I thought January was a big month for me, but February has totally exceeded it in many ways! Maybe it's just that time of year when everyone's thoughts turn to new music, or maybe I've just hit a purple patch in my career. Either way there was a whole load of tremendously exciting news this month.
London Consorts of Winds have shortlisted me for the final of their composition competition. My new piece for wind nonet will be premiered in London on the 8th March (International Womens' Day - woop!) and I also had my piece "Fist In The Air selected to be workshopped (with an eye to a performance in the Autumn) by their sister ensemble - London Contemporary Chamber Orchestra. Here's a picture of them rehearsing my piece, and a link to the score video on YouTube:
Then there's the prizes. A pair of first place prizes from the Woman's Orchestra of Arizona (Khodahafez for String Orchestra) and Brixworth Music Festival (Canons & Inventions for Organ) were unexpected but very welcome successes. I'm looking forward to hearing my pieces performed in March & May respectively. I've been short-listed for a couple more, so I'm just waiting to hear how they turn out. I won't pretend otherwise - it's such an amazing boost to my confidence as a composer (and generally as a person) to be winning prizes across the world like this. It gives me some strength to carry on, anyway.
And then the commissions. Skipton Camerata (pictured above) have commissioned a major new orchestral work from me to open their 2020-21 season in the reopened Skipton Town Hall. Dates and info to follow. Olyver New Music Collective (who are playing my piece Rhakasa Tuphani in May) have commissioned a new trio from me for their 2020-21 season - for the unusual combination of Oboe D'Amore, Harp & Viola. I've promised them something "jazzy". Then New York-based The Brass Project decided they wanted to go with my proposal for a piece, which is a really exciting opportunity. Finally Newbury Chamber Choir have asked me to direct them in a concert of my own Schubert arrangements and orchestrations, plus original works by Thomas Carr, Ben Gaunt, Angela Slater, Des Oliver & myself. Gosh!
So, a busy time ahead. Next month I think there's 13 performances of my music going on around the world, so I hope to do a "BUMPER BLOG" for March with a whole load of reviews, videos and pictures. I'll leave this month's blog with a link to an article which has ruffled a couple of feathers!