LSO Discovery

Lunchtime Concert
Friday 16 July 2021 12.30pm

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Friday 16 July 2021, 12.30 to 1.15pm
LSO Discovery Lunchtime Concert:
LSO Soundhub

Jasmin Kent Rodgman The Spell and the Promise* (world premiere with live audience)
Electra Perivolaris Glen Sannox River Song (world premiere)
Darren Bloom Rising* (world premiere with live audience)
Ben Gaunt Nothing Else Exists (world premiere)
Carlos Simon stir crazy (UK premiere)

Gareth Davies flute
Fenella Humphreys violin
Rachel Leach presenter

LSO Soundhub is generously supported by Susie Thomson and The Garrick Charitable Trust.

*Commissioned by Brookfield Properties in collaboration with the London Symphony Orchestra and Culture Mile.

LSO St Luke's Jerwood Hall

© Matthew Weinreb

LSO St Luke's Jerwood Hall

© Matthew Weinreb

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Jasmin Kent Rodgman 

The Spell and the Promise

✒️ 2020 | ⏰5 minutes

Inspired by a locked-down city of London, The Spell and The Promise was originally a collaborative multidisciplinary project between Jasmin Kent Rodgman, filmmaker Lexi Kiddo and Gareth Davies, LSO Principal Flute. 

The piece and film unravel like a contemporary fairytale, with the flute casting a spell over the city. The film's two dancers performed at London Wall Place, where ancient and modern architecture collide. 

Being emptier than usual, the space had a beautiful resonance to it, and we wanted to replicate that sensation within the music. The first half of the piece is inspired by the juxtaposition of the city buildings’ exposed, angular lines against the softness of water, light and the Roman wall, which felt very powerful to me. The flute’s rising melodies then invite audiences to take stock, reflect and celebrate the lifeblood of the area, with a promise and hope of better times to come.

Note by Jasmin Kent Rodgman

Co-commissioned by Culturemile London and Arts Brookfield with the London Symphony Orchestra.

Jasmin Kent Rodgman

Composer Jasmin Kent Rodgman

British-Malaysian artist, composer and producer Jasmin Kent Rodgman brings together the contemporary classical, electronic and sound art worlds to create distinctive soundscapes and musical identities. She is a regular collaborator across various art forms including dance, word, film and virtual reality. 

Her work has been performed across the UK and internationally with partners including the LSO, London Sinfonietta, London Fashion Week, World Music Festival Shanghai, Edinburgh International Festival, Wilderness Festival, Bush Theatre and Roundhouse. Her film scores have most recently been featured on BBC Four’s Lights Up, BBC Arts Culture in Quarantine, and at both Sundance and SXSW Film Festival.

In 2018/19 she was a British Council and PRS Foundation Musician in Residence: China, and in 2017/18 an LSO Jerwood Composer. In 2020/21 she was the recipient of PRS Foundation's Women Make Music and Open Fund, Help Musicians Do It Differently, Sound and Music, and Bagri Foundation Awards.

Electra Perivolaris

Glen Sannox River Song

✒️ 2021 | ⏰5 minutes

Glen Sannox River Song is influenced by the landscape and song traditions of my home on the Scottish Isle of Arran. The structure of the piece follows the undulating shape of the Glen Sannox river which runs between the mountains in the north of Arran. The reinventions of the melodic lines trace the bends and curves in the river as it flows down from its high mountain source.

In Glen Sannox River Song I experiment with the use of the voice of the flautist over played pitch. There is a process of growth through the piece, as the call-and-response textures become faster with increasing ornamentation and intensity. The central melodic line reinvents itself over these cycles of dialogue, moving between unison calls and the answering lines in the interweaving voices of the congregation.

The constancy of the flowing river and the endless cycles of melodic reinvention and transformation might bring new reflections from the natural surroundings of my home into the urban surroundings of LSO St Luke’s as the area undergoes a process of reinvention, emerging out of the pandemic.

Note by Electra Perivolaris

Electra Perivolaris

Described as a ‘Classical Star of the Future’ in a BBC Introducing article, Electra Perivolaris (b 1996) is a composer and pianist from Scotland of mixed British and Greek heritage.

Following success in the BBC Young Composers’ Competition 2014, Electra has had her music performed across the UK and internationally by musicians of the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Hebrides Ensemble, BBC Singers, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and BBC Concert Orchestra. She is Ambassador for the BBC Young Composer Scheme and she is currently writing for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra as part of their New Stories scheme.

She was chosen to represent her generation of female composers in a new commission for BBC Radio 3 and the BBC Singers, as part of the Seven Ages of Woman commission for International Women’s Day 2020. This year she was commissioned by BBC Radio 3 to compose a new piece for the BBC Concert Orchestra, which will be premiered soon. Electra’s recent commission from the Aurora Orchestra was described as ‘a beautiful musical image of Wordsworthian pantheism, created by a razor-sharp musical imagination’ by Ivan Hewett in the Telegraph.

Electra is graduating from the Masters of Music in Composition course at the Royal Academy of Music, where she has been supported by full scholarships from the RAM Trust, RVW Trust and Scottish International Education Trust. She has won the DipRAM Prize in Composition. She graduated from the BMus course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with Double First Class Honours in Composition and Piano, winning the Patron’s Fund Prize for Composition (Royal College of Music) and an Endorsement in Music Education with Distinction. In October she will commence studies on the MSt in Music (Composition) course at the University of Oxford, as well as starting a fellowship at the Royal Academy of Music.

Darren Bloom


✒️ 2020 | ⏰5 minutes

If I learned anything from the lockdown period, it’s that my most deeply felt purpose for being a composer is to communicate, and without that I am lost for words (or notes). This commission effectively stirred me from what felt like an enforced hibernation and gave me the opportunity to rise and speak to the frustrations and fears that artists – and many others – have been feeling. All the more fitting that this project originally brought together artists from the worlds of music, dance and film.

The piece heard today was originally written for a film created during lockdown, celebrating the creative energy of the City of London. The filming location - atop a skyscraper overlooking all of London - made me feel like I was reaching out, expressing both our shared feelings, as well as my personal hopefulness that there is light at the end of this tunnel and that soon we will once again find ourselves stirred by the many great artists that still lie dormant and muted in this great city.

Note by Darren Bloom

Co-commissioned by Culturemile London and Arts Brookfield with the London Symphony Orchestra.

Darren Bloom

Composer Darren Bloom

Darren Bloom is a composer, conductor, producer and educator. Described in The Times as ‘almost mystical… a genuine frisson’, Darren’s music is noted for its combination of ‘evocative harmony’ and ‘raw power’. His recent chamber symphony, Dr Glaser’s Experiment, commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra for their 2016 Futures Festival, was praised in The Arts Desk as a ‘confident answer to the question: How can an orchestra perform the music of the future?’. Darren’s chamber work Strange Attractors was selected by the UK panel of the International Society for Contemporary Music to represent the UK, and his chamber opera KETTLEHEAD was created as part of his second year of residence with the LSO as a member of the LSO Soundhub Scheme. Recent projects included a curated set for New Dots’ Curiouser event, which incorporated his new work Alice’s Dream Fragments for the Octandre Ensemble, and Borexino-Borealis, a commission from the Park Lane Group for the Borealis Saxophone Quartet. Darren is one of the current winners of the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize resulting in a commission for the 2017 Cheltenham Festival.

Darren is a founding member and conductor/creative producer of the Ossian Ensemble with whom he has given the premieres of dozens of new works over the past decade. Other conducting highlights include a performance of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ Five Klee Pictures in the presence of the composer, recording music for BBC4 documentaries, directing several youth new music ensembles, including the Composers Ensemble at Junior Trinity, and working for the past four years as a conductor for the LSO Soundhub Scheme.

Darren studied composition with Edwin Roxburgh, Brian Elias and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, and conducting with Neil Thompson, Edwin Roxburgh and Christopher Austin. He was awarded a DipRAM and the Manson Fellowship from the Royal Academy of Music as well as recently being appointed an Associate of the RAM. In 2015 he commenced an AHRC funded PhD in Composition at the University of Cambridge under the supervision of Richard Causton.

Ben Gaunt

Nothing Else Exists

✒️ 2021 | ⏰5 minutes

I have OCD, and recent pieces have been an attempt to either soothe the repetitive thought patterns or make use of them, compositionally speaking. Consequently, my music is often quite recursive and full of superimposed processes and patterns.

The title of the work is, I suppose, an indication of how I wrote the piece. Nothing else exists except for the music; I did not think about what my old composition teachers, funding bodies, audiences, or critics might think. I listened only to my inner ear and my OCD, and let these be my guide.

The title of the work is, also, an instruction to the performer: nothing else exists apart from the section, the phrase, the note they are playing in any particular moment.

Finally, the title is a guide to the listener. Please, don't expect any sense of development or climax. Just enjoy each sound as it happens, because nothing else exists.

Note by Ben Gaunt

Ben Gaunt

Composer Ben Gaunt

Ben Gaunt is a Yorkshire-based composer, pianist, and educator. He is principal lecturer at Leeds Conservatoire, and and also teaches at Open College of the Arts. He studied at the Royal Northern College of Muic, Manchester Metropolitan University, and the University of Sheffield. His music is regularly played by established soloists and ensembles in the UK, Europe, and further afield. His music has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, published by UYMP, and recorded by NMC. In 2017, Ben was shortlisted for a British Composer Award.

Carlos Simon

stir crazy

✒️ 2020 | ⏰3 minutes

Composed in 2020, stir crazy was written in direct response to the Covid crisis. With lockdowns came concert cancellations, and thousands of musicians were forced out of work. In response to this, the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music asked 65 composers to donate their time to create new work for the ‘performers-in-need’, allowing the musicians to perform and the organisation to raise awareness and funds. Simon collaborated virtually with flautist Stacey Pelinka and violinist Joseph Edelberg to create this energetic little showpiece.

Note by Rachel Leach

stir crazy by Carlos Simon
Copyright © 2020 by CSJr. Music (ASCAP). All Rights Reserved. Sole Agent: Bill Holab Music

Carlos Simon

Composer Carlos Simon

© Terrance Ragland

© Terrance Ragland

Carlos Simon is a multi-faceted and highly sought-after composer, whose music ranges from concert music for large and small ensembles to film scores with influences of jazz, gospel, and neo-romanticism. Recently announced as Composer in Residence at the Kennedy Center for the 2021/22 Season, Carlos’s commissioning highlights include premiere works with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Opera, Philadelphia Orchestra, and Washington National Opera. The Philadelphia Enquirer described his music as ​'perfectly engaging and propulsive'.

Simon’s latest album My Ancestor’s Gift, which was released in April 2018 on Navona Records, epitomises his work incorporating spoken word and historic recordings alongside traditional classical music, crafting a multi-faceted record that speaks to audiences past and future.

In 2017, Carlos Simon joined the inaugural class of the Gabriela Lena Frank Academy of Music. He then went on to be named a Sundance/​Time Warner Composer Fellow in 2018, seeing him work at the legendary Skywalker Ranch and he was a recipient of the Sphinx Medal of Excellence in 2021.

Artist Biographies

Gareth Davies
LSO Principal Flute

Gareth Davies joined the LSO in 2000 and has also served as Chair of the Orchestra. As well as playing, he enjoys LSO Discovery work and has devised several projects which have been performed in London and the US. His book, The Show Must Go On, was a book of the year in the Financial Times and Classical Music magazine. He has written and presented programmes on Classic FM and BBC Radio 3, and is also in demand as a teacher and performer around the world.

Flautist Gareth Davies

Fenella Humphreys

© Mat Smith

Winner of the 2018 BBC Music Magazine Instrumental Award, violinist Fenella Humphreys enjoys a busy career focusing on chamber music and solo work. A champion of new and unknown music, a number of eminent British composers have written for Fenella. Works include a set of six works for solo violin from composers including Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Sally Beamish and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. She has been fortunate to record these over two critically acclaimed CDs for Champs Hill Records, both chosen by BBC Music Magazine as instrumental disc of the month with five-star reviews, and the second also picked as Editor’s Choice in Gramophone magazine. Described on BBC Radio 3’s Record Review as an ‘absolutely exquisite album’, and a Recommended Recording in the Strad magazine, Fenella’s CD So Many Stars with Nicola Eimer was released on Stone Records in early 2019. She then released her Max Richter: Four Seasons Recomposed album on Rubicon Classics which was chosen as BBC Music Magazine’s Concerto Choice, Scala’s Album of the Week and included in Apple Music’s Classical A-List.

Her latest album, which features Sibelius' Violin Concerto Op 47 and Humoresques Op 87 and 89, was released in April 2021 to great acclaim and was also chosen as Scala's Album of the Week. Fenella’s teachers have included Sidney Griller CBE, Itzhak Rashkovsky, Ida Bieler and David Takeno, studying at the Purcell School, Guildhall School, and the Robert-Schumann-Hochschule in Düsseldorf, where she graduated with the highest attainable marks.

Violinist Fenella Humphreys

© Mat Smith

© Mat Smith

About LSO Soundhub

LSO Soundhub provides a flexible environment where composers can experiment with new ideas, while benefiting from access to vital resources and support from industry professionals, LSO musicians and staff.

The scheme is composer-led: it is designed to respond directly to the needs of those using it, by offering a supportive framework for artists to try out new ideas, develop existing work and benefit from peer-to-peer networking and support.

The aim is to allow composers to explore and develop their practice. Their time on the scheme does not necessarily need to result in a finished product; the focus is on demonstrating learning and development through the creative process.

© Neil Wilkinson

© Neil Wilkinson

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Save the Date:
Next Lunchtime Concert

Friday 10 September 12.30pm

Programme to include music by Ethel Smyth, Borodin and Leroy Anderson, curated by Sarah Quinn, LSO First Violin.

Members of the LSO String Experience Scheme

Rachel Leach presenter

LSO Soundhub Showcase: Phase II
Saturday 17 July 2021, LSO St Luke's

A chance to hear more new music from cutting-edge composers who have been supported by the LSO Soundhub Scheme. Including world premieres by Clare Elton and Ruaidhrí Mannion, current composers on Phase II of the scheme.

Expect an evening bursting with bold sounds and fresh ideas.

Book tickets in advance online to join us in the Jerwood Hall. Or watch the concert streamed live on YouTube (also available afterwards on demand).

The London Symphony Orchestra is hugely grateful to all the Patrons and Friends, Corporate Partners, Trusts and Foundations, and other supporters who make its work possible.

The LSO's return to work is generously supported by DnaNudge.