Monday 2 July 2018

Discovering the music of Dorothy Howell

Discovering Dorothy Howell
The composer Dorothy Howell is rather a forgotten name today, yet she had a long and distinguished career. Born in 1898 she died in 1982, trained at the Royal Academy of Music and spent 46 years as Professor of Harmony and Composition there. Here tone poem Lamia was premiered by Sir Henry Wood in 1919, he performed it five times at the Proms that year. She has quite an extensive list of compositions, orchestral, choral and song plus music for two plays. So why is she not better known?

The Rebecca Miller and the Southbank Sinfonia aim to change all that. They are holding a study day today (2 June 2018) at St John's Waterloo. First (at 2pm) there is a discussion between conductor Rebecca Miller and historian Dr Kate Kennedy on Dorothy Howell’s remarkable life and legacy, and then at 2.30pm Rebecca Miller and the orchestra will be exploring some of Dorothy Howell's scores.

You can read more about Dorothy Howell in the excellent biographical pages on the Birmingham City Council website (well worth exploring), and Rebecca Miller has created a blog about her discovery and exploration of Howell's music.  Miller has recorded Howell's Piano Concerto with Danny Driver and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for Hyperion's Romantic Piano Concerto series [available from Amazon], on a disc with concertos by Amy Beach and Cecile Chaminade.

Further information about today's Study Day from the Southbank Sinfonia website.

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