My compositions Turning Points and HengeMusic are successfully launched, and I’m working on getting more performances for both of them.
I’m currently working on Sterndale Bennett’s Piano Concerto in F minor, Number Four, for a performance on March 5th in Orpington (see my WSB page). I performed this forty years ago in Graz, when I was a student at the RAM, and in this Bicentenary Year I jumped at the chance to try it again, to test out some of the ideas about WSB performance that I’ve developed since then. I’m very grateful to Raymond Lewis and his Orpington Symphony Orchestra for exploring my ideas with such enthusiasm.
And I’m putting together the script for the first outing of Notes from the Piano Stool at the Pound in Corsham on March 19th. I’m including some pieces that no-one else plays – one’s by Elgar and another’s by Walton, believe it or not. And I shall be telling the unvarnished truth about Jon Vickers and the Tweed Jacket, Sir Peter Pears and the Power of Suggestion, and how I rode my motorbike up the A12 with a harp strapped to my back.
On a different note, I’m delighted to report that I was recently elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.
BBC 2 Television’s PromsExtra returned last year, with my Chord of the Week now transformed into Inside the Score, which gives me a wider brief, ranging from the necessary paradox of the Bach Chaconne to the unconscious minds of Irving Berlin & Jerome Kern. I started with a chord, though – all seven notes of the scale at once, in Beethoven 9. Followed by Holst, spelling his own name, the dance songs of Frank Sinatra, Britten on the beach at Aldeburgh, Tchaikovsky running in the wrong direction, Schubert grappling with technology, and When is a Chaconne not a chaconne?