Michael Zev Gordon (b 1963)
Fragments from a Diary
1. breakable objects
2. the time has come to have a home
3. all too brief
4. ...And those who are beautiful, oh who can retain them?...
6. ...you can still catch the echo
7. ...Listen my heart, as only saints have listened
200 PIECES Brian Elias (b 1948)
Arioso (world premiere)
200 PIECES Thomas Simaku (b 1958)
RAM 200 (world premiere)
200 PIECES Martin Butler (b 1960)
A Darkling Plain (world premiere)
Marc Eychenne (b 1933)
Cantilène et Danse
Rob Burton saxophone
Millicent McFall piano
Amalia Young violin
All performers at this event are conforming to our safety requirements of being at least two metres apart.
Brian Elias was born in Bombay and has lived in the UK since he was 13 years old. After studying at the Royal College of Music, he undertook private studies with Elisabeth Lutyens. His first major orchestral work, L'Eylah, was premiered at the BBC Proms in 1984. He has since had his works performed and recorded extensively by leading orchestras and soloists, including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Psappha Ensemble, Jane Manning, Roderick Williams, Nicholas Daniel, Natalie Clein, Leonard Elschenbroich, and the Jerusalem Quartet.
Elias's monumental Five Songs to Poems by Irina Ratushinskya was premiered in 1989 and secured his reputation as one of Britain's pre-eminent composers. He collaborated with Kenneth MacMillan on his final ballet The Judas Tree, first performed in 1992 at the Royal Opera House. The Judas Tree has subsequently been revived on numerous occasions by the Royal Ballet and toured internationally. He has won two British Composer Awards – the first for his 2010 work Doubles, and the second for his 2013 work Electra Mourns.
Elias has taught composition at the Royal Academy of Music and the Purcell School, and his students have included Joby Talbot and Darren Bloom. His works are published by Chester Music.
Multi-award–winning composer Thomas Simaku graduated from the Albanian State Conservatoire in Tirana and gained a PhD in Composition from the University of York, where he studied with David Blake. He was the Leonard Bernstein Fellow in Composition at Tanglewood Music Centre in 1996, studying with Bernard Rands, and a fellow at the Composers’ Workshop, California State University, in 1998 under Brian Ferneyhough.
Simaku's music has been reaching audiences across the world for more than two decades, and has been praised for its expressive qualities and unique blend of intensity and modernism. His works have been selected by international juries in nine editions of ISCM World Music Days; his music has also been performed at the Huddersfield, Tanglewood, Miami, Zagreb-Biennale, Weimar, Munich, Rome, Viitassari, Beijing, Innsbruck and Warsaw festivals. Performed by renowned soloists, ensembles and orchestras, his music has been broadcast worldwide, and two recordings of his works have been released by Naxos.
Major awards include the Lionel Robbins Memorial Scholarship in 1993, first prize at the 2004 Serocki International Competition, a Leverhulme Research Fellowship, and a three-year fellowship from the Arts and Humanities Research Council in London. In 2009 he received a British Composer Award from BASCA for his Soliloquy V – Flauto Acerbo. With this work he represented the UK at the 2012 ISCM Festival in Belgium.
In 2013 Simaku won the first prize of the International Competition for Lutosławski’s 100th Birthday with Concerto for Orchestra, chosen from 160 compositions submitted anonymously from 37 countries. He is a Professor of Composition at the University of York.
Martin Butler studied at the University of Manchester, the Royal Northern College of Music and Princeton University, where, from 1998 to 1999, he was Composer in Residence at the Institute for Advanced Study. He is currently Professor of Music at the University of Sussex.
Butler's works are widely performed and broadcast around the world. He has received commissions from the BBC, London Sinfonietta, Schubert Ensemble and the Cheltenham, Canterbury, and Presteigne festivals. In 1994, Mecklenburgh Opera premiered the operatic adventure story Craig's Progress, which was adapted for radio broadcast by BBC Radio 3. His chamber opera A Better Place was premiered by English National Opera in 2001, conducted by Paul Daniel, and in the same year, Two Rivers for choir and orchestra was first performed by the Oxford Bach Choir and Britten Sinfonia. Sentinels for string quartet and viola was premiered by the Brodsky Quartet and John Metcalfe at the 2006 Brighton Festival, and William Howard gave the premiere of Funérailles at the 2006 Norfolk and Norwich Festival.
From 2006 to 2008 he was the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra's first ever 'Composer in Focus'. His tenure culminated in performances of a new commission for the orchestra, From the Fairground of Dreams, conducted by Barry Wordsworth. In 2008, his work for solo horn, Hunding, was the first music to be heard at Kings Place's opening weekend.
Butler's Rondes d’automnes was premiered at the Cheltenham Music Festival by the New London Chamber Ensemble in 2011 and was shortlisted for a Royal Philharmonic Society Award. The ensemble subsequently premiered two of his Mozart arrangements at Wigmore Hall the same year.
He is a pianist with the improvising group Notes Inégales and co-director of Club Inégales in London.