performance provided a fitting climax. I was delighted by the audience's enthusiastic response and hope it isn't too long before we can do it all over again! (2.7.19)
My first piece of film music turned out rather well, thanks mainly to the expertise of the Delta Sax Quartet who gave the first performance of Rendez-vous in Leeds on Friday evening: silent film with loud, live music. It's a breathless ride that had the audience gripping their seats right to the end! (23.6.19)
Tuesday 18th June is a day of piano music! At lunchtime Josephine Peach will play From New York to Bedlam and the third of my Burlesques in a recital at Wakefield Cathedral, and James Willshire will perform Snow/Dance in his lecture recital at University of York (4:00 pm). (14.6.19)
Thanks to Steve Bingham and the Bingham String Quartet for a very sensitive and moving performance of Vestigium at Late Music on Saturday 1st June. It marks the start of a very busy couple of months, with a dozen or so performances taking place: next up are two performances of Swan in Sicily, given by the Delta Saxophone Quartet.
June looks even more exciting with the news that the Delta Sax Quartet are also going to include Swan in their concert tribute to Steve Martland in Sicily; it's on 10th June 2019 at the Auditorium Steve Martland, Instituto Musicale Pietro Vinci, Caltagirone. Along with the upcoming performances in Oxford, Leeds and York (x2) it adds up to a busy schedule for this composer! (27.5.19)
June 2019 is set to be one of the busiest months, with no fewer than three major first performances: 1st June sees the premiere of Vestigium, the latest in my cycle of string quartets, to be given by the Bingham String Quartet at Late Music in York. On 21st June you can see and hear my music for Rendez-vous for the first time, performed - with film - by the Delta Saxophone Quartet in Leeds. And then on 29th there's Of Trumpets and Angels for soprano, choir and orchestra in Oxford Town Hall, given by the Oxford Harmonic Choir. And there's a second performance of Snow/Dance in York too on 18th! (13.5.19)
Thanks to the Dr K Sextet for a very fine performance of Strike at Late Music on Saturday, as part of their concert paying tribute to Oliver Knussen. I stepped in to give the pre-concert talk and spoke about the influence of film editing on my music and in particular the influence of Eisenstein. (6.5.19)
Two performances in two days! Josephine Peach (piano) included my Burlesque No. 3 in her solo recitals in Doncaster and Ripon this week. The programmes were based around the music of J.S. Bach to commemorate his birthday, so my piece was in exalted company. (28.3.19)
Clarinettist Zoe Fagerhaug gave a superb performance of Jump Cut at the Kulas Hall, Cleveland, Ohio on Saturday - the US premiere! (26.3.19)
Thanks to the Delta Saxophone Quartet for another super performance of Swan at the Turner Sims Concert Hall, Southampton last Friday. (1.3.19)
In a collaboration with artist Christina Kolaiti, singer Emily Rowan and dancer Dora Frankel, my new piece Phase Synchrony for voice, live electronics and dancer will be performed during the Metafora project at St Peter's School, York, on Thursday 28th February. For more information about this fascinating event please check the Eventbrite page. (20.2.19)
In June, my new piece for the Oxford Harmonic Choir - Of Trumpets and Angels - will receive its first performance in Oxford Town Hall; there's an interview about this piece on the choir's website: read it here. (1.2.19)
I am delighted to announce that my future compositions (and a number of my existing pieces) will be published by UYMP, who have signed me as a 'house composer' from 2019 onwards. This is the realisation of a long-held ambition and I look forward to working more closely with such an exciting and prestigious publisher of new music. Read the full announcement here. (20.1.19)
I must say a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to what has been a busy, productive and successful year of music: 2018 has had so many wonderful highlights. I've tried to capture some of them in today's blog entry. All best wishes for 2019. (31.12.18)
Huge thanks to the Juice Vocal Ensemble who not only recorded my Confound Winter on their fabulous new Snow Queens album, but they took it on tour all around the country in December - I heard it in London and York. Super performances every time! (24.12.18)
Thanks to the Delta Saxophone Quartet for a dazzling performance of Swan at the RNCM Sax Day last Sunday, in front of a sell-out audience. Here's to the next time! (7.11.18)
Out now: the fabulous Juice Vocal Ensemble have just released their new 'Snow Queens' album, which includes my piece Confound Winter along with wintry music by a plethora of exciting composers. Buy your CD from here and solve all those Christmas present problems in a stroke. (2.11.18)
Following a stunning performance of the dramatic monodrama Tlatelolco on Saturday 6 October at Late Music, I spent the Sunday working with performers to develop a new piece for clarinet choir: Gothique was workshopped at the Darlington Clarinet Ensemble's annual Play Day, and the DSE will perform the completed piece at one of their concerts in 2019. Then on the Monday evening I directed the final rehearsal for the next performance of Transit of Venus, to be performed at Selby Abbey on Wednesday. It's good to be busy... (9.10.18)
Mystery still surrounds the massacre which took place at Tlatelolco, Mexico, on 2nd October 1968. Many details - even including the number of victims - remain unknown. Marcela del Rio's epic poetry re-tells the narrative of this tragic event from three different perspectives, all of which will be delivered by soprano Anna Snow in the performance at Late Music, York, on 2nd October. (29.9.18)
Pianist James Willshire gave a definitive performance of Snow/Dance at late Music on 1st September, as part of the excellent 'Ten New Debussys' project. I'm sure that all composers involved are hoping that this tribute to Claude Debussy can be committed to CD before too long! (5.9.18)
My contribution to the fabulous 'Meet the Artist' blog, created by Frances Wilson. It's a real honour to be included alongside so many distinguished composers and performers. Warning: this is addictive and reading the many fascinating entries could steal hours of your life! (21.8.18)
We're thrilled to announce that Swan will be performed by the Delta Saxophone Quartet in their programme at the RNCM Saxophone Day on 4th November 2018: the UK's largest saxophone gathering. Tickets for the event - in the RNCM's Concert Hall - are available via the link above. (14.8.18)
Music of a Thousand Breaths based on the medieval 'frescoes' at Pickering Church will be performed - in the church, surrounded by the vivid, timeless images - on Saturday 21 July 2018. This work is part of a major collaboration with poet Abi Curtis and is scored for five voices, four instrumentalists, dancer and electronic soundscape. The new music will be interspersed with choral music of the renaissance. More details and tickets available here.
Another double bar line has been achieved this week! I've just completed Snow/Dance, - based on Debussy's 'The Snow is Dancing' - for a concert which will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the composer's death in 1918. The brief: to start with a minute of a piano solo by Debussy then transform it into a five-minute original piece in my own musical language. It's been a fascinating process and I can't wait to hear James Willshire perform it at Late Music in September. (15.6.18)
Great to learn that Delta Sax Quartet will be performing Swan in London, during their programme at Alleyn's International Series on 19th June 2018.
American clarinetist Emily Mehigh has set herself the challenge of performing and recording one new solo work every day in May, and she has chosen to include my Jump Cut in her programme. Keep your eye on her You Tube channel to hear her in action!
The Delta Sax Quartet's fantastic 'Bowie, Berlin and Beyond' CD which includes my Swan has been played on Radio 3's Late Junction and other radio stations from the USA to Australia in the last few weeks - it's having a huge impact and taking my music to places it's never been before! And copies are now available for those - like me - who prefer CDs to downloads or streaming. Here's a link to the CD shop! (18.4.18)
There were two stunning performances in one day at York Late Music on 7th April: my Trakl Songs were performed in their entirety for the first time by the Fairfax Ensemble in the afternoon, and then Grotesques received a brilliant premiere performance from the Atea Wind Quintet in the evening. The York Press critic wrote 'I can’t remember when I have enjoyed a day of new music more'. One delighted composer! (16.4.18)
Big thanks go to the Delta Saxophone Quartet for a fabulous performance of Swan on 3rd March, and also for their excellent recording, on the CD Bowie, Berlin and Beyond, now available to buy! (7.3.18)
I am delighted to announce that I have been selected to compose a new piece for choir and orchestra, commissioned by the Oxford Harmonic Choir, to be performed along with Mozart's Requiem in June 2019. The new piece will be a setting of two of John Donne's Holy Sonnets; I am very honoured to be asked, and just can't wait to get started! (11.2.18)
Having students perform my pieces is the greatest honour and thrill, so I am so very pleased that Zoe Fagerhaug, a visiting student from USA, is performing my Jump Cut, for solo clarinet, on Thursday 8th Feb, in our first evening concert of 2018 at YSJ. (6.2.18)
I am very pleased to say that I have been granted a research award by York St John University to enable me to realise a new piece for brass and voices, based on the amazing medieval 'frescoes' at the church in Pickering. My friend and colleague Abi Curtis has written powerful words to give voice to the characters in the paintings, and I am negotiating with film makers and dancers to fulfill my ambitions for the work. The performance will take place - in the church, surrounded by those dramatic images - on Saturday 21st July 2018. Details to follow. Here's a link to the pictures. (25.1.18)
Full details of all my compositions have now been added to this website, to augment the selected recordings which have been available for some time. You can find the lists on the relevant pages via the Music/ menu above. (30.12.17)
The British Music Collection celebrated its 50th birthday in 2017 - this fabulous resource used to be housed in the British Music Information Centre in London where I was once a regular visitor but it now resides at Huddersfield University and is available online. Here's my composer page.
The Delta Saxophone Quartet have just emerged from the studio, where they've been busy recording an amazing new CD which includes my Swan. The release date is set for March 2018 - can't wait!
Loved hearing Jenni Cohen performing the flute solo (whose title is almost longer then the piece!) Long After Tonight is All Over, in a fabulous lunchtime concert on 7th October. Such an atmospheric performance. (15.10.17)
PercusSing gave two very moving performances of Gentle in September, firstly in Reepham Parish Church on 4th September, and then as part of Lincolnshire International Chamber Music Series in Lincoln's Drill Hall on the 5th. (6.9.17)
Many thanks to Peyee Chen and Kate Ledger for a wonderful premiere performance of Dark Gate at Late Music on Saturday. I have written a few words about the poet, David Vogel, in a recent blog entry here. (5.8.17)
The Dark Gate is an extended work for soprano and piano setting words by poet David Vogel who died at Auschwitz in 1944. It received its premiere on 5th August 2017 at Late Music, York performed by Peyee Chen (soprano) and Kate Ledger (piano). (20.7.17)
Breaking News! The fantastic Slidin' About trombone quartet will be giving a repeat performance of Rude Mechanicals at Hyde Town Hall this Friday (23rd June 2017) at 1:00 pm. (20.6.17)
If you are in York on Saturday 1st July then you must come along to hear the fabulous PercusSing duo in concert; they will be launching a new CD that day which includes their breathtaking performance of Gentle - and I can't wait to hear it! (1.6.17)
I was delighted to be invited to speak about Apocalypse and to introduce a recorded performance at the Speculative Futures conference at York St John University yesterday, and very pleased by the warm response. Although speaking about religion, history and narrative to a hall full of academic theologians, historians and literature specialists was just a little daunting! (23.5.17)
My short brass quintet Jump! has been programmed for inclusion in the prestigious Ryedale Festival this year, where it will be performed by the York Brass Quintet on 17th July. More info. (16.4.17)
Thanks to Rosalind Ventris (viola) and James Willshire (piano) for a stunning performance of the Six Downie Nocturnes in York on 1st April - a truly breathtaking performance in a wonderful concert for Late Music. (2.5.17)
Rosalind Ventris gave the first performance of Six Downie Nocturnes back in 2013, six months after Martin Downie's untimely death. Rosalind returns to York on April 1st to give a welcome repeat performance, with James Willshire (piano), as part of York's Late Music concert series. Full details here. (15.3.17)
February is turning out to be a busy month, with two pieces performed on 9th (Short Stay is included in the programme of the Fairfax Ensemble in their lunchtime concert at Bootham School, York) and a repeat performance of After Ophelia given by cellist Francesca McDonald in an evening concert at YSJ University. Then on Tuesday 21st February - in a lunchtime concert at YSJ - the Slidin' About trombone quartet will give the first performance of Rude Mechanicals. (2.2.17)
Happy New Year! I have just added a new blog entry with a short review of 2016 and a few thoughts on the year to come... (8.1.17)
I was thrilled to attend the first performance of Confound Winter which was given by the amazing Juice Vocal Ensemble in their 'Snow Queens' concert at St Paul's Church, Clapham on Friday evening. This is a short setting of wonderful wintery words by Tess Kincaid, and was written especially for Juice. (4.12.16)
Most of November has been spent working on a new piece for the Slidin' About Trombone Quartet but it's now complete and the parts are in the post to the players! Rude Mechanicals will be performed and recorded by this fabulously talented quartet early in 2017. (20.11.16)
There's a very exciting concert at the end of November: not only will the Orichacum Brass Quintet be giving the second performance of Breathless they will be joining the fabulous Granny Green Trio to present the premiere of Melding Brass, newly commissioned for the occasion. It all takes places at Settle Victoria Hall at 7:30 on Sunday 27th November. Details here. (13.11.16)
It was so good to be able to conduct the Kippax Band in a performance of my Turquoise in Wetherby yesterday. (13.11.16)
Enjoyed an afternoon in Doncaster to hear the Fairfax Ensemble perform two pieces: Another Field and Gentle, both of which set words by Rumi. The concert took place in the serene setting of the Museum/Art Gallery complex. (2.11.16)
I'm very pleased to have been asked to compose a new piece for the fabulous trombone quartet Slidin' About which will be recorded for their forthcoming CD early in 2017. (7.10.16)
My good friends the Fairfax Ensemble have just begun a tour featuring a wonderful selection of pieces by British composers old and new, including my Trakl Songs which were written especially for these concerts. The first performance took place in the magnificent setting of Ripon Cathedral last Thursday; the next in Langwith College, University of York, on 21st October. (6.10.16)
A challenge: I've been commissioned to compose a new piece for the amazing Granny Green folk trio and my friends the Orichalcum Brass Quintet, who performed Breathless earlier in the year. The new piece will receive its first performance at the beautiful Victoria Hall, Settle, on 27th November, and Breathless will also be included in the programme that evening. The venue is particularly special: an authentic Victorian music hall dating from 1853. (1.9.16)
I was very pleased to discover that Strata has been included on the Resonate project database; this has been compiled by the Association of British Orchestras and PRS to encourage further performances of recent orchestral music. Full details here. (16.7.16)
Breathless, my new brass quintet, was inspired by the sculpture of the same name by Cornelia Parker which comprises some fifty brass instruments which have been compressed and hung between two floors at the V&A, symbolising the (perceived) death of the brass band, perhaps. But there was nothing flat about the first performance given by Orichalcum Brass Quintet earlier this month; in fact the York Press described it as 'a crafty piece, both exciting and intriguing'. My thanks to Orichalcum for such a committed and sensitive performance. (15.7.16)
There are so many things we still don't know about the massacre which took place at Tlatelolco, Mexico, on 2nd October 1968: even eye witness accounts differ and the number of dead and injured remains a mystery to this day. Marcela Del Rios captures something of that mystery in her poem of the same name, which I set to music in Victoria Carpenter's fine translation. Soprano Anna Snow gave a stunning premiere in York's Festival of Ideas last weekend (11.6.16), clearly differentiating the three distinct voices of the text;
accompaniment was provided by a remarkable ensemble of cor anglais, bass trombone and marimba. Other performances of Tlatelolco are in the pipeline - please keep an eye out here. (14.6.16)
I first heard the Albany Piano Trio in 2015 and was immediately impressed by their commitment and vision; when I had the opportunity to compose for them I leapt at the chance and Hiraeth received its premiere - given by the Albany Trio - at Late Music on 2nd April. They gave a detailed, meticulous performance which fully captured the essence of the music, and the long final elegy was spine tingling, for me at least! (12.4.16)
Last year I was delighted when Peter Sheppard Skaerved chose to include my Rough Cut in his solo recital in York. The piece has since been published by UYMP, and so I ws thrilled when Peter offered to give the London premiere at Wilton's Music Hall, a magical performance which took place on 14th February in front of a large and enthusiastic audience. I am currently developing an expanded version of Rough Cut for violin and nine solo strings - watch this space! P.S: Wilton's is an amazing space with a superb acoustic - don't miss an opportunity to visit! (16.2.16)
I enjoyed a fabulous couple of days in Copenhagen where the Danish Radio Vocal Ensemble gave three performances of Apocalypse, one at the radio station's own stunning concert hall and the others in the splendid baroque Christian's Church. The choir is an outstanding group which produced a truly magical performance which I will remember for a very long time! Thanks to Robert Hollingworth for his brilliant, insightful direction and for designing a unique, breathtaking programme. The whole concert was streamed online by DR and remains available here. (10.2.16)
Two romantic things to do on Valentine's Day: 1. visit Coastival in Scarborough where Bedlam brass quinet will be playing Jump in their lunchtime concert at the Rotunda; 2. come along to Wilton's Music Hall to hear Peter Sheppard Skaerved give the London premiere of Rough Cut at 6pm. Feeling the love! (29.1.16)
Plans for 2016 are already well under way and it looks like being another very busy year. In February, violinist Peter Sheppard Skarvaed will give the first public performance of Rough Cut at Wilton's Music Hall, London, and there will be three performances of Apocalypse in Frederiksværk and Copenhagen given by the Danish National Vocal Ensemble. May will include the premiere of Hiraeth by the Albany Piano Trio and in July Breathless will be performed in York by the Orichalcum Brass Quintet. And two new recordings should appear during the year, one of songs and piano music and another including Strata, recorded in June 2015 by the Brno Philharmonic.
Thanks to everyone who has played, sung, conducted, recorded, promoted or published my music this year, and to all those who have listened! Sending all best wishes for 2016.
And a big hello to Jim Stretton who will feature Holly (for trombone and piano) once again in his 'Brassy Christmas' tour. There will be five performances in Wark, Cotherstone, St John's Chapel, Head's Nook and Norham between 15 - 19 December. Jim and Iain Jackson must have given more than 50 performances of Holly in recent years - probably my most-performed piece! (15.12.15)
The final first performance of the 2015 was of my piece for band and electronic backing (prepared by Andy Devine). Public Order was commissioned by the YSJU Concert Band and performed by them on 8 December. The title refers to the 1994 Public Order Act which gave police the powers to arrest people who met in groups of 20 or more to listen to music 'characterised by a repetitive beat.' It was a vivid and energetic performance featuring Emily Rowan reading words from the Act through a megaphone... (10.12.15)
Next week sees three performances in two days: following Vespertine at NCEM on 11 November, Batubulan (for solo piano) will recieve its premiere, given by Jin Hyung Lim at the Jack Lyons Concert Hall at lunchtime on 12 November, followed by an evening performance of Art of War (mezzo, oboe and bass trombone) at York St John University! (1.11.15)
Exciting news! The Danish National Vocal Ensemble will be giving three performances of Apocalypse in Copenhagen - and a live radio broadcast - in early February 2016. Keep an eye on this space for further information. (25.10.15)
Rough Cut for solo violin - which was first performed by Peter Sheppard Skaerved earlier this year - is to be published by the University of York Music Press. (1.9.15)
A couple of years ago a group of artists created the Vestiges multimedia installation which filled churches with art, film and music. The musical element has now taken on a life of its own: David Power has created a 'woodland remix' from our work which will be played during Festival 8 in Cabourne, Lincolnshire (UK) from 17-19 July, the first time it has been heard outdoors! (5.7.15)
Spent a glorious few days in the Czech Republic at the end of June, attending the recording of Strata with the Brno Philharmonic conducted by Mikel Toms. This will be released on the Ablaze label later in the year. It was a great pleasure to work with Mikel Toms, the orchestra and producer Douglas Knehans on this project, and to explore the elegent city of Brno. (29.6.15)
Wonderful to learn that PercusSing (soprano Ana Beard Fernandez and percussinist Zoe Craven) are including my Gentle in their Late Music programme on 4th July. That's in the Unitarian Chapel, York at 13:00. (17.6.15)
I was reunited with violinist Peter Sheppard Skaerved on Tuesday 9th June, when he gave a scintillating first performance of my Rough Cut for solo violin in his recital at the National Centre for Early Music in York, following a national 'call for scores' from the Contemporary Music Research Centre. A fabulous premiere, and I'm looking forward to working again with Peter in the future. (10.6.15)
Next month I'll be visiting the Czech Republic when the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra is recording my Strata for release on the ABLAZE record label. I'm looking forward to working with the orchestra and conductor Mickel Toms - and maybe a glass or two of pivo! (30.5.15)
Enjoyed a fine evening in London as guests of the Lunar Sax Quartet who played Swan at the Gresham Centre on 9th May. A fine performance from a wonderful ensemble about to embark on their 10th anniversary tour. (11.5.15)
Don't be afraid to follow @davidcomposer on Twitter!
"Hi David, just to keep you in the loop, we’ll be performing your quartet - Swan - at Canterbury University a week tomorrow (25.4.15) as part of a saxophone day, in the presence of world renowned saxophonists John Harle and Evan Parker. Exciting stuff!" (18.5.15)
It's always great to get repeat performances from an ensemble who premiered your work, so I was delighted to learn that the excellent Lunar Sax Quartet will be giving further performances of Swan, starting off with a London concert on 9th May - see my Performance page for full details.
2015 got off to a busy start with two first performances in a matter of days: Benjamin Lindley and Jo Peach gave the first performance of Brodgar (for baritone and piano, to words by Andy Humphrey) at the launch event for this year's Late Music concert series on 28th Februray, then Emily Smith and Tim Brooks presented the premiere of another song Short Stay which was a collaboration with poet Antony Dunn, at the Sounds Lyrical event on 4th March. (6.3.15)
One of the best moments over Christmas was hearing Laura Attridge give the first performance of Snow for solo soprano (at St John's on 16th December) based on poetry by Edward Thomas - such a sensitive and atmospheric performance! (31.12.14)
The premiere of Passing, Fading, Forgetting took place on 4th September at City Screen Basement, York as part of an Arts Council funded collaboration between composers and poets: the Sounds Lyrical Project. The new piece - a reflection on memory and the passing of time - was performed by the Sounds Lyrical Ensemble with Emily Smith (soprano) and David Pisaro (tenor) directed by Tim Brooks. 'Amazing' said one enthusiastic listener! (6.9.14)
The Aspen Festival (Colorado) is one of the leading summer festivals in the USA - this year David Lancaster's Vertigo string quartet will be included in the programme - full details of date, performers and venue to follow.
Sounds Lyrical is a group of poets and composers who work together to find new audiences for contemporary poetry and music. On 15th June they included two songs by David Lancaster - Motion and Bells - as part of Bridlington's Poetry Festival, expertly performed by David Pisaro (tenor) and Tim Brooks (piano). Watch out for future Sounds Lyrical events at Ilkley Literature Festival in the autumn and a series of performances at City Screen in York.
In a fabulous concert given as part of York's Festival of Ideas 2014, The 24 chamber choir directed by Robert Hollingworth presented a vivid and dramatic reading of Apocalypse, a large-scale work for unaccompanied chorus which depicts the last fifteen days of the world as foretold in the city's medieval stained glass. If you missed it - it really is the end of the world! (16.6.14)
Six Downie Nocturnes for viola and piano received a sensitive performance from Jess Douglas and Mark Hutchinson at YoCoCo (York Composers Collective) event on 5th June, in the Jack Lyons Concert Hall.
The final installation in the Vestiges of Spirituality series took place at the 20:21 gallery in Scunthorpe in mid-May, as part of the Museums at Night programme. The former church proved to be an atmospheric setting for what has proved to be an amazing experience.
Good to hear world premieres, of course, but also great when pieces composed a while ago make a welcome return: Echoes from a Phantom City - for flute, viola and harp - was brought back to life by La Mer Ensemble who gave a detailed performance on 3rd May 2014. Hoping I don't have to wait so long before the next performance!
Vertigo (for string quartet) recieved a performance in Hong Kong thanks to the AMGA ensemble who included it in their programme at the Shatin Town Hall Cultural Centre on 25th April.
Big thanks to Sam Corkin (sax) and Tim End (piano) who gave a stylish and authoritative premiere of Sciamachy on 5th April, as part of York's fabulous Late Music series.
New performance dates have been added, including a performance of Vertigo in Hong Kong in April and the long-awaited premiere of a major choral work Apocalypse, which tells of the end of the world as depicted in York's medieval stained glass.
The CD featuring music by David Power and myself for the amazing Vestiges installation is now on sale - find it on Amazon!
Happy New Year! There are lots of exciting plans for 2014 including new pieces for saxophone, chorus and instrumental ensembles along with some welcome revivals of my existing pieces including Echoes from a Phantom City which I composed in 1986! Keep a lookout here for more information and details of performance dates. (6.1.14)
Having a new orchestral piece premiered by a professional orchestra is such a wonderful experience, so many thanks to the Orchestra of Opera North and Justin Doyle (deputising for Elgar Howarth) for a blistering performance of Strata at the Howard Assembly Rooms in Leeds. It will take me a while to come back down to earth! (29.11.13)
The audience who heard the Delta Sax Quartet at York St John University enjoyed a read treat! Thanks for an wonderful performance of my Swan, described as 'the closest you can get to rock and roll'! And great to be programmed with Arvo Part, Philip Glass, Steve Reich and David Bowie! (22.11.13)
Bravo to the Manchester Chamber Choir who gave the first performance of Hush and an atmospheric reading of Fallen tonight, under the direction of Neil Ferris. Another fantastic evening at York's Late Music series. (5.10.13)
Jenni Cohen gave a fabulous, sensitive performance of Long After Tonight is All Over at the University of York Postgraduate Conference today. (It's my new piece for solo flute - not the Northern Soul classic!) 2.10.13
Did I mention that my new orchestral piece Strata is going to be performed by the Orchestra of Opera North under Elgar Howarth on 29th November? So excited - details to follow. (17.9.13)
Good to hear my name and some of my music on Radio 3 this morning. Quite a surprise! (11.9.13)
Looking forward to the premiere of the new Six Downie Nocturnes for viola and piano played by Rosalind Ventris and Lara Dodds-Eden. Come along to Late Music on Saturday (4.5.13) to hear them and to hear Peter Byrom-Smith and I give a pre-concert talk. (30.4.13)
Sounds Lyrical is promoting a first concert tomorrow night (8.3.13) at York St John University. Don't miss this unique collaboration between composers and poets; the concert will include my Memory of Place and Three Songs of Peril performed by Benjamin Lindley and Josephine Peach.
Enjoyed working with Juice Vocal Trio on Tuesday on my new piece Oftentimes - now looking forward to hearing the finished work in June!
Just had a sneak preview of the the new recording of Holly by James Stretton and Iain Jackson. They will be giving over twenty performances over the next few months, all around the UK. (14.10.12)
Looking forward to meeting up again with 'Vox Aurum' who will be performing Fallen along with music by Liam Walsh and Richard Allain at York St John University this Friday. Watch out for details of a composers' workshop day run by this choir in conjunction with YSJU next spring. (18.9.12)
Mosquito successfully received its first performance, given by the stylish quintet Souza Winds at York's Late Music series last Saturday. (4.9.12.)
City of Kings was broadcast today on BBC Radio York , following it's successful premiere last week. Thanks to Shepherd Group and Railway Institute bands! (27.8.12.)
David is featured as 'this week's composer' on the Late Music blog. (8.8.12.)
David will be interviewed on BBC Radio York on Monday 13 August to talk about his new piece City of Kings for the York 800 celebrations.
Song Now - a new compilation of 21st century British song - including Memory of Place - has been released on the Meridian label by Paul Carey Jones (baritone) and Ian Ryan (piano). (4.8.12.)
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