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I am a professional musician with over 30 years experience of teaching, performing and composing music. I’m based in the Midlands but I work around the UK and internationally. The musical services that I can provide are:
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L a t e s t N e w s. . .
Excelsa Voces - this weekend
December 11th: Well, tomorrow is - hopefully- the beginning of 'The Revolution...'! And what better way to acknowledge hope, and to celebrate beauty, than through music and shared transcendence? This weekend I'll be playing 2 gigs with our amazing Excelsa Voces, who will deliver what they promise (unlike most political parties) - on Friday, at St Faith's in Overbury, and on Saturday at the Callow Great Hall in Stanbrook Abbey. Both gigs are selling furiously, so be quick - seats are limited. We were setting lights for the Stanbrook Abbey gig tonight, so here's a taster...
'Tis Still the Season...
December 10th: I'm working my way through a long list of concerts (11 or so between Nov 29th and Dec 21st)... great gigs with our lovely Vocal High, with Tarantara and with Avon Singers... and of course with our wonderful ensemble Excelsa Voces, last Friday at the Guild Chapel in Stratford. There are 2 more Excelsa Voces concerts this coming weekend and I can't recommend them highly enough - although I would say that (and if you don't want to take my word for it, ask Mr Fripp!). See www.excelsavoces.com for details. Meanwhile, here are some photos from the past few weeks...
'Tis the Season...
November 8th: Thus it begins... the long-awaited 'Tarantara Goes Pop' event happens tomorrow - it's sold out, so if you want to see the choir you'll need to book tickets for December! More imminently, our very own VOCAL HIGH's 'Winter Warmer' will be happening at the Fleece on 29 Nov - unmissable! - and of course our Excelsa Voces concerts in December promise to be magical events - see www.excelsavoces.com for details. December also features The Avon Singers 'Stars' concert, featuring gorgeous music by Erik Esenvalds and Eric Whitacre, and then there's Pianoscapes on Dec 1st... phew!
Pianos students: bear with me, you WILL get your lessons, but perhaps not always at the usual time..!
October 22nd: Looking forward to 'Pianoscapes' at Elmslie House this coming Sunday: possibilities of the music of Mussorgsky, Herbie Hancock, Robert Fripp, Mendelssohn - and maybe even Hans Otte - on the menu! www.elmsliehouse.co.uk/2019/09/17/pianoscapes-sunday-afternoons-at-elmslie-house/
October 1st: PRESS RELEASE - 'Heavenly Peace' descends next weekend as a visiting choir from Germany perform alongside celebrated local ensemble Excelsa Voces. The Buxtehude-Chor, from Bad Odesloe, near Hamburg, are celebrating their centenary year with 2 concerts in England - in Inkberrow, and in Stratford-upon-Avon. They are joined by Excelsa Voces, described by Robert Fripp of King Crimson as 'outstanding', a vocal quintet led by soprano Paula Evans, who have been building a solid fan base in the West Midlands with their ethereal and spiritually uplifting music. Specialising in both Early and Modern music, Excelsa Voces have been increasingly in demand, with frequent performances in Stratford-upon-Avon, Pershore Abbey, Tewkesbury Abbey and Edinburgh. The music for the evening will include works by the Medieval mystic Hildegard of Bingen, Palestrina and contemporary composers Gavin Bryars and Patrick Hawes, as well as music by Mendelssohn and Rheinberger and movements from Karl Jenkins' 'The Peacemakers'. Be prepared for an immersive experience, promising to be both visually and musically stimulating.
The performances are at 7.30 on Friday 4th October(St Peter's Church, Inkberrow) and Saturday 5th (Holy Trinity Church, Stratford). Tickets cost between £5 and £10 and can be booked online at www.excelsavoces.com/ . Proceeds are for the Tracey Sollis Leukemia Trust and the Inkberrow Church Roof Fund.
Following the above concerts, on SUNDAY 6th OCTOBER - I'll be peforming PIANOSCAPES at St. Andrew's Centre in Pershore (and again in Malvern on 27th):
September: It was a pleasure to play at the wedding of N & P in Pershore Abbey on 21st, along with our ensembles Vocal High and Exclesa Voces - avery special occasion. Earlier in the month, we had a great 'Pianoscapes' on 1st September - poet Ben Ray joined me for an hour of poetry and piano music, and a lovely audience shared this wideranging programme.
31st July - my last gig of this term took place last Saturday - an evening of 20th & 21st century music for cello & piano, with Tom McMahon. A lovely audience, a lovely venue (Elmslie House in Malvern)... and great to know that August is free! - for 'taking stock' and for writing the next round of arrangements and compositions... Goodbye for a few weeks!
21st July - A couple of pix from the weekend of gigs with our fabbo choir 'Vocal High' -
1st July - In addition to playing for the 2 choirs 'Tarantara' and 'Avon Singers', in Norfolk and in Evesham respectively, there are 3 unmissable events this month - our own choir VOCAL HIGH in Pershore (19th), and then again (on the 20th) in Worcester onstage with the Spooky Men's Chorale (from Australia)! Go to www.vocalhigh.com for info / tickets. And on the 27th, a special evening making music with Tom McMahon (cello) at Elmslie House in Malvern - featuring new transcriptions and compositions by me alongside amazing music by Olivier Messiaen, Joby Talbot, Mark Anthony Turnage and others. get tickets, come along and listen and share the love...
Performances in June & July
See the 'Pianoscapes' page for venue details etc; see the websites of Elmslie House, Vocal High, Tarantara and Avon Singers for more details (go to 'Links' page on this website)
'Tarantara' CD now available!
18 fine tracks with yours truly on piano - no musiclover's library is complete without a copy! Get yours at a 'Tarantara' concert' (see post above for dates!) or check it out on Spotify...
EXELSA VOCES in concert - Friday 17th May
Fabulous evening of music with this fine ensemble, at the gorgeous Guild Chapel in Stratford-upon-Avon. www.excelsavoces.com
"April Is The Coolest Month"...
...and not least because of the music. Last weekend - a fine evening accompanying the Avon Singers, with Selina Strings & soprano Rachel Milestone... and a standing ovation. This weekend (13th/14th) there's 2 fab gigs - Vocal High at The Fleece on Saturday, and Pianoscapes in Malvern on Sunday. And don't forget to put May 17th in your diary - the first Excelsa Voces gig of 2019 is going to be a stunner...
Gigs In March
It's been a great month for gigs - the first Pianoscapes at Elmslie House in Malvern, and a lovely turnout for the most recent Pershore event (see 'Pianoscapes' page for pix)... Plus a full house and standing ovation for Tarantara last weekend in Alcester. And not forgetting the recent workshop for Vocal High at Worcester Cathedral - amazing free improvisation by our singers, in the beautiful acoustic chamber that is the Chapter House...
'Pianoscapes' goes to Poland
Feb 22nd: Still enjoying the afterglow of my Warsaw concert at The College of Europe last Sunday. A very enthusiastic audience of international students were treated to a programme ranging from music by Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans, Nils Frahm and yours truly, to Bach, Chopin (of course!), Gurdjieff and Scarlatti. Lovely feedback, including the comment 'Your concert was a moment of pure joy". Warsaw is a beautiful city and we hope to return soon... Meanwhile, 'Pianoscapes UK' goes on! - The Malvern Series begins on March 10th and the next Pershore performance is March 24th. See the 'Pianoscapes' page on this website.
To and From Warsaw
A great Pianoscapes concert on 27th January, featuring a flying visit from Warsaw - Ben (Son #1) came along to read a poem from his new collection, accompanied by yours truly on synth (there's a video on the 'Pianoscapes' page of this website). I'm excited to be 'returning the favour' later this month - a piano concert in Warsaw on 17th Feb. And also excited about the '2nd strand' of Pianoscape concerts, at Elmslie House in Malvern, which begin in March. Dates on the 'What's On' page. (Photo below - of Ben & I - by Sean Long).
Sea-ing is Believing...
20th January: An inspiring weekend with colleague and good friend Ed (Pinner), plotting the new Seeing 2 Sound production. Called 'Sea', it will take in all manner of things watery and oceanic... Here's a taster - one of the first recordings that we made together, which may well feature in the show...
2019 gets underway
6th January: Great day on Saturday, recording at Tardebigge Church with Tarantara for their new CD. 19 songs recorded in 6 hours: that must be some kind of record?? (pun intended!)
Here Comes 2019...
These last few days of December have seen a flurry of piano-related activity, as new music and inspirations come flying in from all directions. Music by John White, The Bad Plus, Adam Tendler, Jonathan Dove... the list is a long one and there is much listening (and practice!) to be done. Alongside this I'm composing (for Excelsa Voces), transcribing (Chilly Gonzales) and recording (a number of backing tracks for The Worcester Pavarotti - Luke Swatman)... Lots going on, and still another week before the teaching re-commences - I have Time!
November & December bring the annual round of Christmas concerts - with Tarantara and Avon Singers - but also some of my own: 3 Pianoscapes concerts, 2 exciting winter gigs with Excelsa Voces and the 'Winter Warmer' with our lovely choir Vocal High. See the 'What's On' page for details. Coming in 2019: music for cello & piano with Tom McMahon, and the next Seeing2Sound production with EP...
Excelsa Voces @ Tewkesbury Abbey - Fripp/Keeling premiere
22nd September: a fabulous night on Saturday, presenting our programme of contemporary and medieval music to an audience of c.350 spellbound listeners at Tewkesbury Abbey. World premiere of Robert Fripp / Andrew Keeling's 'Pie Jesu', plus performances of 'Lux' by Andrew Smith (who travelled from Norway to be there!) and music by Gavin Bryars, Whitacre, Hildegard, Fripp & Eno, Meredith Monk, Lauridsen... and music by yours truly. A very warm glow and a humbling experience. These fab pics by Max Nutbeem (Instagram: m_nutbeem)
Excelsa Voces 'in the round'
Friday 7th September: Last night at The Nest, Ledbury - a lovely audience, for a wonderful concert by the girls - albeit in a rather dry & challenging acoustic (or lack of...!). One email - 'Just got back from the yurt... really enjoyed tonight...liked the mix of music and your enthusiasm, not to mention lovely voices! Thank you"
From Landscapes to Pianoscapes
2nd September: after 10 days in the Outer Hebrides, on Uist and Berneray, I'm ready for the new term. A gig on Thursday 6th at The Nest, Ledbury, with Excelsa Voces, and then the big one on September 22nd at Tewkesbury Abbey (see www.excelsavoces.com for info, tickets etc). Equally importantly: the next round of Pianoscapes concerts, starting on 4th November!
If Music be the Food of Love...
Monday 13th August: Another very enjoyable lunchtime recital at Holland House, Cropthorne. On the menu: Elgar, Bach, Brubeck, Grieg, Byrd, Bill Evans, Francis Monkman and yours truly. Nice to see they've had the piano tuned - this made a 3-keyboard presentation possible! Here's me (before the audience arrives); next piano recital here: 19th October. See www.hollandhouse.org/
Live Soundtrack - Berlin
9 August: this week in Berlin has been great! Devising, then performing, a live soundtrack to the amazing cult film 'Penda's Fen' (David Rudkin & Alan Clarke), at the Brotsfabrik Kino in Caligariplatz. Lovely to work with old friend Hilary Jeffrey (trombone & electronics) and new friend Gianpaulo Peres (voice): the start of more collaborations, I hope!
Excelsa Voces at Edinburgh Festival
3rd August: 2 concerts at the Edinburgh Fringe - a lunchtime recital with Tom, and then the long-awaited evening event with Excelsa Voces and the premieres of my piece 'Logos', and the Robert Fripp/Andrew Keeling piece 'Pie Jesu'. A great response from the audience and a cracking weekend of music at the Festival. Looking forward to the Tewkesbury Abbey concert!
Treading the boards at Symphony Hall
16th June: Amazing to play for Tarantara in Birmingham Symphony Hall tonight...
VOCAL HIGH gigs coming your way
13th June: The choir are limbering up for our 2 gigs - June 29th and July 13th. They arte both going to be rather special, so get those dates in your diary and check out this rehearsal recording of 'The Rocky Road to Dublin'!
Mr Fripp approves!
7th June: Mr Fripp [King Crimson etc] seems to like the 2 recordings I sent him: a demo we've put together of the first section of 'Pie Jesu', and a recording of the improv from our Guild Chapel concert. Great! - so full steam ahead then, for the September 22nd premiere at Tewksesbury Abbey. Tickets now on sale - www.excelsavoces.com
Excelsa Voces @Guild Chapel
11th May - a wonderful concert with Excelsa Voces [www.excelsavoces.com] at the Guild Chapel. A very appreciative audience of c.50, and a fabulous review for the Stratford Herald -
From 'Oklahoma' to the Celestial vaults...
30th April 2018: Just finished a successful week at the Palace Theatre, Redditch with SOS and their enthusiastic production of 'Oklahoma'. Now limbering up for 2 exciting Excelsa Voces gigs: St Saviour's Church, Tetbury, on Friday 4th May, and the Guild Chapel in Stratford on Friday 11th. Guest artists -Tom McMahon (cello) and Emma Whitcroft (flute). Don't miss these unique and unforgettable concerts!
Robert Fripp's 'Pie Jesu' and Excelsa Voces concerts - May 2018
Exciting times ahead as rehearsals and preparations for the Excelsa Voces performances continue. Gigs in Tetbury and Stratford in May, and then the premiere of Fripp & Keeling's 'Pie Jesu' at Edinburgh Festival and Tewkesbury later in the summer. Read about it at www.excelsavoces.com and on the King Crimson website - www.dgmlive.com/news/Pie%20Jesu%20performed
'From the Tyne To the Delta' - cello / piano recital- March 23rd
A great night was had last Friday at the Elgar School of Music in Worcester: Tom and I presented the debut of our folk-inspired programme, 'From the Tyne to the Delta', to a lovely appreciative audience. Fave moments for me included 'The Burren No 1', a piano piece penned by me in 1989 (imagine that!); the Vaughan Williams '6 Studies'; Joby Talbot's 'February'; and Tom's stonking encore, 'Julie-O'. We're hoping to get more gigs for this show before the year is out - watch this space.
Tewkesbury Abbey - First Excelsa Voces concert of 2018!
March 9th - today Excelsa Voces, plus yours truly & our good friend Tom McMahon (cello), presented a taster of 'Musica Celestis' in the Abbey at Tewkesbury. What an incredible place to make music, and what a privelege to be there doing it. To an audience of c.70 we presented a programme of early & contemporary music which was very well recieved! More gigs coming in May, and work on the Robert Fripp / Andrew Keeling soundscape 'Pie Jesu' is well underway too: exciting times. I'm also preparing for the recital with Tom in Worcester (23rd March) which is a fantastic programme of traditonal-music inspired pieces from a variety of cultures - including a fantastic blues by American composer Carter Pann, gamelan-inspired music by Lou Harrison, English folksong arrangements by Vaughan Williams and Yours Truly, and more...
There's also the prospect of doing a live film soundtrack in Berlin later this year with fantabulous improviser (and long-time collaborator) Hilary Jeffrey, who operates the Tromboscillator... yes please to that.