Music Students Perform at the Purbeck Art Weeks Festival
A collaboration of bright young stars from the worlds of
composition, brass music, singing and dance will be premiering a
brand new work especially commissioned for the Purbeck Art
Weeks (PAW) Festival in Dorset on 28
Bringing together undergraduate and postgraduate students from
Trinity Laban, the work, inspired by Monteverdi's masterpiece 'Ave
Maris Stella' from the 1610 Vespers, is set to be a highlight of
'Ave Maris Stella' (Hail Star of the Sea) has been written by 21
year old composer, conductor, pianist and Trinity Laban Sir Charles
Mackerras Junior Conducting Fellow Duncan Ward,
winner of the 2005 BBC Young Composer of the Year.
Relishing the challenge of playing the first piece especially
written for them will be Meridian Brass, a young
and vibrant quartet of Trinity Laban MMus students. Last year
the group received the 2010 June Emerson Launchpad Prize, and were
runners up in the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Competition.
The piece also features dancers James Pett and Elly Braund
performing choreography by Kerry Nicholls, and
singers Cheryl Coutinho and Mario Sofroniou.
Duncan, who has been described as 'one of the most engaging,
intriguing, and exciting young talents - a real star for the
future' (Les Pratt, BBC Radio 3 Producer) describes how he drew his
inspiration for the piece from Monteverdi:
'Monteverdi is a fascinating composer, radically ahead of his
time in so many ways, and a hugely rich source from which to draw a
new work. I have taken on his structure, a series of contrasting
verses for varying forces interspersed with ritornelli, and much of
the melodic and harmonic material is inspired by the famous
plainchant which we hear in canon at the opening. I have also had a
lot of fun looking back at the sort of rhythmic syncopations often
found in Gabrieli and other composers of the Renaissance period.
There are darker passages, moments of jubilation, and plenty of
Purbeck is the perfect setting for the piece. As an area of
outstanding beauty and a World Heritage Site, it is not only
surrounded on three sides by water and therefore virtually an
island; but also boasts clear skies, unobstructed by city
lights, where millions of stars burst into life on cloudless
nights, a vision that city dwellers rarely see.
Ave Maris Stella will premiere on Saturday 28
May at St Mary's Church, Swanage at 7.30pm with an
introductory talk by both Duncan Ward and Kerry Nicholls.