The poet Edward Thomas was killed in action at Arras on 9 April 1917. He had lived in Steep near Petersfield so, on March 17th as part of the Petersfield Musical Festival, there was a centenary concert with readings and settings of his poems given by many distinguished performers. The concert included ‘Like the Touch of Rain’ – one of my cycle of Thomas settings, ’The Unknown Bird’, for baritone, flute, viola and harp.
Flautist Nancy Ruffer and pianist Dominic Saunders included the first performance of my ‘Sonata Serenata’ in their recital at St John’s Hampstead on Wednesday 1st March. The ‘Serenata’ of the title is slightly ironic as, although the second movement is a rather remote lover’s plea, the last is a jagged toccata – not for playing under windows! A wonderful recording by Aoife ni Raghaill, flute and David Jones, piano can found in Soundcloud.
Multi-award winning violist Timothy Ridout (winner of the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition 2016, 1st Prize at the 2014 Cecil Aronowitz and Violin Channel Young Artist of the week, July 2016) will be including ‘Urizen’ in his March tour of Scotland supported by the Tunnell Trust. The pianist will be Ke Ma.
8th March – Dundee Chamber Music Society
9th March – Woodend Barn Arts Centre, Banchory
10th March – Dumfries Music Club
11th March – Edinburgh Society of Musicians
12th March – Pollock Arts Society
What started a long time ago as ’50 Songs for the over 50s’ has now been more realistically subtitled ‘Seven Songs for Grownups’ ! With brilliantly wry, wise and witty words by Alison Rutherford, this is a collection of more-or-less-cabaret songs beginning with ‘Too old to fall in love, too young to believe it’, and ending with ‘… but that was then and this is now’. The title comes from one of the songs:
‘Kiss Me on Wednesday, don’t kiss me now.
Let me anticipate where, when and how.’
Following its premiere at Chapel Royal, Brighton last year, my Clarinet Sonata had another outing with Steve Dummer (Clarinet) and Yoko Ono (piano) at Holy Trinity Church, Cuckfield on 3rd February 2017. Meanwhile I am typesetting my Concerto for Clarinet and Strings (written, like the Sonata in the 1970s!)
More recent (2016) for clarinet (+ ‘cello and piano) is the 3 movement ‘In Touch’: ‘Touching In’, ‘Don’t Touch’ and ‘Touch and Go’ which was also premiered by Steve Dummer with players from Talkestra.
John Hawkins studied composition with Malcolm Williamson and Elisabeth Lutyens. He has written many chamber, vocal and orchestral pieces, which have been performed worldwide, as well as successful music for children,