28 November 2023

'A highly individual musical voice' - 5 star review from Musical Opinion for Simaku's Ensemble Intercontemporain soloists on NMC

Following glowing reviews from the BBC Music Magazine and Crescendo Magazine in Brussels, another five star review of Thomas Simaku's NMC D278 CD 'SOLO' has been published, in Musical Opinion (Winter 2023; Issue 1537). Established in 1877, the prestigious British Quarterly is ‘the longest serving continually published classical music magazine in the world’.

24 November 2023

Sadie Harrison’s PASTURE & STORM CD one of ZEIT’s 2023 Highlights

We are delighted that house composer Sadie Harrison has received international recognition with her CD release PASTURE & STORM: New Music for Left Hand Piano & Ensembles (Prima Facie). The disc has been chosen as one of 2023’s CD highlights by ZEIT music critic Hannah Schmidt. 
The booklet notes begin: "When I embarked on the Pasture & Storm Project in early 2020, I could not have envisaged how the world would have changed by the time it was completed in Autumn 2022. The storms of the pandemic and the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban resonated around the world and there is no doubt that the creative trajectory of Pasture & Storm was driven in great part by the consequences of these two overwhelming global events. A UK based project unexpectedly became a collaboration between musicians and artists across the world, celebrating diversity in all its colours and splendour."

22 November 2023

Anthony Gilbert celebration concert at York Late Music

UYMP is delighted that the music of the late, distinguished House composer Anthony Gilbert will be celebrated at the York Late Music evening concert at the Unitarian Chapel, St Saviourgate, York, on Saturday 2nd December at 7.30pm.  A pre-concert talk will be given by Nicola LeFanu.  The performers will be Nina Kümin (violin), Jonathan Sage (clarinet) and Kate Ledger (piano) and the programme will include four of Anthony Gilbert’s works – Catercorny for clarinet and piano, Worldwhorls for bass clarinet, Jugalbandi Blues for bass clarinet and Monsoon Toccata for piano, which was written in memory of Janet Owen Thomas. 

15 November 2023

Saxton 70th Birthday Celebrations in Cambridge

The choir of St Catharine’s College Cambridge, directed by Dr Edward Wickham, celebrated Robert Saxton’s 70th birthday with a special all-Saxton service on 12th November featuring his Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, Locus Iste and Choral Prelude on 'Strength and Stay'. Organ scholar June Rippon will perform Saxton’s Two Chorale Preludes on tunes by J.B.Dykes on St Catharine’s Day, 25 November. Saxton is currently writing a major organ cycle, as part of a research project at the Royal Academy of Music with organist Jonathan Clinch.

4 November 2023

Simaku’s Soliloquy VI Released on BIS Records

Thomas Simaku’s Soliloquy VI for Soprano Saxophone has been released on CD by the award-winning label BIS Records, as part of an international project of new works written during the pandemic for the renowned Swedish saxophonist Anders Paulsson.

11 October 2023

Simaku’s Soliloquies: Visionary, Virtuosic, Vibrant

Thomas Simaku’s new album on NMC Recordings, featuring soloists of Ensemble Intercontemporain (Jérôme Comte, Dimitri Vassilakis, Aurélien Gignoux, and Clément Saunier), has received a brilliant review in Crescendo Magazine in Brussels. 

Reviewer Bernard Vincken describes the new disc as "out of the ordinary" and the soliloquies as "visionary, virtuosic, vibrant" and which "bring out the instruments' expressive and technical characteristics, to the point of  drawing up a detailed identity card – an idiosyncratic musical portrait that is thorough, virtuosic and yet free of excessive formalism".

7 October 2023

Excellent Review for Sadie Harrison's 'Lunae: Four Nocturnes'

Roger Chadwick's solo piano CD Souvenirs D'Oiseaux has received a glowing review from Colin Clark. UYMP is particularly pleased to see that Lunae: Four Nocturnes was highly praised, the reviewer noting that Sadie Harrison "works with evocation of both the world around us and of the world of the Romantic piano nocturne, plus music especially close to her heart". Clark commends each movement in turn, explaining that "Chadwick paints the music in a multitude of shades of semi-light", and closing with the statement: "The stillness of some of this music is breathtaking".

5 October 2023

Simaku Receives BBC "Glowing Double 5-Star Review"

This Tuesday, we were excited to read what NCM Records has called a "glowing double 5-star review" in BBC Music magazine for the new recording Solo, featuring the music of Thomas Simaku performed by members of Ensemble intercontemporain. Reviewer Martin Cotton describes "a powerful musical imagination, which shines throughout the album"; the original review can be accessed here.

30 September 2023

Sadie Harrison to adjudicate 2024 Henfrey Prize

UYMP is excited to announce that Sadie Harrison has been selected as an adjudicator for the 2024 Henfrey Prize for Composition, hosted by St. Catherine's College, Oxford. With a focus on applicants developing their knowledge of composing for unfamiliar instruments, the performers for the coming year will be acclaimed duo Helen Anahita Wilson (piano) and Shahbaz Hussain (tabla). The competition, taking place over the course of 6 months - with an annual prize of £1,000 administered by Director of Performance, Dr. Cayenna Ponchione-Bailey - is open to students and recent graduates of the University of Oxford, and supports 'the creation of outstanding new chamber music'.

30 September 2023

Now Available: Thomas Simaku 'Solo' CD

Yesterday, UYMP was elated to see the release of Solo; a new CD consisting entirely of music by Thomas Simaku. The disc features five works for solo instruments from the Soliloquy and Catena cycles, performed by members of Ensemble Intercontemporain (Jérôme Comte, Aurélien Gignoux, Dimitri Vassilakis, and Clément Saunier). In an article for NMC 'Thinking Aloud: Thomas Simaku on writing for solo instruments', Simaku discusses the origin of these works and his collaboration with the ensemble. This article can be read in full here.

21 September 2023

Saxton Celebrates 70th Birthday

Robert Saxton celebrates his 70th Birthday on 8 October 2023. Violinist Peter Sheppard-Skaeved will premiere and tour the new work Reflections in Time for solo violin, including a performance in the UK (Cambridge), US, Greece, and Croatia. As well as this, UYMP is currently preparing to publish a volume of Saxton's Complete Organ Works, edited by Jonathan Clinch. David Palmer will perform Chacony for piano left-hand as part of a celebratory Birthday Concert on 12th October organised by the City Music Society.

20 September 2023

Lancaster’s ‘Apocalypse’ CD released by Ex Corde

UYMP is thrilled that Ex Corde Vocal Ensemble, conducted by Paul Gameson, have released Apocalypse, a new album on the Resonus Classics label, devoted to the choral music of David Lancaster. It comprises three works, all of which are published by UYMP. These pieces draw upon the legacies of artists and craftsmen who lived and work in medieval York and who left evidence of their lives, stories and ideas in carved stone and painted glass.