Diana and Gregory at 70
7.30pm, Saturday 12 May 2018
Pre-concert talk at 7pm
St Pancras Parish Church, NW1 2BA
The LFCCM Festival Singers
Christopher Batchelor Director
Douglas Tang Organ
Matthew Schellhorn Piano
- FestivalDiana Burrell
- Hymn to Aphrodite IIGregory Rose
- Nunc Dimittisfrom St Pancras CanticlesDiana Burrell
- O Grosser GottGregory Rose
- Missa BrevisDiana Burrell
- ToccataGregory Rose
- Magnificat and Nunc DimittisGregory Rose
- PentecostDiana Burrell
- Requiemfrom Danse MacabreGregory Rose
Festival commissionWorld premiere
This year’s Festival opens with a programme of new music by two of Britain’s most celebrated contemporary composers. The Festival’s own professional vocal ensemble, The LFCCM Festival Singers, presents premiere performances of sacred music and instrumental works by Diana Burrell and Gregory Rose, including the first performance of Pentecost, a major new work for solo piano.
Born in Norwich in 1948, Diana Burrell followed studies at Cambridge University with several years as a teacher and professional viola player before devoting herself to composition. She found an early champion in the conductor Richard Hickox, who premiered her Missa Sancte Endeliente in 1980; this was followed by a number of pieces inspired by her love of the natural world, culminating in the opera The Albatross. Diana’s interest in music education and music in the community is reflected in her teaching at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, her tenures as Artistic Director of the Spitalfields Festival and the Harwich Arts Festival, and the composition of works especially for young performers. Central to Diana’s output are a series of concertos; first a work for her own instrument, the Viola Concerto, then concerti for Clarinet and Flute, and finally Concerto for Brass and Orchestra, commissioned for the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Other recent commissions include works for the BBC Proms, Opus Anglicanum and Brentwood Cathedral.
Gregory Rose is particularly noted for his performances of the romantic and contemporary repertoires, having conducted over 300 premieres of orchestral, choral and ensemble music throughout Europe and the Far East. He studied violin, piano and singing as a young child and was a pupil of Hans Jelinek (Vienna Academy) and Egon Wellesz (Oxford University), both former students of Arnold Schoenberg, and of his father, the late Bernard Rose.
Gregory is Music Director of the Jupiter Orchestra, Jupiter Singers, Singcircle and CoMA London Ensemble. He has conducted many concerts and operas for Trinity College of Music, including concerts with the Contemporary Music Group, and operas by Poulenc, Stravinsky, Virgil Thomson, Scott Joplin, Berthold Goldschmidt, Samuel Barber, Nino Rota and Malcolm Williamson. He is a professor of conducting at Trinity.
Highlights of his career include a concert with the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra at the Philharmonic Hall (Schoenberg and Ravel), a recording with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Baltic premiere of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, a concert of music by Arvo Pärt and Xenakis with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, an all-Rachmaninov programme with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, including The Bells and the Piano Concerto No. 2, a concert with the Tapiola Sinfonietta (Finland), a CD with the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra (Denmark), all-Mozart concerts with the Israel Camerata and the Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra (Poland), and Russian romantic programmes with the National Orchestra of Eire, the Netherland Radio Choir and the BBC Singers. He conducted a programme of Janáček and Liszt with the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and has conducted recording sessions with the prestigious National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice.
In the contemporary field Gregory has conducted the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra in Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht, Symphony No. 2 by Arvo Pärt, Keqrops by Xenakis, and Symphony No. 3 Lutoslawski with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra; a concert with the Tapiola Sinfonietta (Schoenberg Chamber Symphony No. 2); and the Czech premiere of Steve Reich’s Tehillim. He has made recordings with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (Pohjannoro and Plakidis), and with the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra. He has conducted the Odense Symfoniorkester in Denmark several times, most recently in 2005 in a programme including Symphony and Piano Concerto “La Notte” by Bent Sørensen and Milko Kelemen’s Delicate Clusters. He has also performed many contemporary pieces with his own Jupiter Orchestra and Singcircle.
In 1998 Gregory completed the unfinished Violin Concerto of Johann Nepomuk Hummel, which he then recorded with the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra for Naxos. It is published by Artaria Edition. Gregory’s pieces have also been published by OUP, Boosey & Hawkes, Novello, and Colla Voce Music.
His own compositions include Birthday Ode for Aaron Copland and Tapiola Sunrise for chamber orchestra; Thambapani for symphony orchestra; and ensemble pieces Cristalflood, Earth Rituals, Sainte Marie and Paliopoli: Stone Study. His Missa Santa Pauli Apostoli, composed for the Choir of St Paul’s Cathedral, London, won the Liturgical category of the British Composer Awards 2006. His new music-theatre work, Danse macabre, will be premiered in Tallinn, Estonia in the summer of 2011.
Gregory has conducted a tour of the United Kingdom with Bizet’s Carmen, the United Kingdom stage premiere of Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha and the United Kingdom premiere of Toshio Hosokawa’s Visions of Lear. He has worked closely with leading composers of the day. In 1982 he was director of ‘Cage at 70’, featuring John Cage himself, and two years later ‘Reich at 50’, both part of the Almeida Festival. He has directed over fifty performances of Stockhausen’s Stimmung, including performing with the composer, as well as making an award-winning CD of the work in 1980, shortly after directing a performance of the work at the BBC Promenade concerts. He has appeared in festivals throughout Europe and has recorded for many international television and radio stations. He has made highly acclaimed recordings for Chandos (Janáček orchestral music), Hyperion, Wergo, Continuum, Dacapo, October Music, Priory Records and Naxos. He has also worked as arranger and conductor for Diana Ross, Linda Ronstadt, Deaf School and Madness, and was assistant conductor for the concert premiere of Ça Ira, an opera by Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame.