Five Memos selected for World Music Days 2020

Ty Cerdd recently announced that Mark’s work Five Memos for violin and piano has been selected to represent Wales at the 2020 World New Music Days to be held in New Zealand next year. Mark’s music will be performed alongside the best in new music put forward by sections of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) from around the world. World New Music Days is the annual flagship event of the ISCM. Next year’s festival is being presented by the Composers Association of New Zealand (CANZ). Further details here.

Ivors Composer Awards 2019 nomination

Ivors2019Mark’s saxophone concerto Sapiens has been nominated for a Ivors Composer Award. The winners of each category will be announced at a ceremony in December.

The Ivors Composer Awards recognise the creative talent of composers and sound artists to promote the art of composition in contemporary classical, jazz and sound art.

As an award presented by fellow composers and songwriters to their peers, an Ivor Novello Award is a uniquely authentic and respected recognition of craft. The Academy holds a public call for entries and all eligible submissions are reviewed by juries specifically appointed by the Academy.

The Ivors Composer Awards are sponsored by PRS for Music. The event is in association with BBC Radio 3 providing exclusive broadcast coverage. More details here.

The Mare's Tale: world premiere tour

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Mark is thrilled to present the world premiere tour of The Mare’s Tale, with the Berkeley Ensemble this spring. Inspired by a series of drawings by Clive Hicks-Jenkins on the theme of the Mari Lwyd, one of the oldest Welsh midwinter traditions, this work for actor and chamber ensemble sets a new text from poet Damian Walford Davies.

The tour will feature actor
Eric Roberts in the narrator’s role and will be conducted by Chloe van Soeterstede for performances in Cardiff, London and Glasgow this spring.

Tickets and further information

The Berkeley Ensemble’s performances of
The Mare’s Tale are supported by PRS Foundation’s Beyond Borders, a co-commissioning and touring programme run in partnership with Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales, Arts Council of Northern Ireland / An Chomhairle Ealaion.

★★★★ for world premiere of Sapiens

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Mark’s new saxophone concerto Sapiens received its world premiere in December. It was performed by Simon Haram and the London Sinfonietta, conducted by Jessica Cottis. Inspired by Yuval Noah Harari’s extraordinary history of humankind, Sapiens formed part of a fascinating evening exploring links between musical composition and literature, presented by journalist and writer Bidisha.

The concert also featured a world premiere from Colin Matthews and Oliver Knussen's
Songs Without Voices. Writing for Bachtrack, Timmy Fisher described the work as being ‘human at its very core, expertly conveying the enigma of our turbulent emotional lives’.

Read the full review

Aldeburgh Young Musicians

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Mark returned to Aldeburgh Young Musicians in October to teach on the Contemporary Music and Composition course alongside Zoë Martlew, Stuart King and Mark Simpson. The young musicians explored current ideas in composition and created their own work, which was presented to a very enthusiastic audience at the end of the week.

AYM is a Centre for Advanced Training based at Snape Maltings Concert Hall and part of the national network. Through intensive residential courses, individual lessons, professional advice, mentoring and performance opportunities AYM nurtures the creative, innovative and distinctive musicians of tomorrow.

Yorke Dance Project | Cohan Collective

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Mark was a guest speaker at the Yorke Dance Project 2018 Cohan Collective residency which took place in Bournemouth in partnership with Pavilion Dance South West and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

The two-week residency brings together choreographers and composers to explore the art of collaboration. This year, the collaborating artists were mentored by choreographer Kim Brandstrup and composer Kenneth Hesketh, with founding directors Robert Cohan and composer Eleanor Alberga leading the residency.

Mark was invited to talk about his own work and experiences as a composer working in dance.

PRS Foundation Beyond Borders grant

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Mark is thrilled to announce that the Berkeley Ensemble have been awarded a Beyond Borders touring grant from the PRS Foundation in partnership with Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Arts Council of Ireland / An Chomhairle Ealaíon. The grant will enable the world premiere tour next spring of The Mare’s Tale, a ghostly music theatre work written by Mark & Damian Walford Davies and inspired by the artwork of Clive Hicks-Jenkins. Watch this space for tour details, further info here.

London Sinfonietta performance

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The future of contemporary classical music is in good hands! The 10th London Sinfonietta Academy, which gives the next generation of extraordinary musicians the opportunity to train alongside world class players and conductors, perform a showcase concert at the Platform Theatre on Thursday 12th July with music from George Benjamin, Harrison Birtwistle, Deborah Pritchard and featuring Mark’s Channel Rose. Info and tickets here.

Three Interludes on BBC Radio 3

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The world premiere recording of Mark’s new orchestral piece Three Interludes is currently available to listen to on BBC Radio 3 iPlayer performed by the wonderful B Tommy Andersson and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Click here to listen.

Five Memos

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Mark’s Five Memos will be performed on Saturday 28th April as part of London Music Masters & London Contemporary Orchestra’s Classical Secret project. Hyeyoon Park and Roderick Chadwick will perform the work as part of an immersive musical experience. The performance will be split across two spaces in the intimate 1901 Arts Club using live programme notes and surprise performances in the bar. Info and tickets here.