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Durham University

What's On

What's On


World Premiere of Stanford Violin Concerto

Durham Cathedral

The Durham University Orchestral Society will perform the world premiere of a work by one of Britain's most treasured classical composers Sir Charles Villiers Stanford.
Professor Jeremy Dibble, Department of Music, Durham University, an expert on Stanford, has orchestrated the piece The Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, which will be played for the first time in public by the University Orchestra.

Stanford, who died in 1924 at the age of 75 composed many pieces of classical music and only left the work in an unpublished version for violin and piano in 1918 (just before the end of World War 1). He was made an honorary Doctor of Civil Law at Durham University in 1894 and was the subject of an extensive biography by Professor Dibble in 2002 reflecting a specialism at Durham for 19th and 20th Century British and Irish music.
Professor Dibble said: "It is a substantial work and completely unknown within the repertoire of British violin concertos. In the tradition of the late 19th Century virtuoso violin concerto, notably of Brahms and Bruch, the work is full of rich and memorable tunes, the slow movement in particular reflecting Stanford's Irish heritage with its mimicking of Irish traditional melody. It is also technically demanding for the soloist yet beautifully and idiomatically written for the instrument.
"Stanford was a prolific and versatile composer who was hugely influential on this country's music. A composer of seven symphonies, three piano concertos, two violin concertos and a fine clarinet concerto, he was a master of the romantic orchestra.
"He was also well known as the teacher of a whole generation of British composers such as Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gustav Holst, Coleridge-Taylor, Frank Bridge, John Ireland, Ivor Gurney and Herbert Howells.
"My hope is that this new version will be commercially recorded later since it certainly deserves to be better known by violinists, orchestras and audiences."
The event will also be attended by members of the Stanford Society, an organisation devoted to the promotion of Stanford's music. Indeed, the whole weekend of 2-4 March will be devoted to Stanford's music in Durham (as well as Newcastle).
The event programme on Friday March 2 starts at 7.30pm and also includes performances of Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony and Stanford's Concert Piece for Organ and Orchestra (played by the Durham research student, Jonathan Clinch). The two Stanford pieces are performed by the Durham University Chamber Orchestra, conducted by music degree student, Calum Zuckert. The Tchaikovsky piece is played by the Durham University Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Daniel Tate.
Conductor and member of the Orchestra, Calum Zuckert said:
"The orchestra and I are delighted to have the opportunity to perform this premiere of the violin concerto and to work with Rupert Luck (violin) and Professor Dibble, with the support of the Stanford Society.
"It has been exciting to observe Professor Dibble's work in orchestrating the Stanford piece and to see and hear the colour and vitality that he has brought to it. Both the violin concerto and the Concert Piece are new to most of the orchestra and so this presents us with a different series of challenges.
"The first half of the concert is set to shine a light on two wonderful and yet relatively unknown works and I know the symphony orchestra will be on rousing form."
Tickets are available on the door and admission prices are: £12, and £9 concession and £6 student.

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