Two busy composers together in Malvern

Sally Beamish - composerWe are delighted to welcome composer Sally Beamish to Malvern Concert Club for our first concert of the new season.

Sally performed as a viola player until her precious Gabrielli instrument was stolen from her London home. She decided to ‘turn the blackest moment of my life into a positive thing’ and, following a move to Scotland, launched herself into composing full-time. She soon became established as a highly respected composer and now has commissions arriving almost faster than she can manage. In recent years she has produced scores ranging from large-scale ballet and oratorios to chamber, theatre and solo works.

Kate Molleson of Gramophone writes: ‘For many listeners, the great appeal of Beamish’s music is the space it finds between softness and steel… She’s the kind of composer who seems to know exactly what she wants a piece to say and finds the most compassionate and least fussy way of saying it.’

To say that Sally is busy is an understatement. Tonight’s première is the first of two world premières for her in less than seven days! Her Judas Passion is being performed firstly at Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden on Sunday and again at St John’s, Smith Square on Monday. Together with poet David Harsent she has retold the story of the crucifixion from the perspective of Judas Iscariot – a story of the ultimate betrayal. We look forward with eager anticipation to tonight’s performance of Dance The Beginning of Time by tonight’s artists: Trio Apaches.

Malvern based composer Liz Johnson is no stranger to Club Members. A regular attender of our concerts, Liz delivered a composition workshop for primary school children as the opening event in our Education Outreach programme two years ago and had her poignant Colwall Requiem for Aleppo premièred in April this year to high acclaim.

Liz has taught composition at Birmingham Conservatoire since 1999 and works with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG) leading creative composition workshops for young people as part of the BCMG Learning and Participation Programme.

Her new double CD album has recently been released featuring over 157 minutes of music performed by The Fitzwilliam String Quartet with cellist Heather Tuach, soprano Loré Lixenberg and clarinettist Ronald Woodley. Intricate Web includes four string quartets, a cello suite and a clarinet quintet amongst other works and has received some excellent reviews.

The pre-concert talk between these two composers should provide a fascinating insight into the world of inspiration for modern day music.

Sarah Musgrave 

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