Latest News of Peter Bassano
7.30 Saturday 19th November 2011
Central Theatre Chatham
City of Rochester Symphony Orchestra
Prokofiev: Lt Kiji Suite
Dvořák: ‘cello Concerto Frederique Legrand
Tchaikovsky: Overture to Romeo and Juliet
Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite
7.30 Saturday 26th November 2011
Wesley Memorial Chapel, Oxford
Oxford University Brass Band
Berlioz: arr Keith Wilkinson Beatrice & Benedict
Holst: Moorside Suite
Chris Batchelor: Weasel Words & Winning Ways
for Jazz Trumpet and Jazz Trombone with Russell Bennett and Jon Stokes
Robin Holloway: Men Marching
John Ireland: Elegy
Philip Sparke: Cornet Solo Song and Dance
Tim Souster: Echoes for Band and Live Electronic
7.30 Monday 28th November 2011
Holywell Music Room, Oxford
Oxford University Sinfonietta
Rameau: Overture, Contredanse et rondeau from Les Boréades
Vivaldi: Concerto in D minor Il Gran Mogol for solo flute and
Gordon Crosee: Ariadne for solo oboe and 12 instruments
Thomas Ades: Chamber Symphony
Respighi: Gli uccelli
Britta Byström: Rebellion in Greenery - UK Premiere
Revueltas: Homenaje a García Lorca
7.30 Saturday 3rd December 2011
St Mary’s Church, Wendover
Wendover Choral Society
Brook Street Band
Bach: Cantata 4 Christ lag in todesbunden
Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 4
Bach: Mass in A major
Handel: Eternal Source of Light Divine
trumpet soloist:Crispian Steele-Perkins
City of Rochester Symphony Orchestra
Music Director Peter Bassano
2011/12 season includes performances by three stunning young soloists:-
Frederique Legrand, Dvořák’s ‘cello Concerto
Tamsin Waley-Cohen, violin in Vaughan William’s Lark Ascending and Gerald Finzi’s rarely
Jerome Sadler, piano Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto
Peter Bassano takes over as new Music Director of the City of Rochester Symphony Orchestra from the start of next season. The CRSO was formed in 1969 and under the baton of the world-famous French Horn player, Michael Thompson and has over the last six years developed into the foremost amateur orchestra in the Medway/North Kent area giving high quality performances at the Central Theatre in Chatham.
A very popular programme to finish the season on 15th May: Rossini’s William Tell Overture, Grieg’s Piano Concerto with Jerome Sadler and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4.
Leopold de Rothschild’s acceptance of Bassano’s invitation marks a ‘homecoming’ as new President of the Wendover Choral Society
Bassano commissioned to write a book on the Trombone for the Menuhin Series of Orchestral Instruments
Review of NYWO Concert from Seen and Heard
Prokofiev, Arutunian and Janáček: Philip Cobb (trumpet), National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain, Peter Bassano (conductor) St John’s Smith Square London 6.4.2008 (CR)
The National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain is formed of some 60 young musicians from around the country, with ages ranging from 13 to 21. The orchestra meets for two residential courses a year, covering a range of works from arrangements of well-known pieces to contemporary repertoire. It was clear from the outset that these young performers had been well trained by conductor Peter Bassano on this Easter’s course. The players presented themselves with professionalism and disciplined concentration. Of this evening’s performers, 39 of them were new members at the beginning of the course, and that they should be able to create a concert of this standard in just ten days is remarkable.
The concert began with two works by Prokofiev, Spartakiade from Opus 69 and four movements from the Romeo and Juliet Ballet Suite. Spartakiade provided an excellent overture, demonstrating the orchestra’s warm sound and youthful character. The lower brass was a particular strength, with its wonderful rich tone providing a solid foundation for the ensemble as a whole. The woodwinds added a bright shimmer to the upper range of the sound, with some lovely piccolo playing contributing extra sparkle. The playing was rhythmic with a driving sense of pulse, and very well controlled. The movements from Romeo and Juliet, heard in an arrangement by Johan De Meij, showed the varying aspects of an ensemble such as this, from highly effective loud dissonant chords to chamber-music like individual lines. There were some well-performed solos by trumpet player Jason Evans and second flute Clare Hutton, and some excellent brass playing throughout.
This was followed by David Bedford’s Sun Paints Rainbows. This is a minimalist-influenced work, reminiscent, in its use of percussion, of Steve Reich. Individual notes patterns from different instruments come together to create phrases, which build in intensity throughout each section. The percussion writing adds an array of colour to the sound, with frequent use of marimbas, xylophones, glockenspiels and glass bottles, played with precision and evenness by NYWO’s very able percussion section. The instrumental sounds are used antiphonally, creating a rich tapestry of sound across the ensemble as a whole. There were some particularly well played moments by the tuba and saxophone sections. Later moments of the piece reminded me a little of Khachaturian, somewhat fittingly for this otherwise Russian-themed first half.
For me, the most impressive performance of the evening was young soloist Philip Cobb’s rendition of the Arutunian Trumpet Concerto. Cobb’s sound is beautiful, enhanced with subtle use of tone colours and an instinctive sense of musicianship. This was a breathtaking performance, full of youthful energy and a driving commitment to the music. Technically perfect and polished, one would be forgiven for imagining that a seasoned international soloist was performing. The muted slow movement was atmospheric and wonderfully phrased, showing that Cobb has a dazzling career ahead of him. The orchestra accompanied with sensitivity and a good understanding of the style. With young performers such as this (Cobb is still a student at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama), the future of classical music is in safe hands.
In the second half, we were treated to an engaging performance of Janàček’s Sinfonietta, in the arrangement for wind orchestra by Michael Round. This was a powerful rendition, once again displaying the strength of the brass section, with prominent moments for the very young-looking trombone and tuba sections. A bank of trumpets stood at the back of the orchestra, making a wonderful sound in the fanfare moments. This is an exciting work, and NYWO was more than capable of achieving the dynamic range it requires. Their playing was highly convincing throughout, and it was easy to forget when hearing them play that they are ‘just’ a youth orchestra.
The performers, managers and staff of NYWO deserve to be rightfully proud of their work over the last few days to produce playing of this quality. Wind Orchestra music in this country is alive and well, and what better an ambassador than young players with this level of dedication and commitment? Don’t miss the orchestra’s 40th Anniversary concert on 10th August this year at St John’s Smith Square, conducted by James Gourlay.
Saturday November 17 at 7.30, Little St Mary’s Church Cambridge
City of Cambridge Band, Patron: James MacMillan
Peter Bassano - conductor, Mike Lovatt - trumpet, Gordon Campbell - trombone (BBC Radio Big Band), Gareth Stuart and Julio d'Escrivan - electronics
- Hector Berlioz: Beatrice & Benedict
- Gustav Holst: Moorside Suite
- Tim Souster: Echoes for Band and Live Electronics
- James MacMillan: Festival Fanfares
- Robin Holloway: Men Marching
- John Ireland: Elegy
- Chris Batchelor: Weasel Words & Winning Ways for Jazz Trumpet and Jazz Trombone
- Edward Gregson: Plantagenets
Wednesday November 28 at 7.30, Jacqueline du Pré Concert Hall, Oxford
Oxford University Sinfonietta, Patron: Esa-Pekka Salonen
Peter Bassano - conductor, Gabriella Swallow - 'cello
- Harrison Birtwistle: Carmen arcadiae mechanicae perpetuum
- Huw Watkins: Sonata for cello and eight instruments
- Ivor Bonnici: Three movements for chamber orchestra (world premiere)
- Igor Stravinsky: Suite from Pulcinella
Saturday December 1 at 7.30, St Mary’s Church, Wendover
Wendover Choral Society, Patron: Sir Thomas Allen
Peter Bassano - conductor, Brass 10, Claire Jones - harp (HRH Prince of Wales Harpist), Nicholas Chalmers - organ (Westminster Abbey), Kate Thomas and Amy Wood - sopranos, Alexandra Tiffin - mezzo
- Benjamin Britten: Ceremony of Carols
- John Rutter: Gloria
Esa-Pekka Salonen accepts Patronage of Oxford University Sinfonietta
The Oxford University Music Society is delighted to announe that Esa-Pekka Salonen has accepted the invitation of Peter Bassano (Music Director, OUS) to become Patron of the Orchestra. This is a particularly appropriate appointment since Salonen's own musical ideals compliment those of the OUS.
Salonen (born Finland 1958) studied horn, conducting and composing at the conservatory in Helsinki during the 1970s. He initially considered himself to be a conducting composer, until in 1983 he undertook a performance of Mahler's third symphony with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London at short notice and became a composing conductor virtually overnight. Some twenty years later, alongside his international conducting career, he has preserved his individual voice as a composer and each new work is eagerly awaited.
Principal conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1984-1995 and music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra since 1992, Salonen is renowned for his dedication to performing and recording contemporary music. His 1985 world premiere recording of Witold Lutoslawski's Symphony No. 3 won the 1985 Gramophone Award for Best Contemporary Recording. Salonen conducted the première of Lutoslawski's Symphony No. 4 in Los Angeles.
Using a small number of the very best players in the University, the Oxford University Sinfonietta performs small-scale and chamber orchestra repertoire. Aiming to mix Classical and contemporary repertoire, recent Sinfonietta concerts included music by Adams, Britten, Gluck, Haydn, Lutoslawski, Martin, Messiaen, Maxwell Davies, MacMillan, Mozart, Purcell, Stravinsky and Tippett for ensembles of ten to thirty players. A number of the performances have been Oxford or England premières. OU Sinfonietta's last concert was on Saturday 3rd March, 8pm in the Wesley Memorial Church with piano soloist Jessica Chan conducted by Peter Bassano in a programme of Revueltas: Homage to Lorca; Janacek: Capriccio; Mozart: Symphony no. 39 in E flat major, K543 and Rautavaara (Salonen's Finnish composition teacher): Cantus Arcticus: Concerto for Birds and Orchestra.
James MacMillan to become Patron of the City of Cambridge Band
The City of Cambridge Band is delighted to announce that James MacMillan, the eminent Scottish composer has accepted the Band's invitation to become its Patron.
Mr MacMillan was approached about the position by Peter Bassano, the Band's Musical Director who was appointed in the spring since which time the Band has pursued a more serious artistic policy than that normally associated with bands. The Band has quickly set up over the next year, a series of eleven church concerts throughout Cambridgeshire with programmes which are weightier than usual but so far have proved to be highly appreciated by the audiences.
The Band is particularly keen to promote concerts of good contemporary band music much of which remains rarely, if ever performed in concert. Cambridge is an obvious place where this music, carefully programmed might resurface and still attract a respectable audience. Along with retaining the Band's core audience for lighter music, Peter Bassano is anxious that the Band should quickly become identified with the more profound side of the repertoire and believes that James Macmillan's patronage will go a long way to help achieve that.
Peter Bassano, a former Head of Brass at the Royal College of Music comments:
"Some twenty five years ago when I was trombone player with the newly formed brass quintet Equale Brass we asked Sir David Willcocks to become the quintet's Patron. There were two reasons for asking Sir David, I knew him well because he was Director of the Royal College of Music where I was a professor and secondly because both of our trumpet players - John Wallace and John Miller - had been undergraduates at King's College when Sir David was organist and choir master there. We discovered that having a well known patron gave a respectability to an otherwise unknown ensemble and helped to be taken seriously in more elevated musical circles.
When I started conducting a few years later, as a conductor of Besses' o' th' Barn Band I asked Simon Rattle to become Besses' Patron, which he did, (as far as I know, he still is); as a result several festival engagements came our way and I was able to commission new works from Tim Souster, Joe Horovitz, and Andrew Powell. When I was at the RCM further commissions for band were provided by Chris Batchelor, Simon Dobson and Gabriela Swallow. More recently, Sir Thomas Allen, an old friend became Patron of my Wendover Choral Society, having his name associated with WCS has helped enormously with raising the Choir's artistic profile and, I believe fund-raising too. In the case of Sir Thomas he has helped in a practical way too by last year singing the role of Don Giovanni at a WCS concert.
I couldn't be more thrilled by James' acceptance of the Band's offer to become Patron. As a composer and conductor I hold him in the highest esteem. I have worked with him on many occasions, the first time at the Edinburgh Festival when he conducted my old orchestra, the Philharmonia in his formidible Confession of Isobel Gowdie during the same Festival I heard concert of choral music - a retrospective of his output from student days, all most impressive.
James was appointed Director of the Music of Today series of pre-Royal Festival Hall contemporary concerts designed to whet the appetite of a conventional symphony orchestra audience for modern music. Last year I collaborated with him for concerts as part of the Aldburgh Easter Festival in works by Debussy, Britten, Mozart - MacMillan's Seven Last Words From The Cross and the brass work Adam's Rib. As well as Adam's Rib James has already written a number of works for brass including early brass band work Festival Fanfares I hope that he might eventually find time to revisit the medium."