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Saturday 23 October 7.30–9.15pm
The Diasporic Quartets
Excerpts from the documentary ‘Identity and the Anxiety of Influence: What Does It Mean To Be A Black Composer?’ (re-edited)
Des Oliver HERBERT and Dear Tunde,… from 'The Diasporic Quartets (portraits in four movements)' (world premiere)
Philip Herbert In Contemplation (world premiere)
Daniel Kidane Foreign Tongues
Dominique Le Gendre Le Génie Humain
Tunde Jegede Quartet No 2 – Reflecting on Beethoven Opus 18 No 2
Darragh Morgan violin
Sarah Quinn violin
Anna Bastow viola
Eve-Marie Caravassilis cello
LSO Jerwood Composer+ is generously supported by Jerwood Arts.
Identity and the Anxiety of Influence was commissioned by Sound and Music for the British Music Collection.
This performance is streamed live on the LSO's YouTube channel and will be available to watch on demand afterwards.
About the Scheme
LSO Jerwood Composer+ supports early career composers in programming, planning and delivering chamber-scale concerts in the Jerwood Hall at LSO St Luke’s, including work of their own developed through the scheme.
Two composers each year develop two concerts over a 16-month placement. Mentored by key LSO staff, they build skills and experience in programming, event planning, budgeting, marketing, fundraising and evaluation.
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Excerpts from ‘Identity and the Anxiety of Influence: What Does It Mean To Be A Black Composer?’ (re-edited)
HERBERT and Dear Tunde,… from 'The Diasporic Quartets (portraits in four movements)'
✒️2021 |⏰10 minutes
Dear Tunde, …
Inspired by his online documentary, Des Oliver's The Diasporic Quartets is a collection of portrait movements dedicated to four composers who featured in the series Identity and the Anxiety of Influence.
The quartet draws inspiration from the music and personalities of four UK-based composers – Tunde Jegede, Philip Herbert, Dominique Le Gendre and Daniel Kidane – and serves as Des Oliver's musical response to the underlying themes explored in the documentary, namely influence and heritage.
'When making the series and speaking with these four remarkable, and remarkably varied, composers, I realised there was still much more for me to explore. I was profoundly inspired to continue the discussion through music. My quartet also serves as a thank you to them, for their willingness to discuss the complex relationship that composers of colour often have with the world of Western classical music generally, as well as their willingness to share with me the roles that 'heritage' and 'influence' play in their music.
The quartet was the ideal format for this exploration since the instrumentation leaves little room for the composer to hide. I believe this has always been true for composers since quartets have a way of reducing one's musical language to their essential 'roots'. It was also an interesting point of synergy given that 'heritage, ie roots' was one of the central themes of the documentary'.
Note by Des Oliver
Des Oliver studied composition at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with Robert Saxton and Simon Bainbridge. He won a Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music with Steve Martland, has had Masterclasses with Thomas Adés, Nicholas Maw, the BBC Singers, Paavo Heininen, Paul Rouders, Simone Fontanelli and participated in the 2015 composer-choreographer collaboration funded by the RPS Drummond Fund at Rambert Dance Company. He has taught composition at Brunel University, Magdalen College, St John’s, St Hugh’s, Christ Church, Exeter, and University College, Oxford and was a Senior Lecturer in composition and music production at the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM), Guildford. He completed his doctorate in composition and critical writing at Worcester College, Oxford and was recently appointed as one of the composers for Jerwood Composer+ at the London Symphony Orchestra.
Commissions include works for The Bach Choir and Faust Chamber Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Pegasus Opera Company, Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra, Ensemble Isis and All India Radio Artist Shruti Jauhari, The Fusion Project’s Janan Sathiendran and a short opera by the Tête á Tête Opera Company in collaboration with librettist Meredith Oakes, reviewed by the Observer, Independent and Telegraph. Works for international soloists include Clio Gould and Chinese accordionist (winner of 27th IBLA international music competition) Mingyuan Ruan. His music has been performed at the British Music Collection, South Bank Centre (Park Lane Group Young Composer’s Symposium), Bridewell Theatre, Battersea Arts Centre, Sheldonian Theatre, Holywell Music Room, Greenwich Theatre, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and Chelmsford Music Festival.
Theatre scores include Euripides’ Bacchae at the Oxford Playhouse (Oxford Greek Play 2017). International performances include Wegelius Hall in Helsinki, Pärnu Music Festival in Estonia, Akademie múzickych umeni in Prague and at the II Música Nueva Málaga International Festival in Spain (2009) with soloist Emil Sein, Dino Ghezzo and choreographer Lisa Naugle. Des'piece, Dionysian Rivers Flow Through Me, was selected for the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC) 2018 in Daegu, South Korea.
✒️2020 | ⏰5 minutes
In Contemplation is a piece which explores the challenge of deep reflective thought that is thwarted by continual distractions, before being able to return to the original thoughts for contemplation. The musical narrative of the piece is a series of themes which eventually are interrupted by a strident theme, after which new material follows.
Structurally, the piece is in ternary form: it starts in A minor, a middle section is in C major, then it returns to A minor. The opening theme is set against intense dissonances supplied by the cello and viola. This theme becomes slightly varied and yet another theme dialogues with it, almost like a distraction.
The music settles into another theme, played by the viola and then cello, which is accompanied by the supporting strings. The strident, interrupting theme takes us into C major, and something much more restful, that is soon to change. A variation of a previous theme, played by the viola and cello is presented, accompanied by strings. The interrupting theme appears again and takes us back to the opening musical ideas. The original train of thought has been resumed!
Note by Philip Herbert
Philip Herbert studied music in the UK and in the US and has been active as an educator, musician and composer in a portfolio career. He has taught music at secondary and university levels, as well as having worked with some of Britain’s finest musicians to create courses, masterclasses, workshops, residencies and projects for people of all abilities, across an eclectic range of musical genres.
Philip has enjoyed music making through performing at the piano and composing. He has devised projects such as Lost Chords Unsung Songs, which toured across the UK, exploring chamber music and art songs of the Harlem Renaissance. He was invited by Academics at the University of Warwick to contribute to the Oxford University Press publication Black British History, where he wrote pieces about black composers.
Ballare To Dance was devised for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic Games and Internationalism in the East Midlands. In 2015, Chineke! Orchestra performed his piece Elegy in memoriam Stephen Lawrence in their inaugural concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre. Subsequently, it has been recorded and released on the NMC Recording label in January 2020.
Philip has written music for the film The Future, directed by Enrico Poli. The film was awarded first prize in the Visioni Italiano Film Festival, in the category, Visioni Acquatiche. Philip has also been commissioned to write music for EMI Music Production Company, which is due to be recorded in the near future. Some of his projects have been featured on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, Classic FM and BBC 2 TV.
✒️2015 | ⏰10 minutes
Written in the spring of 2015, amidst the UK election campaigns, Foreign Tongues explores a different way of looking at the standard string quartet setup. Envisaged as a work where the cello is pitted against the rest of the string players, the piece aims to explore the idea of different languages communicating and interacting with each other, sometimes at the same time. This idea stems from my own multilingual and multicultural background and seeks to look at these interactions I experienced growing up. In a more general sense the piece also acts to highlight the importance of multiculturalism and the need for open-mindedness towards other cultures.
Note by Daniel Kidane
Daniel Kidane‘s music has been performed extensively across the UK and abroad as well as being broadcast on BBC Radio 3, described by the Financial Times as ‘quietly impressive’ and by The Times as ‘tautly constructed’ and ’vibrantly imagined’.
Daniel began his musical education at the age of eight when he started playing the violin. He first received composition lessons at the Royal College of Music Junior Department and then went on to study privately in St Petersburg, receiving lessons in composition from Sergey Slonimsky. He completed his undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the RNCM under the tutelage of Gary Carpenter and David Horne.
Highlights include orchestral works Woke, which was premiered by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and chief conductor Sakari Oramo at the Last Night of the Proms in September 2019, and Zulu by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra; a new work for the CBSO Youth Orchestra, which is inspired by Grime music; a chamber work for the Cheltenham Festival which draws inspiration from Jungle music and a new type of vernacular; a song cycle commissioned by Leeds Lieder and inspired by the poetry of Ben Okri; and a new piece entitled Dream Song for the baritone Roderick Williams and the Chineke! Orchestra which was played at the reopening of the Queen Elizabeth Hall in April 2018.
Recent works premiered during the Covid-19 lockdowns include The Song Thrush and The Mountain Ash for Huddersfield Choral Society with text by Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, Dappled Light for Maxine Kwok and Julián Gil Rodríguez for the LSO's Summer Shorts concert series; Christus factus est for Merton College Choir recorded for Delphian; and Be Still for the Manchester Camerata, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and received further international premieres by the San Francisco Symphony, the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris. His most recent work Revel, inspired by Manchester Carnival, was commissioned by the BBC Proms for the Kanneh-Mason family, and premiered in August 2021.
Dominique Le Gendre
Le Génie Humain
✒️2013 | ⏰10 minutes
Esclave sur le sol oú l’étreint la matière
Son esprit dans la nuit va chercher la lumière.
Earthbound and enslaved to matter is our plight
Through darkness our spirit will reach for the light.
Emile Louis Picault, sculptor, 1833–1915
This French couplet was engraved on the base of a sculpture with which I grew up in the family home in Trinidad, and which had been in my mother’s home throughout her childhood in Martinique. The brass sculpture is of a winged man chained to a rock, his arms outstretched to the skies and body fully arched, one foot against the rock as though about to burst free from the chains.
This work was originally commissioned in 2013 by American conductor Marlon Daniel for a string quartet within his orchestra Ensemble du Monde. It was premiered in Nassau, The Bahamas in March 2013 at the first symposium on Caribbean Art Music convened by Professor Christine Ganglehoff and is dedicated to Marlon Daniel and Margo Picken.
The quartet treats each instrument as a vital element of the whole so that each voice is contributing an essential line to what appears to be the main melodic line.
The piece opens with the strings swaying between two notes that are either right next to each other or 15 tones apart but the interplay of these two notes sets each instrument in sympathetic vibration with each other. A melodic line appears in the first violin and is continued by the double bass while the second violin and viola continue to play with the two-note motif, pushing it rhythmically and melodically as far as is possible, exposing the tensions and friction as the melody soars higher and higher. Then a pizzicato motif introduces a return to the opening melody in the second violin that is repeated by the first violin as gradually each instrument resumes the climb to a higher plane where they all settle, steadily repeating as they decrease in volume, the height achieved.
Note by Dominique Le Gendre
Dominique Le Gendre
Born and brought up in Trinidad and Tobago, Dominique Le Gendre studied the classical guitar and cuatro from an early age. She trained as classical guitarist in Paris, France with Ramon de Herrera.
Based in London, UK, her musical trajectory has spanned performance, composition, musical direction, teaching, curation and producing music events. She has composed music for theatre, dance, art installations, film, television and radio drama for BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4. She composed and produced music for all 38 Shakespeare plays recorded for the audio CD collection, The Complete Arkangel Shakespeare, directed by Clive Brill.
Dominique is a former Associate Artist of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, which commissioned her full-length opera Bird of Night, directed by Irina Brown and premiered at the Linbury Theatre, and has been Associate Artist to the Manning Camerata. In August 2012, Dominique and Melanie Abrahams co-curated 'London is the Place for Me', a two week festival to celebrate Trinidad and Tobago's 50th Anniversary of Independence organised by the Trinidad and Tobago High Commission in London at the Tricycle Theatre.
In 2013, she co-founded StrongBack Productions, with writer Patricia Cumper. Dominique is now Artistic Director of the arts charity whose mission is to reveal the very best of Britain’s rich diversity and its shared history and culture with the Caribbean through the performing arts. The company’s motto is Go Brave.
She is currently developing two musicals for the UK stage and has just joined the roster of artists at Hennessey Brown Music.
Quartet No 2 – Reflecting on Beethoven Opus 18 No 2
✒️1999 | ⏰18 minutes
My Quartet No 2 is a highly rhythmically-driven piece which was inspired by Beethoven's String Quartet No 2, a major influence on the structure of the piece. Although it follows the same contours and form it is very different in musical style, language and content. This is one of my most post-modern works to date but the broad range of influences and references to traditional and folk music can still be heard within the piece.
I was invited by the Brodsky Quartet to write a piece in response to Beethoven's String Quartet No 2 as part of their millennium celebration project. But, how does one begin to interact with one of the milestones of the quartet repertoire? Having listened to it numerous times I decided I would follow the same journey of the piece but very much in my own way and language. Where he arrived at a waltz, I came to a reggae-influenced rhythmic motif; where he extended the parameters of harmonic possibilities of his period, I delved into more post-modern harmonic chordal structures. It was amazing how different the pieces turned out yet they are very closely aligned structurally, the more one looks into it in detail. The quartet themselves noticed this the more they played the pieces alongside one another.
Quartet No 2 was commissioned by the Brodsky Quartet for their Beethoven Opus 18 project and premiered at Cabot Hall, London on 10 March 1999. The piece recorded on the Vanguard label and has since been performed at international festivals and concert halls all over the world.
Note by Tunde Jegede
World-renowned composer, producer, cellist and kora virtuoso Tunde Jegede brings a new vision to contemporary African and Western classical music. A renaissance man of the harp-lute with over 20 years experience, his work is a unique synthesis of classical, jazz and traditional music and embodies the legacy of the idiom; African Classical Music.
Tunde studied both Western classical music and the Griot Tradition of West Africa from a very early age, attending the Purcell School of Music in London and learning from a Master of the Kora in the Gambia, Amadu Bansang Jobarteh. This cultural inheritance has since informed his work as a composer and multi-instrumentalist. With his music he has created a set of mirrors between the old and new world, between compositions for solo cello and kora.
Tunde Jegede is the founder of several ensembles including the Art Ensemble of Lagos and the African Classical Music Ensemble. He is also the curator of Living Legacies, Gambia's first traditional music archive, and the director of New Horizons, an educational initiative to develop young musicians in Nigeria. Over the last few years Tunde has been the Artistic Director of the MUSON Centre, one of West Africa's only music conservatoires that specialises in classical music. He consequently set up the NOK Foundation, a charitable organisation dedicated to raising consciousness through music, arts and culture.
Belfast born violinist and founder member of Fidelio Trio, Darragh Morgan has performed extensively throughout Europe, the US, Africa and Asia. He has performed concertos with orchestras including the European Union Chamber Orchestra, Istanbul Symphony, Cyprus Chamber Orchestra, Johannesburg Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Ulster Orchestra, RTE Concert Orchestra and Kolner Kammerorchester.
He regularly leads the London Sinfonietta and has also guest led the Philharmonia (Music of Today), Ensemble Modern, Musik Fabrik, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Remix Ensemble (Porto) and Athlesas Sinfonietta (Copenhagen).
LSO Sub-Principal Second Violin
Sarah Quinn began playing the violin at the age of eight. Keen to pursue a career in music, she moved to London to study at the Royal College of Music, where she was the recipient of many awards and prizes. Whilst a student at the RCM, Sarah was awarded a place on the LSO String Experience scheme. Sarah joined the LSO in 1998 having graduated from the RCM with distinction.
In addition to her busy schedule at the LSO, Sarah is in demand as a teacher and regularly tutors at the RCM, RAM and GSMD. She has also worked extensively with youth orchestras and is passionate about working with young musicians. Sarah is regularly involved with all aspects of LSO Discovery, working in schools and in the community. Sarah has also served as a Director on the Board of the LSO.
Anna Bastow grew up in East Yorkshire where she started learning the violin aged seven. She concurrently studied music at Manchester University and violin and viola at the Royal Northern College of Music. She then continued her viola studies with Predrag Katanic in Linz, Austria. Soon after graduating, she spent five years as Co-Principal Viola of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra before joining the LSO in 2011.
French-Guadeloupean-Greek cellist Eve-Marie Caravassilis became a member of the LSO in 2013, following seven years with the acclaimed French ensemble and BBC New Generation Artists Quatuor PSOPHOS, collaborating with renowned artists as Alina Ibragimova, Imogen Cooper, Renaud & Gautier Capucon, and the Ebene Quartet. She regularly performs as Guest Principal with numerous orchestras, including the English National Opera and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
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Feral: Enchantment on the Frontiers of Rewilding
Saturday 13 November 7.30pm, LSO St Luke's
Fellow Jerwood composer Hollie Harding curates an evening of music featuring the world premiere of her new work FERAL.
Film, field recordings and violin loudspeakers inspire an exploration of real and imaginary environments in this multimedia concert of works considering the complex relationship between humans, sounds and ecology.
Soweto Kinch: White Juju
Friday 19 November 7.30pm, Barbican
The LSO and composer/performer Soweto Kinch present the world premiere of his new piece White Juju, as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival.
Music written in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, Black British history and the past 18 months of lockdown, White Juju melds Kinch's distinctive approach to jazz, hip hop and classical music.