Category Archives: Concerts

Piano Project 2018: An afternoon of new music

Piano Project 2018 is the third Piano Project event run by Dylan Christopher and Colchester New Music. For each event, composers have been invited to submit scores for aspirant pianists – between the levels of grade 1 and grade 5, and no longer than 5 minutes in length – to be considered for the project.

This year Colchester New Music teamed up with EPTA Essex with the help of Sharon Goodey. After the submitted scores were analysed and discussed by a panel of three, they were distributed to EPTA Essex piano teachers, who let their students choose a piece (or pieces!) they would like to present at the concert.

On a sunny Saturday afternoon in June, students, families, teachers and composers descended upon Christchurch United Reform Church in Chelmsford. Sharon Goodey opened the event, inviting students to come up and sit near the performance space when they were ready to perform, creating a lovely relaxed atmosphere for the music to unfold in. Students were invited to say a few words about their pieces before they performed them – what they liked, or how they felt about the piece – which gave the audience a wonderful insight into the pieces, and it was fantastic from a composer’s point of view to hear how the performers had interpreted their work. Some students chose to perform more than one piece, and some of the composers’ works were performed multiple times (see below).

What was brilliantly unique about the event was not only was it a concert featuring purely new music, but that it was all performed by student pianists – of all ages. Not professionals, but students having that rare yet amazing opportunity to be among the first to perform a new piece of music.

During the all essential tea and biscuits an audience vote was taken as to the most popular piece. For Ellie by Dylan Christopher was the most popular with 41 votes, followed by New Boots by Theresa Chapman (34 votes) and In Autumn by Melanie Green (32 votes). Andrew Higgins from Alfred Publishing was also present at the event, with his favourite performances of the day being of Peter Thorne’s Little Boat and Dylan Christopher’s For Ellie.

Many thanks must go to Dylan Christopher, the brainchild of the Piano Project 2018 for all his work on Piano Project (2018 and in the past!), to Alex Blustin for all his organisational work on the CNM side, and to Sharon Goodey for all her organisation on the EPTA Essex side of things.

Pieces performed [number of times in square brackets]

New Boots by Theresa Chapman [3]
In Autumn by Melanie Green [3]
Sad Tale by Theresa Chapman [2]
Taking Turns by Mel McIntyre [2]
Largo by Mel Mcintyre [2]
Allegretto by Jenni Pinnock [2]
A Scots Saddhu by Tim Torry [2]
Ancestors Footsteps by Ian Wilson [2]
Sleepwalking by Anna Appleby [1]
Just Before Dawn by Paul Burnell [1]
Five Pulse Pieces by Paul Burnell [1]
Can my heart escape this sadness? by Theresa Chapman [1]
Rabbits by Theresa Chapman [1]
Elegy by Dylan Christopher [1]
For Ellie by Dylan Christopher [1]
Prelude by Dylan Christopher [1]
Simplicity by Dylan Christopher [1]
Waltz by Dylan Christopher [1]
Little Boat by Peter Thorne [1]

 

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Photos from two harpsichords concert

A big thankyou to everyone who contributed to the 28 April 2018 two harpsichords concert: the performers, the composers, our hosts Daniela Bechly and the Pimlott Foundation, Liz Leatherdale for all her help with publicity, and last but not least all the audience members who made it out to Great Horkesley on a rainy day!

Tickets on sale for two harpsichords concert

CNM 2-Hps poster 280418Tickets are now on sale here for CNM’s upcoming concert of new works for two harpsichords, performed by the Knights-Tidhar duo (pictured). The concert is at 3pm on Saturday 28 April 2018, at the Old House Barn, Old House Road, Great Horkesley, Colchester CO6 4EQ, UK; ticket price £8/£6 concessions. More information on the concert can be found here.

Francis Knights and Dan Tidhar

Results announced for CNM two harpsichords call

CNM 2-Hps poster 280418We are delighted to announce the results of CNM’s call for scores for two harpsichords, which attracted 27 entries in a fabulous range of styles from composers around the world. Having worked through all of these, Francis Knights and Dan Tidhar have chosen to perform the works listed below at an April afternoon concert in the beautiful setting of the Pimlott Foundation‘s Old Barn in Great Horkesley.

These pieces have been selected as they are well-suited to the specific sound and playing technique of the harpsichord (rather than the modern piano), are technically feasible on the available instruments, and are of suitable duration and level of complexity to be well realisable within the available rehearsal time:

A prelude and two fugues – Mark Bellis

A thousand pines, one moon (movement 1) – Ivan Božicevic

Conversations – Theresa Chapman

daybook – D. Edward Davis

Elements – Janet Oates

Spring Rounds: Agon – Randall Snyder

Looking back – José Jesus de Azevedo Souza

Dap dap da da dap – Peter Thorne

Passacaglia – Low water – Stephen Watkins

Tarantella – Ian Wilson

Counterfeit – Rasmus Zwicki

CONCERT DETAILS

3pm, Saturday 28 April 2018 at the Old House Barn, Old House Road, Great Horkesley, Colchester CO6 4EQ, UK; tickets £8/£6 concessions, available from Eventbrite.

COMPOSER BIOGRAPHIES

Mark Bellis studied at Cardiff, Durham and Cambridge Universities with Dr David Wynne, David Lumsdaine & John Casken. In 1985 he was awarded a PhD in Composition from Durham University. He has had performances at the Purcell Room, London, and on Radio 3. He composed a large-scale orchestral work for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and more recently, much choral music. Since 2005, Mark has been Course Leader for the BA Music programme at Colchester Institute, Essex.

Ivan Božicevic (* 1961) is a composer, organist, pianist, arranger and jazz musician in Split, Croatia. His output encompasses orchestral, chamber, choral and soloistic works, as well as electronic compositions. He is interested in a variety of genres (early and baroque, electronic, jazz, world music) and the possibility of “cross-fertilizations“ between those genres, always aiming for the stylistic amalgamation on a deeper level. http://www.ivanbozicevic.com

Theresa Chapman is a Colchester-based Piano Teacher, and also works as a Music Tutor for Essex Music Services. She holds both a B.Mus degree from the University of Cape Town and an Honours degree in Music from Stellenbosch University.

D. Edward Davis writes music that engages with the sounds of the environment, exploring processes, patterns, and systems inspired by nature. He is currently based in Connecticut, USA, where he is a Practitioner-in-Residence at the University of New Haven. sound.warmsilence.org

Janet Oates has a PhD in composition from Royal Holloway, University of London, and is active in various composers’ and contemporary music groups around London. She also sings (early and contemporary music), teaches and conducts.

Randall Snyder was born in Chicago in 1944 and attended University of Wisconsin earning a DMA degree in 1973. He has taught at colleges in Illinois, Wisconsin and for several years at the University of Nebraska. He currently is a free lance musician living in Lincoln, NE. and adjunct professor at Peru State College.

José Jesus de Azevedo Souza studied in England at the Purcell School with a scholarship from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. He then studied at the Trinity College of Music and the University of Sheffield. His music has since been extensively performed in Europe, Asia and the United States as well as recorded on Sarton Records and Dux.

Peter Thorne has been composing music since the age of about 12. He read music at Oxford and the UEA, where he took a master’s degree. Over the years he has written in many different styles and genres but most recently he has been writing for wind instruments and piano. Peter’s music often features influences from various kinds of jazz and pop and is often colourful and rhythmic.
http://www.peterthornemusic.co.uk/composing

Stephen Watkins studied trombone, piano and recorder as well as composing at the Guildhall School of Music. Currently he is involved in writing large scale pieces for recorder orchestra. His own composition style very much reflects the wide range of music styles. He is published by houses in Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, USA and at last UK!

Ian Wilson is a music graduate of Durham University, where he received composition lessons from Robert Casken, and is currently a secondary head teacher. An album, called ‘Come and Rejoice in Jesus’, containing songs written for his church, is available on iTunes. The Dunblane Chamber Orchestra performed his ‘Three Songs from A Shropshire Lad’ in May 2012. ‘The Sleep’, a setting of an Elizabeth Barrett-Browning poem, was performed by members of CNM in June.

Rasmus Zwicki is Danish born composer currently residing in London, where he studies with Laurence Crane at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His music is stylistically multilingual, often mixing the specific elements of various musical genres and traditions that best communicate the core ideas of a particular work. http://rasmuszwicki.com

Two harpsichords concert and CNM workshop at Fitzwilliam Auditorium, 15 October 2017

On Sunday 15 Oct, Francis Knights and Dan Tidhar are presenting a workshop of new works and works in progress for two harpsichords, at 4pm in Fitzwilliam College Auditorium, Storey’s Way, Cambridge. The session will include music by Mark Bellis, Colin Blundell, Philip Joy, Jenni Pinnock, Stephen Watkins, Ian Wilson and others.

Prior to this, at 2pm in the same venue, there will be a recital of contemporary American music for two harpsichords by composers including Robert Baksa, Earle Brown, Mark Janello and Edwin McLean. Entry to both workshop and concert is free.