For Teresa was commissioned by Tim Suter for his wife, Helen, as part of William Howard’s Love Songs Project and was first performed privately by William Howard for her 60th birthday in February 2017. He gave the public premiere at Hoxton Hall, London on 26th April 2017.
The music is based on the notes T E S (E flat) A of the Christian name of the composer’s wife, Teresa Cahill. The music works towards a quotation of the opening of Beethoven’s Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor, Für Elise (which also uses letters from the name Therese, H being B natural in German nomenclature), a piece which, it is now thought, was originally titled Für Therese and possibly composed for Theresa Malfatti, to whom Beethoven unsuccessfully proposed marriage in 1810, but recent musicology has suggested other possible dedicatees.