Wednesday 5 September 2012

Mark Simpson - Sparks!

Mark Simpson is a busy boy at the moment. The young (born 1986) composer and clarinettist has a new piece at the Proms, opening the Last Night of the Proms on Saturday 8 September. His piece, Sparks, will be played of course by the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jiri Belohlavek. We are promised a 3 minute opener full of fireworks and virtuoso orchestra writing. Then on 24 September Simpson will be playing in the Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) showcase concert at the Purcell Room at 7.45pm

YCAT select a group of artists each year to showcase and support. This year the artists are Anna Huntley (mezzo-soprano), Mark Simpson (clarinet), James Baillieu (piano) and Richard Uttley (piano) and the programme includes Berio's Sequenza IXa for solo clarinet and Brahms's Clarinet Sonata No. 2, plus music by Brahms, Rosenthal and Rebecca Clarke. Also Simpson will be appearing with the Heath Quartet at one of the YCAT Lunchtime Series at the Wigmore Hall on 2 October at 1pm.

Besides being supported by YCAT, Simpson was one of the winners of this years Making Music Award for Young Concert Artists. He won the BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2008 and won the BBC Young Composer of the Year that same year, the first person ever to do so.

You can hear some of Simpson's music on his MySpace page. Last year he did a blog post for the Gramophone about his top 10 recordings but also the state of contemporary music, makes an interesting read.

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