NCG’s next event is on Sunday March 5th at 3pm in the Octagon Chapel, Colegate, Norwich.
Norfolk Composers Group in association with Cromer Music Evenings organisation
This event raised £350 for the Nepal Earthquake 2015 Appeal
Saturday 17th October @ 5pm
The Old Chapel :: South Creake :: NR21 9JF
Michael Finnissy’s BBC’s Proms Commission “Janne”
The BBC’s Scottish Symphony Orchestra gave a committed and finely drawn performance of Michael’s work on Sunday 16th August. It formed part of the BBC’s tribute to Sibelius – it was partnered by symphonies 3 & 4, together with the violin concerto.
Members of the Norfolk Composers Group would like to congratulate Michael on this commission and a fine first performance – hopefully not the last.
“BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra Conductor Ilan Volkov is a passionate champion of contemporary music and here premieres a new Sibelius-inspired work by Michael Finnissy – a composer whose music, though fascinatingly complex, finds real connection with politics, society and culture.” (BBC website)
Meeting and discussion of scores with Judith WEIR – Master of the Queens music.
Through the auspices of NCG’s president Michael Finnissy, Judith Weir came to North Norfolk to meet the group and consider works presented by NCG members. This proved to be a most stimulating and rewarding evening for all concerned. A wide ranging discussion about making contemporary “home grown” music more widely known and acknowledged was held and a number of strategies for achieving this were considered during the meeting. Judith Weir was both generous in her comments on the works presented and with her time in listening to a diverse range of material. It was particularly encouraging to hear that the purposes and rationale of the Norfolk Composers Group were distinctly “in tune” with Judith Weir’s own philosophy of encouraging and empowering such enterprises. On the following evening St Peter’s church Sheringham hosted a more formal and public conversation between Judith Weir and Michael Finnissy.
The following picture and comments appeared on Judith Weir’s website – her blogspot – following her visit to North Norfolk
My Zen-like shot of the beach off Sheringham doesn’t really tell the story of the weekend I spent in Northeast Norfolk, which was pulsing with musical discourse from the moment I arrived at the B+B to find my landlady practising the euphonium. All around me people were preparing for band practice or hurtling through tunnel-like country roads to play/sing in the numerous magnificent churches which crop up everywhere, sometimes just a few fields away from the previous one.
A couple of years ago, the extremely leading composer Michael Finnissy moved here from Sussex (though he continues to teach his students at Southampton University). He has not been slow to make valuable musical connections within this fairly far-flung region, and I was honoured by his invitation to talk to the Norfolk Composers’ Group, around ten strong on this occasion, who met at the home of Tim Ambler. The Norfolk composers come from all sorts of musical backgrounds, and won’t mind me saying that they are not your usual ‘composer collective’. Pat Hanchet, a COMA stalwart, set the scene by remarking that she had taken up composing when schoolteaching, because she couldn’t find the music she needed and so decided to write some. We heard and saw much accomplished music by people who had been determined to fit the demanding activity of composing into their lives, whatever else was happening in it. They have been active in producing local concerts, and issuing the CDs of these. It’s been a long time since I took part in such an egalitarian but thorough discussion about composing music, which could have lasted even longer than the three hours we’d allotted.
The following evening I again had the pleasure of talking to Michael Finnissy, this time in St Peter’s Church Sheringham. We had diffidently approached the idea of simply inviting the public to hear two complicated composers chewing the fat, and were pleasantly surprised when an intent audience of 70 or 80 people turned up and stayed the full two hours (as at the Composers’ Group, with brilliant half-time refreshments to keep us going). Intelligent questions from the audience, as so often, centred on thoughts about the place of music in British society, and particularly about the perceived neglect of instrumental teaching in schools.
This was the weekend that news appeared in the media of the gleaming new concert hall at the Museum of London site projected for the LSO/Simon Rattle. As a Londoner I would not say no to a better concert hall, although my first reaction was actually a cyclist’s – ‘Good, now they really will have to get rid of the disgusting Aldersgate Roundabout !’ But being in Sheringham, my next thought was ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have a new music room, hut or anything else in Sheringham ? – it would get used a lot’. Is it so impossible to smooth out these national inequities, even just a bit?
All this served to underline how successful this venture had proved and the group are especially grateful to Michael Finnissy for exercising his powers of contact in setting it all in motion.
St Andrews EATON 1st FEBRUARY 2015 @ 3pm
Norfolk Composers Group presents ‘The Silver Chain of Sound’
November 22nd 2014: “Notes Tremendous Immortal Fire” – St Lawrence Centre for the Arts, South Walsham
Amphion revues the “Notes Tremendous & Immortal Fire” evening :-
March 2nd 2014: The Octagon, Norwich
July 8th 2013: St Botolph’s Trunch
Concert given by Norfolk Winds included works from Pat Hanchet and Ken Hytch. There were also pieces for Piano by David Morgan and Martyn Craft .
June 22nd 2013 : “These Distracted Times” – St Lawrence Centre for the Arts/ South Walsham
From the Press Release
The map of Norfolk must be redrawn! we think that we have discovered Norfolk, but we are missing the wealth of artistic talent that is on offer.
Generously sponsored by Arnold Keys , Norfolk composers Pat Hanchet, David Morgan, Andrew Lowe Watson, Kenneth Ian Hytch, Malcom Robertson and Martyn Craft wrote strikingly different works all inspired by Thomas Tomkins “A Sad Pavan for These Distracted Times” (1649) in itself an intriguing title.
The concert closed with a memorable performance of Andrew Lowe Watson’s moving “Elegy for the Fallen”, originally written for a competition to find a new Barber Adagio for Strings and whose title refers to all those who have lost their lives as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Saturday night’s version for string octet was the work’s European premiere.