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Transatlantic Rhapsodies | Lewisham Choral Society

Tuesday July 10, 2018 at 19:30
Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, London
£16/18/£20 + booking fee; concessions 25% reduction, £6 under 16s
Phone for tickets: 020 3879 9555
Phone lines open: 9am-8pm
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Tickets "at the door" - until sold out
  1. The Passing of the Year - Jonathan Dove
  2. Seek him that maketh the seven stars - Jonathan Dove
  3. Rhapsody in Blue, arranged for 2 pianos - George Gershwin
  4. Broadside Ballards - James Lark
  5. Fare well - Randall Thompson
  6. When David heard - Eric Whitacre
  7. Sleep - Eric Whitacre

Lewisham Choral Society and The Bromley Boy Singers present a stunning selection of music from both sides of ‘the pond’. From Britain, we showcase two of Britain’s most exciting contemporary composers, Jonathan Dove and James Lark and from the USA, Randall Thompson and the inimitable Eric Whitacre. To add even more sparkle to the mix, two of tonight’s pianists perform Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

Jonathan Dove has written over 20 operas and many thrilling choral works. The Passing of the Year, written in memory of his mother, sets poems by, among others, Blake, Tennyson and Emily Dickinson, in a musical evocation of the passing seasons. A yearning for the earth’s renewal gives way to excitement as spring once again bursts into life. The sultry summer with its languorous sunflowers turns to Autumn with a sense of mortality, before jubilant bells ring out to mark another New Year. The glorious Seek Him that maketh changes mood from earnest intensity to joyful dance and ultimate serenity. Dove is a consummate choral composer, using multiple voices to create richly-textured harmonies and complex rhythms to striking effect.

From the USA, we perform Randall Thompson’s beautiful setting of Walter de la Mare’s poignant poem Fare well. And no concert featuring American choral music would be complete without works by renowned choral composer Eric Whitacre: tonight we perform his powerfully dramatic When David heard and the sublimely peaceful Sleep.

Our guests, The Bromley Boy Singers, perform Broadside Ballads by James Lark. Specially commissioned for their 40th anniversary, it received its world premiere last year to critical acclaim. The historical texts speak of modern, relevant topics such as censorship, poverty and immigration. They are set to an intricate musical weave, showcasing each section of the choir, depicting what is it like to be a boy in London - past and present. The Bromley Boy Singers provide just the quality of tone, musical sensibility and technical skill this complex work demands. The multi-talented James Lark is Director of Music at Westminster Abbey Choir School, as well as a composer, novelist, dramatist and film-maker.

Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue needs no introduction and this spirited version for two pianos will create an extra fizz of excitement to our dazzling programme.

Lewisham Choral Society is one of London’s most accomplished community choirs, with three near sell-out concerts at the Festival Hall. They have performed twice in Paris and recently sang in Berlin, at the opening of the 50th Blankensee Summer Music Festival. Talented conductor, teacher and choral director Dan Ludford-Thomas directs Lewisham Choral Society, Hackney Singers and Concordia Chamber Choir and also coached the NHS choir in the BBC’s ‘The Choir’ series. Pianist James Orford has won many scholarships and prizes and is also Organ Scholar at St Paul’s Cathedral. Nico de Villiers is a concert pianist, accompanist and vocal coach who has performed widely throughout the UK and abroad. Travis Baker, Director of The Bromley Boy Singers, is also a talented organist and voice coach. Their accompanist, Krystal Tunnicliffe is a Junior Fellow at the Guildhall School.

Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre
South Bank
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