Wednesday 1 March 2017

John Gardner Centenary Celebration

John Gardner Centenary Celebration
Composer John Gardner remains best known for this setting of the carol Tomorrow shall be my dancing day, but he was a prolific and varied composer and in this, his centenary year, a concert at Cadogan Hall tonight (1 March 2017) aims to bring more of Gardner's music to light. Hilary Davan Wetton conducts the English Chamber Orchestra in Gardner's Sinfonia Piccola, Concerto for Oboe and Strings (with oboist Hannah Morgan), and Petite suite for recorder and strings (with recorder player Tabea Debus), plus Holst's St Paul's Suite, Howells' Elegy for viola, string quartet and string orchestra (with viola player Lawrence Power) and RVW's Tallis Fantasia.

Another link in the programme is St Paul's Girls School where Gardner was director of music, and more recently conductor Hilary Davan Wetton was director of music from 1979 to 1994, whilst Holst (Holsts's suite was written for the school), RVW and Howells taught there. John Gardner (1917-2011) was a respected teacher, teaching at the Royal Academy of Music for nearly 30 years, as well as being prolific composer including three symphonies, a piano concerto and three operas (symphony no. 1 and the piano concerto have been recorded by Peter Donohoe, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, conductor David Lloyd-Jones on Naxos). I took part in London Concord Singers' performance of Gardner's Five Partsongs to Poems by Wallace Stevens, Op.142 in 2008 though Gardner was too frail to attend.

The concert also showcases the talents of two City Music Foundation artists, Hannah Morgan and Tabea Debus.

Full details from the Cadogan Hall website.

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