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!
Onyx are very excited to be part of the forthcoming Bach Unwrapped series at King’s Place – a collection of concerts celebrating Bach’s music as a gift to mankind.
The concert, Bach Through Brass, will take place on May 3rd – and will include a selection of Bach classics arranged for brass ensemble. It’s a unique offering in a traditional concert series – the rigorously pure, clean nature of Bach’s counterpoint really warms up when played by brass instruments and adds a certain romantic twist to some old favourites. If King’s Place are unwrapping Bach, then we are rewrapping him!
Tickets for King’s Place can be booked here. If you can’t make the King’s Place concert, there will be plenty of other opportunities to hear Onyx play their programme of Bach arrangements. Just click on the Onyx Diary tab on our homepage to find upcoming performances – or, if you want something more permanent – have a think about the Onyx CD Recording ‘Fugue‘ – an album of Bach and Shostakovich fugues nourished by the rich energy of brass instruments.
Onyx Brass are continuing to tour Cheryl Frances-Hoad’s ‘The Madness Industry’ – a piece that was commissioned especially for the brass ensemble with kind support from the PRSF Foundation.
Back in Autumn we asked Cheryl what it was like to write for the group, and she told us she felt bad for giving them so few bars rest. So we thought we’d ask Onyx for their opinion:
“”We are now three performances in to Cheryl’s piece and still very much enjoying it. The technical challenges are considerable for us: stamina, ensemble and tuning. Hard work! But as it is musically such a satisfying and enjoyable piece to play, we love it! Brava Cheryl.”
There are still opportunities to catch Onyx playing Cheryl’s new piece. The next performances are on February 24th at the Bridge House Theatre, Warwick, and on June 16th at the Wiltshere Music Centre, Bradford-upon-Avon. More details about upcoming Onyx concerts can be found under the Onyx diary tab on the homepage, and tickets can be booked here and here. Hopefully we’ll see some of you there!
…just like the ones I used to know.
If there’s anything that sounds like Christmas to me, it’s probably a brass band playing carols. Being at the top of their game, our very own Onyx Brass are always busy around this time of year. They’ve already played two concerts with choirs (Laudate and Eltham Choral Society), and they’ve got a very busy day this Wednesday.
At 12pm and 5pm, they’re playing for “Fleet Street Carols” at St. Bride’s, Fleet St., London. The church is a beautiful venue, and both carol services are absolutely free. After the second one, Onyx will be hieing across London to St. Luke’s, Chelsea for the Caravan charity carol concert. (Link for tickets on their website).
If you can make it to any of those, you’re bound to have a very Christmassy time, indeed. No humbugs allowed.
Posted in 2012 concerts, Blog, Events, News, Onyx Brass
Tagged 2012, Brass, Bride's, carols, Christmas, December, London, Luke's, onyx, Onyx Brass
This autumn, Onyx Brass will be giving the premiere tour of “The Madness Industry” by Women Make Music award-winner, Cheryl Frances-Hoad. “It’s been a great experience to write The Madness Industry: I’d not really written very much for brass before and working with Onyx Brass has been brilliant,” she says, “although in hindsight I’m feeling a bit guilty for giving them so few bars rest!” Sounds like it’s going to be pretty full-on.
The first peformance will be on September 25th, for Richmond Concert Society, and you’ll also be able to hear it at the Crucible in Sheffield, on the 24th of October. Other performances in 2013 include Chipping Campden, Milton Keynes, Warwick and Bradford-on-Avon.
We wrote about the commission ages ago on our own website, and there’s a little bit on the background of the piece here. We’d like to thank again the PRS for Music Foundation’s Women Make Music programme, as well as the RVW Trust for supporting the commission and performance of this fantastic new piece.
Posted in 2012 concerts, commissioning, News, Onyx Brass
Tagged Brass, Cheryl, commission, Frances-Hoad, Industry, Madness, Music, October, onyx, Premiere, September, Women
Onyx played to a packed house at Durham International Festival on Thursday – they had a great time, and so did the audience. The concert was filmed, so we’ll be uploading some footage as soon as we can.
Music from Gabrieli and Dowland was played alongside new pieces written by composers who all have a special relationship with Onyx, including their own arrangements of Fugues in G major by Bach and Shostakovich.
In September, Onyx Brass are touring Switzerland, but they’ll be back in the North for a Music in the Round concert in Sheffield on October 24th.
Posted in 2012 concerts, Blog, commissioning, Onyx Brass, videos
Tagged Durham, Durham International festival, North, onyx, Onyx Brass, Sheffield, Switzerland