Category Archives: News

18010754_1306115776131323_7271604898794611007_n

Concerts, recordings and arrangements update.

Photo by Graham Salter
Photo by Graham Salter

2017 has seen two trips to Prague for recordings with the City of Prague Philharmonic and sopranos Margaret Keys and Joanne McGahon. The next big project for arranging, conducting and recording will be for Sarah Brightman – dates, orchestra and recording venue yet to be decided. I’m also delighted to have recorded with the RPO in August a third album of the music of Oliver Davis – a really good composer.

In March I conducted a ‘Gala’ concert for Sarah Brightman in Taiwan and now another in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

October sees a trip to Moscow to conduct for Katherine Jenkins and in November a concert in Liverpool with Bryn Terfel, Ruthie Henshall and the RLPO with be something to look forward to.

I returned to Prague on July 29th to conduct for Australian tenor Josh Piterman and Irish soprano Margaret Keys.

Arrangement of Star Wars for ‘Piano Battle’ – two pianos and orchestra just completed and now, also completed, some lovely Christmas songs for Anne Sofie von Otter, Daniel Hope and the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. Daniel Hope also recently commissioned an arrangement of America, The Beautiful for a concert with the New Century Chamber Orchestra in San Francisco. He has more commissions in mind for me next year!

 

 

Baton B&W reversed 2011-02-02 at 12-10-32 (1)

Arranging work

2017 has so far seen arrangements for British soprano Joanne McGahon, Australian tenor Josh Piterman, Irish soprano Margaret Keys, German piano duo ‘Piano Battle” and David Juritz as violin soloist with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.

May – December 2016: An endless stream of arrangements completed and in progress. More for José Carreras, Margaret Keys, Paul Potts and for Sol3mio’s Christmas Show. Conducting Margaret Keys’ arrangements in Prague mid January ’17.

April 2016: All arrangements of last month delivered and recorded. Medley for José Carreras’ world tour will have its first performance at the Royal Albert Hall on May 15th. Now I start the orchestral reduction of my ‘Kurt Weill Suite for violin and Orchestra’ for Daniel Hope’s concert with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in January 2017.

March 2016: New arrangements for Adrian Munsey completed and recorded in London. Now working on a new suite of music by Maurice Jarre and constructing a new medley for José Carreras.

January/February 2016: Five arrangements completed for David Gregory’s forthcoming recording.  Also completed are four Morricone arrangements for Silva Screen Records to be recorded in Prague.

November 2015: New version of Adrian Munsey’s ‘Faraway Place’ to become a tribute song for the Queen! Called ‘Her Majesty’ and will be a Christmas release. New arrangement for Rebecca Newman. I conducted the recording in Prague on the 15th.

September/October 2015: This is when a huge amount of Christmas music gets hired out,  particularly in preparation are scores for Sol3Mio’s Christmas concert in New Zealand.

August 2015: Orchestration for Decca of ‘Swedish Rhapsody’ (a short piano concerto) by Charles Widman for a recording by Russian  pianist Valentina Lisitska.

March 2015: Arrangements for Decca and conducted recording of them with Czech National Symphony Orchestra in Prague.

Arranging for vocal group Sol3 Mio and conducting them with City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.

February 2015: Working on new works by Adrian Munsey, orchestral reductions for Rebecca Newman’s tour and starting on arrangements for a new recording for pianist Jan Mulder that I will conduct in June with the LSO.

January 2015: Orchestral suite from Sondheim’s Into The Woods completed and recorded by the RPO late January.

Late 2014: Re-arrangement for solo violin, solo cello, 2 harps and strings of Einuadi’s Cadenza from Divenire for Decca recording by Norwegian duo Mari and Hakon Samuelsen.

2014: I arranged ten World War 1 songs for violinist Daniel Hope with tenor Michael Schade, clarinet, cello, double bass, piano and percussion for a concert that took place at the Philharmonie in Luxembourg on October 22.For the last two years I have done a huge amount of arranging for both Deutsche Grammophon in Berlin and Decca in London, both of whom are under the umbrella of Universal Music. For DG It started with arrangements for Piotr Beczała who recorded his Richard Tauber tribute album in London with the RPO. That was followed by orchestrations for the Berlin Comedian Harmonists and for Daniel Hope’s ‘Hollywood’ album. This resulted in Daniel commissioning me to write a new ‘Suite for violin and orchestra’ based on the songs of Kurt Weill. I went to Leipzig in March to hear him give the first performance at the Gewandhaus.

For Decca it started with arrangements for Joseph Calleja’s album ‘Amore’  and has since been joined by two arrangements for a Russian soprano, as yet un-named.

In 2013 I arranged several tracks for José Carreras’ album ‘Meraviglioso’.  All were finished in good time but on Valentine’s Night, after a lovely dinner and a very large glass of wine, the phone rang and his manager said “José has thought of another song he’d love to sing on the album, is there any chance you could do another?” I replied “Sure, when’s the recording session?” “Tomorrow morning at 9 in Croatia”.  So, when I conducted a concert for him the following November in Japan I reminded him that he owed me one night’s sleep! The score and all orchestral parts were emailed to a waiting librarian in Croatia at 5.30am, who then had to print them all out for the orchestra to play at 9. I received a phone call at 9.30 and in the background could hear the orchestra playing what I had spent all night writing. The wonders of modern technology! I wouldn’t have had such a large glass of wine if I’d known it was coming. Perhaps it helped…….

7

In the studio

Two very different recordings in 2013. I assisted my friend, the composer Christopher Gunning by score reading for the recording of his 7th Symphony at Watford Town Hall. Truly wonderful music – we have a real symphonist in our midst; rare these days.

Then I conducted the orchestral tracks for Rebecca Newman’s recently released album ‘Dare To Dream’. It was recorded with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra in Smecky Studios and went straight to No.1 in the Classical charts. I wrote some new arrangements for it including ‘A Lark in the Clear Air ‘ and ‘The Last Rose of Summer’.

2014 has seen two further trips to Prague. The first for composer Adrian Munsey – his Childhood Suite and an Agnus Dei, returning shortly after to conduct the orchestra for Lucy Kay’s debut album for Sony ‘Fantasia’, which also went straight to no.1.

There’s often a Christmas album to conduct in August! This year it was for German superstar Helene Fischer and for this I had the great pleasure of conducting the Royal Philharmonic at Abbey Road.

2015  March sees first recording with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra in Prague for Decca and returning to the City of Prague Philharmonic for an album for vocal group Sol3 Mio. 3rd Prague trip of the year coming up in November, this time for American producer Daniel Belardinelli and singer Jaymay. Also recording a new track for Rebecca Newman on same Prague trip.

2016 – recording new arrangements for Adrian Munsey in London and David Gregory in Prague. June sees a 2nd album for composer Oliver Davis, this time conducting the RPO.

2011-09-02 at 21-54-20

Back to the piano!

Two concerts in June mean a return to my piano practise, which always makes me feel like a real musician – actually making some sound! Much as I love arranging and conducting, I do miss making the noise myself.

11th June  – Piano recital at Tudeley Church in Kent – Rachmaninov, Debussy and Ravel.

12th June Kammerspiel Trio concert at Brighton Pavillion. Beethoven C minor Trio Opus 1, no.3 and Mendelssohn Trio in D minor.

Unfortunately both concerts are private.