Onyx Brass has been awarded the maximum sum available by the PRS for Music Foundation’s New Music Biennial flagship scheme. The money will go towards commissioning a new work from David Sawer to form the centrepiece of a short programme of contemporary British music that Onyx will perform across the country in 2014, in the Tour de Brass!
The New Music Biennial has made 20 awards to groups to commission new works which will be performed together in showcases at the Southbank Centre’s Festival (4-6 July 2014) and as part of the Commonwealth Games Cultural programme in Glasgow (2-3 August 2014). Our project is designed to be a lot more portable and we are planning upwards of 40 free, unticketed concerts at bandstands and public spaces up and down the UK.
David Sawer’s new piece will be recorded in the summer of 2014, broadcast on BBC Radio 3, and made available as a download by NMC recordings.
Soon, we’ll be getting a special website up and running, where you can keep track of the Tour de Brass!, checking on concerts in your area, and then uploading pictures, videos and reviews.
UPDATE: The Tour de Brass! has also been awarded funding by the Britten-Pears Foundation. Many thanks to them for their kind support.
Posted in 2014 concerts, Blog, Events, fourfortytwo, Fundraising, News, onyx, Onyx Brass
Tagged 2014, Bandstands, Brass, British, British music, Commonwealth Games, contemporary, Contemporary Music, David Sawer, Glasgow, London, new music, onyx, Sawer, Southbank Centre, tour, Tour de Brass!, UK
As part of a new concert series at Milton Court (a new performance space at the Barbican), Endymion will be teaming up with the BBC Singers this October to play Steve Reich’s cantata ‘The Desert Music’. This thrilling five-movement cantata, based on texts by William Carlos Williams, takes centre stage in a concert devoted to american choral music. The concert is on October 15th, and tickets are available here. Keep up-to-date with all Endymion news via the Endymion website.
After many years with Onyx, trumpeter Brian Thomson decided to retire from playing earlier this year. Everyone at Fourfortytwo wishes him well and hopes to see him at some (many) concerts in the future! Meanwhile, Onyx has snapped up a fine new trumpeter to join their ranks. Alan Thomas, co-principal trumpet player with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, is now a full-time member of the team. Alan said “I was very sad to hear the new of Brian Thomson leaving the group, such a fantastic trumpeter and musician. When I received the call asking me to join Onyx Brass I was shocked, flattered and excited all at once. It’s such a privilege to be joining Britain’s leading brass quintet. Exciting times ahead!”
Aside from enjoying the sunshine, we’ve spent the last couple of days talking about Michel van der Aa’s new opera Sunken Garden, which recently premiered at the Barbican; the inspirational Colin Davis, who sadly died this week; and a stunning performance of La Mer by the London Symphony Orchestra, also at the Barbican.
We’ve also put together a playlist of what we’ve been listening to recently, and what we’ll be listening to as spring blooms. We’ve even put it together on Spotify for you. Hope you enjoy it!
Fourfortytwo’s Spring Playlist:
1. Copland, Appalachian Spring (NYPO/Bernstein)
2. The Knife, Shaking the Habitual
3. Mozart, Haffner Symphony No. 35 (SCO/Mackerras)
4. Byrd, Mass for Five Voices (Tallis Scholars/Phillips)
5. David Sawer, the greatest happiness principles (BBCSO/Brabbins)
There are still some tickets available to hear Onyx Brass at the Bach Unwrapped Festival on May 3rd at King’s Place. You can get get hold of them here, but don’t delay. This is the largest and most significant festival at King’s Place to-date and tickets are going quickly. If you want something more permanent, or a taster of what to expect, then we recommend Onyx’s fine CD recording of Bach and Shostakovich fugues, arranged for brass instruments and available here.
Pro brass players shouldn’t have any trouble blowing out the candles!
Onyx Brass turns 20 this year, and the party has already started! During the first half of the year, they’re celebrating with other young people in a series of family concerts and evening concerts with Music in the Round, who specialise in providing informal performances by great musicians. That suits Onyx down to the ground, and they’re looking forward to meeting the next generation of concert-goer, too.
Last year, Onyx premiered Cheryl Frances-Hoad’s “The Madness Industry”. Audiences loved it, and the new piece is at the centre of Onyx’s programmes in their 20th anniversary year. Cheryl heard the group perform it last night in Milton Keynes, and was very pleased – a great birthday present.
In May, Onyx will be at Kings Place in London, as part of their “Bach Unwrapped” season, playing some of the most popular music from their “Fugue” and “Time to Time” CDs, as well as transcriptions of grander works by the Baroque master, including the famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor.
All of this, though, is laying the groundwork for some very exciting plans we have for 2014 – when Onyx will be coming of age, 21!