Sadie Harrison's 'Hidden Ceremonies I' and 'Geda's Weavings' receive FANTASTIC REVIEWS

We are very pleased that Sadie's two works Geda's Weavings for string quartet and Hidden Ceremonies I for solo piano have received excellent reviews in Musical Opinion Quarterly (January 2018) following their performance in the Late Music Festival series 2017.

Firstly, on 5 August 2017, 'a memorable recital was given by soprano Peyee Chen and pianist Kate Ledger…. Enterprisingly scheduled in the middle of these four settings was the concert premiere of Sadie Harrison’s Hidden Ceremonies I for piano of 2011.  Kate Ledger put her stamp on these challenging but rewarding pieces, which are part of an ongoing series inspired by the paintings of Dorset-based artist Brian Graham.  The paintings draw together the worlds of prehistoric archaeology, geology, music and contemporary landscape.  Katie Ledger’s daringly expansive approach to the widely spaced and richly resonant chords of ‘after Sacrarium’ was especially striking as she maintained intensity throughout the long interstitial silences, making them a vital part of the music.  She also managed ingenuously to suggest the physical shape outlined in the score of ‘Flint’.  Sadie Harrison’s fragmentary pieces have a vitality and richness which ensures that they resonate long after their tiny durations.  The concert debut of this compact, many-sided work was immensely satisfying and, at the same time, left the listeners wanting more.' 

Following this, on '2 September 2017 the Bingham Quartet’s outstanding Late Music concert celebrated York-based composer Nicola LeFanu’s 70th birthday.  The evening consisted of pieces by several composers close to LeFanu….Concluding the concert’s first half was the world premiere of a piece by Sadie Harrison, who is another of LeFanu’s ex-pupils.  Geda’s Weavings was written in 2004 and recorded on the NMC label.  It combines ideas from the composer’s other five works that make up her Lithuanian project together with material inspired by the poetry of Sigitis Geda.  There are three movements or ‘Weavings’: the first is tough and barbaric, inspired by Geda’s dark and aggressive ‘Traces of the Toad Cult Found Alongside Veprynas Lake; the second, which has a beguiling simplicity, takes as its starting point the moving ‘Poem for Arvydas, the Field of Love’, and gambolling third reflects ‘The Collective Request of the Dead Country Children of Pateru Village’.  Sadie Harrison has laced together these disparate elements to form an emotionally compelling and musically satisfying string quartet with an expository first movement, a poignant and serene slow movement and a spirited, rhythmic finale which revisits the opening material at its conclusion.  The Bingham Quartet made these intricately fashioned and keenly expressive pages come alive in a performance of great brio and vitality.  I look forward to savouring the subtleties of this compelling piece again in concert – it merits and would reward a variety of interpretations.' (Paul Conway)

(18 Jan 2018)

Recent news

  • Blake's 'Scoring a Century' London triumph

    Photo credit: Robert Workman

    British Youth Opera gave a dazzling London premiere of David Blake’s (composer) and Keith Warner’s (librettist) millennial opera ‘Scoring a Century’ on Saturday night, at the Peacock Theatre, Holburn. Previously performed only by Birmingham Conservatoire, in 2010, both the libretto and the score had been revised for the current production. Blake’s deft scoring leads Mr and Mrs Jedermann (Everyman) unwittingly through Warner’s entertaining snapshots of life in various countries in the ever-changing 20th century, in an expert pastiche of musical styles.  

  • Thomas Simaku Broadcast on National Radio in Finland

    Following the success at the 2019 International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM)  – World Music Days , Thomas Simaku’s most recent work, La Leggiadra Luna for mixed choir a cappella, has been broadcast by four European radio stations. The latest programme was on National Radio of Finland on 3rd September – the programme is available for 30 days at the following link:

  • Launch of Northern Composers' Co-operative

    Photo credit: Lynette Quek

    Thanks to the support of the Mayfield Trust, in June UYMP hosted a meeting of 20 composers who are based in the Yorkshire region.  Peter Wiegold was an inspiring facilitator and the meeting generated lots of ideas for dealing with the isolation composers can experience once they leave formal education.  The composers present decided to form a Co-operative and UYMP is proud to have initiated it and be supporting it. 

  • Thomas Simaku CD Release

    Thomas Simaku’s new CD, Solos and Duos for violin and piano has been released worldwide on Naxos 21st Century Classics Series.

  • Launch of Stef Conner's album 'Riddle Songs'

    UYMP is delighted to announce that Associate Composer Stef Conner is embarking on a project to create a new CD in Old English.  Stef writes that her album will be a combination of 'beautiful new music with very old words, for voices and lyre; a medieval-meets-modern choral concept album'.  To read more about the CD and to support Stef's fund raising campaign, please go to: