16 February 2024

Choir & Organ Magazine Features Robert Saxton and Jonathan Clinch

Page 9 of the January issue of Choir & Organ magazine featured an interview on the collaboration between Jonathan Clinch and composer Robert Saxton. Clinch notes that the collaboration began during lockdown, as the two began to explore the possibilities of the digital organ software Hauptwerk. These comissions eventually culminated in a recent recording in which 5 of Saxton's organ works are intertwined with solo music by J.S. Bach. Clinch explains that "preparing the Saxton has changed the manner in which I've played the Bach as much as the Bach has changed the way I play the Saxton. For the listener, I hope this demonstrates the ways in which this "new" music relates to the past, but also how "new" Bach's music can appear".

12 February 2024

DR Vocal Ensemble perform Saxton in Copenhagen and Aarhus

The DR Vocal Ensemble performed Robert Saxton’s Hymn to Saint Michael in concerts at Copenhagen Cathedral and Aarhus Cathedral on 7th and 9th February. Marcus Creed, the concert's conductor, was a contemporary of Robert Saxton at Cambridge University.  Saxton wrote the piece as a parting gift to DR Vokalensemblet's artistic director, Michael Emery, when, in 2015, he left the equivalent position with the British radio choir, the BBC Singers. The Aarhus performance will be live-streamed on DR P2 at 1830 (UK time) today (11th February) and will be available for 30 days.

6 February 2024

COVID in Music: Thomas Simaku 'Catena III – Corona'

An excellent article about Simaku’s Catena III - Corona “exploring the contrasts of the world” has been published in the classical music e-magazine Interlude in January 2024. Composed during the first lockdown, the piece was written for Ensemble Intercontemporain soloist Dimitri Vassilakis, and it is included in Simaku’s latest CD SOLO released by the British label NMC Recordings in September 2023.

Written by musicologist Maureen Buja, the article begins: “The piece opens with a crash that quickly fades away. This is Albanian-British composer Thomas Simaku’s piano work Catena III - Corona. A product of the first lockdown that started in March 2020, when about half the world’s population had to stay at home, Catena III - Corona begins by exploring the contrasts of the world we are confined to.”

1 February 2024

'Apocalypse: Choral music by David Lancaster' Receives 5-Star Review

The UYMP office was delighted read a glowing 5-star review of Ex Corde Vocal Ensemble's new CD Apocalypse: Choral music by David Lancaster, directed by Paul Gameson and released on Resonus. The disc features a programme consisting of three choral works by Lancaster, and the review by Clare Stevens was published in the January/February issue of Choir and Organ magazine.

31 January 2024

Late Music York's second half of concert season commences this weekend

UYMP is delighted that our friends Late Music York’s second half of the concert season 2023-24 commences this week, on Friday 2nd February at 1pm and Saturday 3rd February, at 1pm and 7.30pm, with three programmes celebrating the sheer diversity of contemporary music. David Power will be introducing the Saturday evening song recital featuring Robert Rice (baritone) and William Vann (piano) with a pre-concert talk at 6.45pm. As usual, Late Music will be offering a complimentary glass of wine or juice. See the whole programme at Late Music's website and read more about this weekend’s programmes/buy tickets here .





30 January 2024

Sadie Harrison’s '....ad infinitum....' for multi-tracked violins released on CD

We are delighted that house composer Sadie Harrison’s new work for multi-tracked violins ....ad infinitum.... (Four songs and dances for violins) has been released on the Prima Facie CD 'CUCKOO: Seven New works for Violin', performed by Steve Bingham. Steve commissioned the work especially for the solo album alongside music by Steve CrowtherColin RileySimon SpeareRowan AlfredWayne Siegel and Kevin Flanagan.

15 January 2024

David Lumsdaine, 1931-2024

UYMP is very saddened to announce that distinguished composer David Lumsdaine passed away on Friday 12th January 2024. 

David Lumsdaine was born in Sydney and he came to England in his early twenties.  He established his reputation with works such as Kelly Ground, Flights, Mandalas 1 and 2 and he soon became a sought-after composition teacher in the UK.  He held academic appointments at Durham, where he founded and directed the Electronic Music Studio, and at King’s College, London, where he shared a post with his wife, fellow composer Nicola LeFanu. 

8 January 2024

5-star Review in France for Thomas Simaku’s New Album

Released by the British label NMC Recordings on 29 September 2023, Thomas Simaku’s new album, SOLO, featuring soloists of Ensemble Intercontemporain has captured the attention of music critics and radio stations internationally. Works from the album have already been broadcast on Radio-France, BBC Radio 3, RTP in Portugal and Ecclectus Radio in Seattle, USA; and rave reviews have appeared in prestigious magazines such as BBC Music, Music Opinion, and Crescendo Magazine in Brussels.

Most recently, Parisian Diapason – the ‘No1 magazine of classical music in French’ has published a ‘5-diapason’ review in their January 2024 issue.

28 November 2023

'A highly individual musical voice' - 5 star review from Musical Opinion for Simaku's Ensemble Intercontemporain soloists on NMC

Following glowing reviews from the BBC Music Magazine and Crescendo Magazine in Brussels, another five star review of Thomas Simaku's NMC D278 CD 'SOLO' has been published, in Musical Opinion (Winter 2023; Issue 1537). Established in 1877, the prestigious British Quarterly is ‘the longest serving continually published classical music magazine in the world’.

24 November 2023

Sadie Harrison’s PASTURE & STORM CD one of ZEIT’s 2023 Highlights

We are delighted that house composer Sadie Harrison has received international recognition with her CD release PASTURE & STORM: New Music for Left Hand Piano & Ensembles (Prima Facie). The disc has been chosen as one of 2023’s CD highlights by ZEIT music critic Hannah Schmidt. 
The booklet notes begin: "When I embarked on the Pasture & Storm Project in early 2020, I could not have envisaged how the world would have changed by the time it was completed in Autumn 2022. The storms of the pandemic and the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban resonated around the world and there is no doubt that the creative trajectory of Pasture & Storm was driven in great part by the consequences of these two overwhelming global events. A UK based project unexpectedly became a collaboration between musicians and artists across the world, celebrating diversity in all its colours and splendour."

22 November 2023

Anthony Gilbert celebration concert at York Late Music

UYMP is delighted that the music of the late, distinguished House composer Anthony Gilbert will be celebrated at the York Late Music evening concert at the Unitarian Chapel, St Saviourgate, York, on Saturday 2nd December at 7.30pm.  A pre-concert talk will be given by Nicola LeFanu.  The performers will be Nina Kümin (violin), Jonathan Sage (clarinet) and Kate Ledger (piano) and the programme will include four of Anthony Gilbert’s works – Catercorny for clarinet and piano, Worldwhorls for bass clarinet, Jugalbandi Blues for bass clarinet and Monsoon Toccata for piano, which was written in memory of Janet Owen Thomas. 

15 November 2023

Saxton 70th Birthday Celebrations in Cambridge

The choir of St Catharine’s College Cambridge, directed by Dr Edward Wickham, celebrated Robert Saxton’s 70th birthday with a special all-Saxton service on 12th November featuring his Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, Locus Iste and Choral Prelude on 'Strength and Stay'. Organ scholar June Rippon will perform Saxton’s Two Chorale Preludes on tunes by J.B.Dykes on St Catharine’s Day, 25 November. Saxton is currently writing a major organ cycle, as part of a research project at the Royal Academy of Music with organist Jonathan Clinch.