An important premiere at the Three Choirs Festival – Gabriel Jackson introduces The World Imagined

Gabriel Jackson’s new The World Imagined

When Covid restrictions caused the cancellation of the 2020 Three Choirs Festival I regretted that decision on many levels. One of my main disappointments was that the cancellation deprived us of the opportunity to hear the world premiere of a major new work by Gabriel Jackson, The World Imagined. Happily, it has been possible to reschedule the premiere and include it in the plans for the 2021 Three Choirs Festival. I have been an admirer of this composer’s music, especially his choral works, for many years now so the prospect of such a significant new score is enticing. Consequently, I seized the chance to discuss the new work with Gabriel, albeit in a socially distanced way.

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The ESO plays David Matthews’s conspicuously successful arrangement of Elgar’s String Quartet

United KingdomUnited Kingdom Elgar reimagined, Elgar (arr. David Matthews): English Symphony Orchestra / Kenneth Woods (conductor). Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth. Relayed via the ESO’s YouTube channel, 14.5.2021. (JQ)

Kenneth Woods conducting the English Symphony Orchestra

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The Three Choirs Festival announces its Bold Adventure for 2021


It was a bitter disappointment when the Covid pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 Three Choirs Festival in Worcester; this was the first time in its 300-year history that the Festival had been cancelled other than during war time. Since then, the outlook for live music-making in the UK has been very uncertain, but the highly successful vaccination programme and a very welcome significant reduction in case numbers has brought optimism and the Three Choirs has announced a programme for the 2021 Festival. The city of Worcester has again been given the opportunity to act as host and the Festival will run from 24 July to 1 August.

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An impressive ‘New Beginning’ as the Royal Northern Sinfonia welcome Dinis Sousa

United KingdomUnited Kingdom Elgar, Haydn, Berlioz, Boulanger, Prokofiev: Dame Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano), Royal Northern Sinfonia / Dinis Sousa (conductor). Streamed live from Sage, Gateshead, 16.4.2021. (JQ)

Dinis Sousa conducts the Royal Northern Sinfonia

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The English Symphony Orchestra’s fine commemoration of International Holocaust Memorial Day

United KingdomUnited Kingdom Inspired by Mahler – Mahler, Weinberg, Schulhoff, Ullmann: April Fredrick (soprano), Zoë Beyers (violin), English Symphony Orchestra / Kenneth Woods (conductor). Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, relayed via the ESO’s YouTube channel, 27.1.2021. (JQ)

English Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kenneth Woods
at Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth

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Ex Cathedra’s ideal and thoughtful celebration of Christmas 2020

United KingdomUnited Kingdom Christmas Music by Candlelight: Rupert Jeffcoat (organ), Ex Cathedra / Jeffrey Skidmore (conductor). Recorded in Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 21 & 22.12.2020. Streamed via the IDAGIO Global Concert Hall from 23.12.2020. (JQ)

Ex Cathedra’s Christmas Music by Candlelight

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Roderick Williams shines new, different light on George Butterworth’s songs with the Hallé

United KingdomUnited Kingdom Britten, Pärt, Butterworth, Strauss. Episode 2 – Roderick Williams sings Butterworth: Roderick Williams (baritone), Hallé / Sir Mark Elder (conductor). Performance recorded in Hallé St. Peter’s, Manchester and streamed on 10.12.2020. (JQ)

Roderick Williams and members of the Hallé

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Another opportunity to experience expert performances online from Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and the CBSO

United KingdomUnited Kingdom Ireland, Bartók, Vaughan Williams: Eugene Tzikindelean (violin/director), City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla (conductor). Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 18.11.2020 (streamed on the CBSO website on 3.12.2020). (JQ)

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla conducts the CBSO in Birmingham’s Symphony Hall

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