Amazing concert in Sherborne Abbey on Sept 8th!
Mix of beautiful Bach and my own pieces including 2 new orchestral works! ..Inspirational talk with polar explorer Jim Mc Neill on Nature and Music. Reflecting on my concert a week later!
Last Thursday was a truly wonderful experience, a highlight of my life as both a musician and a human being. I was overcome by the tremendous support I received from so many people and in so many different ways. I am so grateful to the wonderful people who put this concert on and organised it to perfection. It was in aid of the Calvert trust, a visionary charity which helps children and people of all ages with disability to have holidays in beautiful surroundings such as Exmoor and take part in outdoor pursuits! Their motto is ‘It’s what you can do that counts!’ and provides them with appropriate challenges to open up their horizons and give them new perspective on who they are! We all need challenges in our lives and being in nature is a wonderful environment to achieve them!
The concert followed a talk which I gave with inspirational polar explorer, Jim McNeill (who certainly knows about challenges in nature!) We explored the deep and unquestionable connection between nature and music and the need to treasure and nurture our natural environment if we are to survive on this beautiful planet! Nature inspires artists in all art forms to reflect its beauty.Try to imagine a world without birdsong and beautiful music! It is unthinkable! I’ll talk more on this later…
The original concept of the concert was to have a mix of my music and Bach. We had a fantastic line up of international soloists including two colleagues and long standing friends from the RCM, wonderful pianist John Lenehan and the legendary oboist, John Anderson… is always a great pleasure to play music together and I am indebted to them to give up their precious time to come down and support me.
Having them play my own compositions is an immensely special experience, nothing short of magical. With me on clarinet we were joined by wonderful violinist and ex pupil of Sherborne girls school, Ruth Rodgers; the beautiful, warm sound of Caroline Dearnly on ‘cello, (principal ‘cellist in the Britten ensemble) and the sonorous tones of local flautist, John Wilkes.
The orchestra was made up of some of the very best local professional musicians and conductor, Paul Ellis, was an absolute pleasure to work with both musically and personally.
Alongside the beautiful Bach, Albinoni oboe concerto in D minor with its blissful Adagio and pieces from my albums ‘Found in the Rain’ and ‘Found in the Sunlight,’ there were first performances of my first ever orchestral pieces, Anna Akhmatova and Day of Judgement! They were all beautifully performed in the delightful setting of the Abbey.
Yet again John Lenehan has done some beautiful arrangements. He is always wonderful to work with both in arrangement and performance. Thank you John!
More on these pieces and the talk in part 2 following shortly….