Timothy Salter (b 1942)
200 PIECES Writhe (world premiere)

Benjamin Michaels cello

Witold Lutosławski (1913-1994)
Bucolics for viola and cello

Allegro vivace
Allegretto sostenuto
Allegro molto
Andantino
Allegro marciale

Miguel Sobrinho viola
Benjamin Michaels cello

John Casken (b 1949)
200 PIECES From One Thread (world premiere)

Miguel Sobrinho viola

Charlotte Bray (b 1982)
200 PIECES Different Realities (world premiere)

Shannon Ross cello

All performers at this event are conforming to our safety requirements of being at least two metres apart.

Timothy Salter is a composer, conductor and pianist, whose works include instrumental, chamber and orchestral music, choral music and songs. He was born in Yorkshire and read music at St John’s College, Cambridge. His numerous public and private commissions comprise concert music in many genres, but also include incidental music for television. His compositions appear on several recording labels and have been broadcast throughout the world. As a pianist he performs with singers and instrumentalists in Britain and overseas.

Salter is musical director of The Ionian Singers, with whom he records and performs internationally. He is a strong advocate of the composer-performer, believing that executant experience has an invaluable effect on composition. In pursuit of this he has written a substantial body of choral works and works including chorus, and much of his wide-ranging instrumental music has been written for colleague performers.

For many years Salter taught composition and performance studies at the Royal College of Music, London. As a composer and performer he has considerable experience in working with musicians, student and professional, on the performance of contemporary music. In 1995 he founded Usk Recordings for the promulgation of new music and neglected works from the past.

John Casken lives in Northumberland, not far from the English-Scottish Borders, within sight of the Cheviot Hills and in reach of the historic Northumbrian coast. The landscape, its changing colours, huge skies, and the poetry of this part of England have influenced his works and helped to create a strong sense of place, forming a thread throughout his music.

Orion Over Farne for orchestra (1984), the large-scale choral piece To Fields We Do Not Know, described as a Northumbrian elegy (1985), the orchestral song cycle Still Mine (1992), the ensemble piece Winter Reels (2010) and the choral piece Uncertain Sea (2014) all draw inspiration from Northumberland and the northern hills. In 1990 Casken’s first opera Golem won the First Britten Award for Composition. In 1993 the Prince Pierre de Monaco Prize was awarded for Still Mine, and in 2009 The Dream of the Rood won the British Composer Award (Vocal Category). In 2015 Casken’s oboe concerto Apollinaire’s Bird was shortlisted for both a Royal Philharmonic Society Award and a British Composer Award.

Casken studied at the University of Birmingham and at the Academy of Music in Warsaw, and from this time he formed a close association and friendship with Witold Lutosławski. John Casken was Composer in Association with Northern Sinfonia from 1990 to 2001 and has worked with many of the UK’s major orchestras, including the Hallé, who premiered Madonna of Silence for trombone and orchestra in 2019. He has written for major artists such as Heinz Holliger, Heinrich Schiff, The Lindsays, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Thomas Zehetmair, Thomas Allen and John Tomlinson, and his works have been performed at many major international festivals. He was a Lecturer at Birmingham and Durham universities and Professor of Music at the University of Manchester from 1992 until 2008.

The composer Charlotte Bray has emerged as a distinctive and outstanding talent of her generation. Exhibiting uninhibited ambition and desire to communicate, her music is exhilarating, inherently vivid, and richly expressive with lyrical intensity. Bray graduated from Birmingham Conservatoire with First Class Honours, having studied composition with Joe Cutler. She completed a Master's in Advanced Composition with Distinction from the Royal College of Music studying with Mark-Anthony Turnage and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Royal College of Music scholarship, The Countess of Munster Musical Trust and the RVW Trust. She went on to participate in the Britten-Pears Contemporary Composition Course with Oliver Knussen, Colin Matthews and Magnus Lindberg and was awarded a scholarship to study at the Tanglewood Music Centre with John Harbison, Michael Gandolfi, Shulamit Ran and Augusta Read-Thomas.

Bray has been championed by numerous world-class ensembles and orchestras, including the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Britten Sinfonia, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, London Symphony Orchestra, the CBSO Youth Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and large-scale pieces for the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Her work has featured at the BBC Proms, and the Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Tanglewood, Aix-en-Provence, Verbier, West Cork and the Copenhagen Summer festivals. Several renowned conductors have performed her work and these include Mark Elder, Sakari Oramo, Daniel Harding and Jessica Cottis.

Recent premieres include The Certainty of Tides for Natalie Clein and Aurora Orchestra, Germinate for the Sitkovetsky Trio and the Philharmonia Orchestra, Red Swans Floating for notabu.ensemble and Spectra Ensemble, Bring Me All Your Dreams for Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Reflections In Time for the London Sinfonietta; Mid-Oceaned for Ralf Ehlers and Lucas Fels, and In Black Light for Tabea Zimmerman.

Bray’s second recording, a disc of chamber works on the Richard Thomas Classical label, was recorded at the Sendesaal in Bremen, Germany, with the Amaryllis Quartet, the Mariani Piano Quartet and pianist Huw Watkins, supported by PRS Foundation’s Composer Fund, and released in 2018. At the Speed of Stillness, Bray’s debut recording on NMC Records was released in October 2014. Her work features also in several discs including Tecchler's Cello with Guy Johnston, Oberon Celebrates Shakespeare by the Oberon Trio and Upheld by Stillness by ORA.