Just finished a short piece for clarinet and string orchestra (or piano) based on the extraordinary Adventures of Simplicius Simplicissimus, the 17th-century story of a young boy travelling through a world ravaged by the Thirty Years’ War and the appalling things he both sees and does ‘… in the end, contrite and fully tired of a world wasting itself in blood, pillage and lust’ (Thomas Mann).
A vivid new translation by J. A. Underwood has just been published by Penguin.
‘Shadows’ for viola, double and piano is being performed at Saarländisches Staatstheater on Sunday, 3rd June. I have also transcribed the piece using ‘cello, but this is the original!
Originally written in 1974 for London’s City Lit. wind band, I have revived ‘Overture, Tragedy and Farce’. The City Lit. group was very flexible (meaning that sometimes the bassoonist didn’t turn up and the bass clarinet, a well-known actor was, happily, very busy). Usually there were at least 2 flutes (and sometimes 6!), 2 oboes, 4 clarinets, 2 horns and the bassoon, so that’s what these three short pieces are scored for.
On 3rd March my Concerto for Clarinet and Strings had its first performance since 1974. This time it was here in Lewes with the always-exciting Steve Dummer and the Musicians of All Saints.
The fantastic COMA – Contemporary Music for All – has a festival from 2nd to 4th March in venues all over Britain and Europe http://www.coma.org/whats-on/events/festival/. My own piece ‘Divisibility’ in COMA’s open score (any instrument, anyone can play!) is now available from their library http://www.coma.org/catalogue/divisibility/
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,