Yesterday we said goodbye to Icelander Halldór Smárason who has been in residence with Psappha Ensemble as part of our Collaborative Compositions 2014 programme here in Manchester. Halldór had an eventful week – one of the highlights being Psappha’s special performance to celebrate Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ 80th birthday where he met the former Master of the Queens Music. Psappha delivered a UK première of The Trojan Games together with performances of his Cello Sonata and Antichrist.
Maxwell Davies who is Psappha’s patron has had an extraordinary career over the course of six decades and is universally acknowledged as one of the foremost composers of our time. He has made a significant contribution to musical history through his wide-ranging and prolific output and his appointment as Master of the Queen's Music in 2004 recognised his influential role as a leading British composer and figure of world standing. He has written across a broad range of styles, yet his music always communicates directly and powerfully, whether in his profoundly argued symphonic works, his music-theatre works or witty light orchestral works. Recently he stated that he plans to spend his time "helping to make classical music more accessible to young people" - an ambition we share for the Collaborative Compositions projects and Moving Classics.
Halldór had the opportunity to engage with and form a collaborative musical relationship with Psappha's performers during rehearsals preceding the concert as well as spending time experimenting musically with the ensemble. We will be presenting Halldór's new work commissioned for and with Psappha on the 7th of January at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation in Manchester.
Sign up to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook to be the first to hear about tickets for the première of Halldór’s new work. The Collaborative Compositions 2014 programme is funded be Arts Council England and Nordic Culture Point.