Norris’s News 2015
An update from David Owen Norris
• Three new pieces written this year
• Another chance to hear my Symphony & Piano Concerto
• World premieres from Sir Arnold Bax & Thomas Seltz
• New Discoveries concerning Elgar
• Modern premieres from Wesley, Loder, Millais and – Mozart!
2015 is looking good. My new piece about the values of democracy, Turning Points, which celebrates the anniversaries of Magna Carta (1215), Agincourt (1415) & Waterloo (1815), will be premiered in Southampton on September 19th, with further performances in Northampton (September 26th) & London (October 1st). The London concert, in St Paul’s Church Covent Garden, will also include the second performance of my Symphony and the fourth performance of my Piano Concerto in C. The 9th Duke of Wellington has kindly agreed to be a Patron of these performances.
My piece for organ, saxophones & film, HengeMusic, inspired by the neolithic henge with church and yew grove at Knowlton in Dorset, will be premiered in Keble College Chapel in Oxford on October 29th, and immediately repeated in Romsey Abbey & Wimborne Minster. My completion of Elgar’s liturgical piece, For Dot’s Nuns, will act as a curtain-raiser to all this when it is performed in Stroud on May 9th, in the church where Elgar’s sister, Dot, was Mother Superior.
The summer sees a Tennyson tribute in the poet’s home county, Lincolnshire; two outings for my programme for piano & film, The Baronet & the Playboy, featuring the music of Parry & Poulenc, which delighted American audiences last year; and the first modern performance of Samuel Wesley’s 1809 Wellington tribute, The Siege of Badajoz, a battle-piece of admirable, and most unusual, cogency.
I’ll be giving more world premieres in the autumn: Thomas Seltz’s new piece for piano & guitar, I dreamed a new reality, in Southampton; and Sir Arnold Bax’s 1906 setting for speaker & piano of Rossetti’s The Blessed Damozel, in the Guildhall Art Gallery under the eyes of the Blessed Damozel herself. This Pre-Raphaelite concert also presents modern premieres of songs by Alice Millais, the painter’s daughter and Elgar’s Muse, and, amazingly, by her husband, the MP Charles Stuart-Wortley.
Then there are more modern premieres at Chawton House on November 23rd: Mozart Piano Concertos in 1827 arrangements by Cramer & Hummel, who expanded the piano part, with many an extra virtuoso flourish, to fit the larger keyboards of their time, arranging the orchestral part for just violin, flute & cello. And also at Chawton, on December 11th, I’ll accompany Southampton singing students in Edward Loder’s settings of verses for children by Isaac Watts: still more modern premieres.
I’ll be lecturing at Gresham College & Wigmore Hall. My contribution to the new Agincourt book, an essay on the music it inspired, has led to a number of invitations to speak. And, fingers crossed, the BBC 2 Proms spot Chord of the Week may return in the summer.
May 9th 7.45pm Premiere of my adaptation of Elgar’s For Dot’s Nuns
Church of the Immaculate Conception, Stroud
Gloucester St Cecilia Singers, Jonathan Hope
June 13th 7.30pm First modern performance of Wesley’s The Siege of Badajoz
St Michael’s Church, Bugle Street, Southampton
June 18th 1pm Tennyson songs with Mark Wilde; Lincoln Cathedral School
June 23rd 7.30pm Baronet & Playboy; Sherborne Girls’ School
June 24th 7.30pm Baronet & Playboy; Sturminster Marshall Parish Church
Sept 19th 7.30pm Premiere of Turning Points; St Mary’s Church, Southampton
Joe Beckhelling, Southampton University Symphony Orchestra etc.
Sept 26th 7.30pm Turning Points; St Matthew’s Church, Northampton
Stephen Moore, Musicians from Northampton Music & Performing Arts Trust
October 1st 7.30pm Piano Concerto in C, Turning Points, Symphony
Ben Palmer, Orchestra of St Paul’s, St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden
October 16th 6pm World premieres of songs and recitations by Sir Arnold Bax
Guildhall Art Gallery, City of London
with (speaker TBA), Amanda Pitt (soprano)
October 29th 7.30pm Premiere of HengeMusic; Keble College Chapel, Oxford
October 30th 7.30pm HengeMusic; Romsey Abbey
October 31st 7.30pm HengeMusic; Wimborne Minster
with John Harle (soprano saxophone) & Sarah Baldock (organ)
November 16th 1pm Thomas Seltz premiere; Turner Sims, Southampton
with Vincent Lindsey-Clark
Nov 23rd 7.30pm Mozart Piano Concertos arr. Cramer & Hummel
with Katy Bircher (flute), Caroline Balding (violin), Jonny Byers (cello)
Chawton House: part of the Mozart ReMix project
Dec 11th 7.30pm Edward Loder’s settings of Isaac Watts’s verses for children
with readings from Maria Edgeworth
Chawton House, with Southampton students
May 14th 1pm Lecture: A Theory of Performance; Gresham College
May 30th 6.30pm Lecture: Beethoven Piano Sonatas; Wigmore Hall
June 20th Hosting West Gallery Music Association Research Conference;
July 16th 7.30pm Lecture (with Professor Anne Curry): Agincourt & Women
September 17th 4pm Lecture: Agincourt’s Musical Legacy; Society of Antiquaries, Piccadilly