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New solo album from TL Head of Strings

Mon 9 May 2022

Nic Pendlebury expands electric viola repertoire with release of Multiple

Internationally acclaimed violist and founder of the Smith Quartet, Nic Pendlebury, has been at the forefront of the contemporary music scene for over thirty years and leads one of the most vibrant string departments in Europe.

His latest venture, Multiple, is an unchartered and exciting project showcasing the solo electric viola.

“This album is unique in terms of genre and sound world – I don’t believe anything like it has been heard before.”

Featuring a wide range of works from an ambitious transcription of Thomas Tallis’ 40-part choral epic Spem in Alium to a specially commissioned piece by Trinity Laban alum and former staff member John Ashton Thomas, the recordings demonstrate the instrument’s versatility and performance qualities.

Nic explains –

“The electric viola has tremendous scope for timbral exploration, particularly when combined with sonic manipulation, and is an instrument that has exciting and wide-ranging compositional possibilities.”

The album also includes Pendlebury’s arrangement of Electric Counterpoint by composition legend Steve Reich, which received a standing ovation from Reich himself following an exclusive performance in October 2019.

Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint / Head of Strings Nic Pendlebury – Bing video

Commenting on Nic’s fresh take, Reich said –

“The idea that Electric Counterpoint would be bowed had never occurred to me. I want to thank Nic for a beautiful surprise. I was moved to tears.”

The album will be released on the Orchid Classics label 20 May 2022, and is available to pre-order now.

Find more about the Trinity Laban Strings Department at our Strings Open Day (7 July 2022).

Image credit: Molly Ann Pendlebury