LSO Discovery

Free Friday Lunchtime Concert


Valerie Coleman Umoja
Sally Beamish The Naming of Birds
Jacques Ibert Trois pièces brèves

Haizea Ensemble:
Samantha Rowe  flute
Daisy Lihoreau  oboe
Beñat Erro Díez  clarinet
Izzy Cave  bassoon
Niamh Rodgers  horn
Rachel Leach presenter


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Valerie Coleman (b 1970)


✒️ 2019 | ⏰3 minutes

Flautist and composer Valerie Coleman was named Top Classical Woman of the Year by Performance Today in 2020 and one of the top 35 female composers in the world by The Washington Post. Born in Louisville, Kentucky in the same suburb as Mohammed Ali, Coleman was raised by her mother and sisters after her father’s sudden death. She says she was fascinated by the flute as a toddler and would pick up sticks and twigs in the garden and try to play them. She started composing at a young age too and had completed three symphonies by the age of 14. Umoja is her signature composition. It was originally written in 2001 for women’s choir to celebrate the first day of Kwanzaa, an annual celebration of African-American culture. It now exists in many different variations. The title translates as ‘unity’.

Note by Rachel Leach

Sally Beamish (b 1956)

The Naming of the Birds

✒️ 2001 | ⏰15 minutes

1 Perdix perdix (partridge)
2 Vanellus vanellus (lapwing)
3 Carduelis cannabina, emberiza calendra (linnet, corn bunting)
4 Tyto alba (barn owl)
5 Pyrrhula pyrrhula (bullfinch)

Sally Beamish is an English violist and composer who was awarded an OBE in Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's 2020 Birthday Honours for services to music. Born and raised in London, she is now much more closely associated with Scotland where she made her name. In 2000 while working on an oratorio, Sally became fascinated with a list of Latin bird names in the text that she was setting. She says she was particularly intrigued by how closely their names matched the sound they made and she started to notate their birdsong. This quickly turned into a five-movement piece. Each movement represents one bird with one of the instruments having a more prominent part, as follows:
1 – horn
2 – oboe
3 – flute, piccolo
4 – bassoon
5 – clarinet

Note by Rachel Leach

Jacques Ibert (1890 to 1962)

Trois pièces brèves

✒️ 1930 | ⏰7 minutes

1 Allegro
2 Andante
3 Assez lent – Allegro scherzando

Jacques Ibert was a French composer whose career covered a lot of different genres – ballet, opera and music for plays and films. He was born into a wealthy family and had piano and violin lessons from the age of four. He then played the piano for silent films before entering the Paris Conservatoire and winning the prestigious scholarship Prix de Rome on his first attempt, despite the horrors of World War I interrupting his studies. These ‘three short pieces’ were written in 1930 as incidental music to a comedy play about two scheming brothers trying to get rich quick by marriage. The Allegro matches the mood of the play and is fast and farcical. The Andante is a lullaby for flute and clarinet with the rest of the ensemble joining at the end. The finale (Assez lent – Allegro scherzando) begins seriously before turning into a witty dance.

Note by Rachel Leach

About the Artists

Haizea Ensemble

The Haizea Ensemble was founded at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in 2019. Since then, the ensemble has been active both within the School and outside of it, performing in venues around the UK including Cornwall, Coll, Devon, Cambridge and London. The Haizea Ensemble has run workshops around the country in primary schools and music academies.

They are also regularly invited to perform at livery dinners and events for the Lord Mayor in Mansion House and Goldsmiths' Hall.

Alongside these engagements, the ensemble takes great pride in having worked with many composers (both upcoming young composers and those established in the industry) and premiering their works.

In June 2023, the Haizea Ensemble received mentoring from Tim Brown, Ralph de Souza and Jonathan Tunnell on the Isle of Coll, Scotland. During this time, the quintet was involved in performances as part of the Tunnell Trust Music Course. They are looking forward to their upcoming concerts in Cambridge and Cork.

Wind quintet Haizea Ensemble

Rachel Leach


© Kevin Leighton

Rachel Leach was born in Sheffield. She studied composition, and her music has been recorded by NMC and published by Faber. She has won several awards including, with English Touring Opera (ETO), the RPS award for best education project 2009 for One Day, Two Dawns.

Rachel has worked within the education departments of most of the UK’s orchestras and opera companies. The majority of her work is for the London Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Rachel has written well over 20 pieces for LSO Discovery and 15 community operas, including seven for ETO.

Increasingly in demand as a concert presenter, as well as presenting the LSO Discovery Free Friday Lunchtime Concert series, she regularly presents children’s concerts and pre-concert events for the LSO, LPO, Philharmonia Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal College of Music and Royal Northern Sinfonia.

Rachel Leach

© Kevin Leighton

© Kevin Leighton

Next Friday Lunchtime Concert

Friday 17 November 2023

Relaxed Performance

Johann Sebastian Bach Badinerie from Orchestral Suite No 2 in B minor
Christoph Willibald Gluck arr Mike Magatagan Dance of the Blessed Spirits from Orfeo ed Euridice
Turlough O'Carolan Concerto
Claude Debussy Syrinx
Benjamin Godard Waltz from Trois pièces brèves
plus a selection of Irish jigs, reels and hornpipes

Patricia Moynihan flute
Sophia Rahman piano

Angie Newman BSL interpreter
Rachel Leach presenter

Relaxed concerts are particularly suitable for individuals or groups who feel more comfortable attending concerts in a relaxed environment. Everyone is welcome, including people who have sensory and communication impairments, learning disabilities, or who are neurodiverse.