Posted by: Gavin | 14 October 2009 (All day)

Singer Pur, Villa I Tatti, Florence, Italy

I had written a madrigal (Book Four no.1) for the Villa I Tatti (The Harvard Centre for Italian Renaissance Studies) in 2004 and I was asked to write some pieces in memory of Craig Hugh Smyth, a former director, in whose name a new library was being opened. I wrote four pieces, two by Petrarch and one each by Bronzino (Craig Smyth's specialism) and Battiferri. It was good to have the chance at last to work with Singer Pur, who have sung pieces of mine before. We have been trying to get together for some time and this was the ideal opportunity.

Photo: Giovanni Trambusti

Posted by: Gavin | 3 October 2009 - 12:35pm

Leeds Lieder+, The Venue, Leeds
I had been commissioned to write four songs for the Leeds biennial lieder festival, Leeds Lieder+, and I set four poems by the Scottish poet George Bruce, whose work I have now set a number of times. The programme was curious in that it included works by Vaughan Williams, Gurney and others from the English "pastoral school" whose work has never interested me very much. I attended the concert where the performers, tenor James Gilchrist and pianist Julius Drake (who is artistic director of the festival) were absolutely terrific.