Next concert – Friday 18th May, 7:30pm: a solo recital at Little Slyfield, Cobham, Surrey, in aid of the Aidan Woodcock Charitable Trust. Beethoven Sonata in C minor op.10.no1; William Alwyn 12 Preludes; Brahms Three Intermezzi op.117; Peter Dickinson Paraphrase II; Delius Prelude and Duet from Margot la Rouge, Nocturne from the Florida Suite; Anthony Herschel Hill Litany and Toccata
My new children’s opera, ‘MACHINE DREAM’, a collaboration with children’s author and librettist Zanib Main, commissioned by the Mahogany Opera Group, was performed in March 2018 in Hull, Leicester, East London, Essex, and Slough. Snappy Operas is a nationwide project with children aged 7-11 performing a series of five newly commissioned ten-minute operas. Read more about this amazing project bringing ten new operas to huge numbers of children all across the UK here…
Next month I record my second CD for SOMM Recordings – a CD of 20th century British repertoire: Elisabeth Lutyens, Peter DIckinson, William Alwyn, Frederick Delius, and Anthony Herschel Hill.
I am thrilled and honoured to have been appointed Director of the William Alwyn Festival 2018, which takes place at various venues around Suffolk from 3rd to 6th October. In June and July I finish my Cello Sonata for Charles Watt, with whom I am giving the premiere at the Alwyn Festival in Blythburgh Church, Friday October 5th. Also in that concert will be the premiere of David Matthews Sonatina for Viola with Sarah-Jane Bradley, and the Schumann and Alwyn Piano Quartets joined by the violinist Sara Trickey. I shall also perform various works in the mixed chamber concert on Thursday October 4th, also in Blythburgh Church. More details on the festival as a whole to follow…
Over the summer I will also record some of my own piano music in Aldeburgh for use as soundtracks for short films to be shown at the Venice Biennale in 2019 – a collaboration with the Arts Club Aldeburgh Beach. These piano pieces came out of a collaboration with the artist Fran Crowe and her ‘Museum of Beyond’ during a creative residency at the Arts Club back in 2013.
The American musical odyssey continues this year, with a short notice step in for a Gershwin Concerto with the Worthing Symphony Orchestra in January, and in April a performance of Bernstein’s Sonata, Touches, and Five Anniversaries for the Park Lane Group’s Bernstein’s centenary concert at the Royal Overseas League, as well as a solo recital and a duo recital with Madeleine Mitchell at the Americana Festival at St John’s Smith Square in October.
The ‘Great American Sonatas’ recording on SOMM continues to attract attention – Nov/Dec issue of International Piano Quarterly: This superb recital shines like a beacon, illuminating the differing styles of Copland, Bernstein, Lou Harrison and Ives… Finely recorded, few more impressive discs of American piano music exist. Peter Dickinson in Musical Opinion – a landmark in recordings of American piano music – and Geoff Brown in BBC Music Magazine – He’s at his most memorable of all in the quiet reminiscences textured into ‘The Celestial Railroad’… Maybe there will be a volume two..?‘ Ates Orga in Classical Source writes: Williamson understands the mould-breaking environment of this repertory, and offers committed insight… and Jed Distler reviews here in The Gramophone: A release of distinction. The CD includes works by Bernstein, Copland, Harrison and Ives, and was made with the generous support from the Gemma Classical Music Trust.