Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Danny Boy indeed

David Schofield and Daniel Parkinson (RNCM Concert Hall stage) cr Tom Gradwell
David Schofield &  Daniel Parkinson 
on the RNCM Concert Hall stage
picture credit Tom Gradwell
Students from the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester (RNCM) are releasing a charity single in aid of the college's £3 million campaign to transform the 40-year-old concert all into a state of the art venue. RNCM postgraduate conductor Daniel Parkinson and students from the School of Strings have teamed up with British pianist and Junior RNCM alumnus David Schofield to release a new version of the Londonderry Air, which will be released in all on-line stores on May 19. The single was recorded at the college earlier this month, the single was arranged for piano and strings by pianist and composer Stephen Hough (himself an RNCM alumnus) with original orchestration by Ross Clarke.

When I was a student in Manchester in the 1970's the college was not long open, and I remember many fabulous concerts there particularly as the hall's organ had just been installed in the fascinatingly five-sided concert hall. My memories of a performance of Poulenc's Organ Concerto are particularly vivid, so it is great to hear that the venue is being brought up to date.

The RNCM campaign officially launched in October 2013 and has so far received support from scientist and TV presenter Professor Brian Cox, BBC 6 Music presenter Stuart Maconie, Classic FM’s John Suchet and, among others, international pianist Lang Lang. The College has so far raised almost half of its £3 million target and work on the transformation is well underway. Plans include a complete redevelopment of the Concert Hall to include a new air-conditioning and heating system, new flooring and seating, advanced technical facilities and lighting, plus a balcony and raised floor area to considerably increase capacity. The backstage production areas of both the Concert Hall and RNCM Theatre will also be reconfigured to support increased student numbers and provide a professional learning environment at industry standard.

Further information from the RNCM website

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