Friday 23 February 2018

Premiere of Philip Sawyers' Violin Concerto

Alexander Sitkovetsky
Alexander Sitkovetsky
The composer Philip Sawyers has held the John McCabe Composer-in-Association chair at the English Symphony Orchestra (ESO) since 2015, and works that he has produced for the orchestra include his Third Symphony which was premiered in 2017. On Sunday 25 February 2018, as part of the English Symphony Orchestra's popular Shirehall Sunday afternoon concerts at the Shirehall in Hereford, Philip Sawyer's Violin Concerto will be premiered by violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky, with the English Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kenneth Woods. The programme is completed by Mendelsohn's Hebrides Overture and Schumann's Symphony No. 2. There will be a free pre-concert performance by the ESO Youth Orchestras at 2:45pm

Sitkovetsky, Woods and the ESO are recording Sawyer's Violin Concerto for Nimbus, so the concert will be the culmination of this process. The final work of Sawyers' residency will be his new tone poem, The Valley of Vision, inspired by the paintings of Samuel Palmer, which the ESO premiere in Malvern Priory on 14 March 2018.

Born in London in 1951, Philip Sawyers studied at Dartington College of Arts in Devon, violin with Colin Sauer, and composition with Helen Glatz (a pupil of Vaughan Williams and Bartok). Whilst at the Guildhall School of Music in London, he studied violin with Joan Spencer and Max Rostal, and compositional guidance from Buxton Orr, Patric Standford and Edmund Rubbra. For many years Sawyers combined composition with performing as a violinist in the Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden.

Further details from the ESO website.

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