NEW music group the Goldberg Ensemble returns to Huddersfield next week for a workshop and concert which underlines its strong connections with the town.
The Goldberg will perform a new work written by a composer with Huddersfield links, will include in its line-up a professional viola player who went to school in Holmfirth and will offer a chance for the university’s promising young composers a chance to hear the ensemble play its work.
The Goldberg’s visit to St Paul’s Hall and to the University of Huddersfield is part of a Celebration of New Music For Strings which tours to nine centres throughout the country.
This year, the new piece has been commissioned from Joe Cutler, currently head of composition at Birmingham Conservatoire. For Joe, having the piece played in Huddersfield will have a certain nostalgia since he studied at Huddersfield University. a
The piece that he has written for the Celebration concerts is called Akhmatova Fragments for Soprano and 11 Solo Strings. It offers a setting for six short poems by the 20th century Russian poet Anna Akhmatova and was commissioned with the support of a grant from the Britten-Pears Foundation.
After a premiere in Leeds, the piece will receive its second performance here in Huddersfield at St Paul’s Hall on Monday March 3.
The Goldberg was founded more than 25 years ago by conductor and violinist Malcolm Layfield. He is currently head of strings at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, an honorary professor at Beijing Conservatoire and gives guest seminars and workshops at various other educational centres including Huddersfield University.
Malcolm hand picks the players who make up the Goldberg. One of the viola players is Joel Hunter who comes from Holmfirth and went to Holmfirth High School. He is now London-based.
The soprano soloist for this Celebration tour is Sarah Leonard, recognised worldwide as an early music specialist.
The concert on Monday will be preceded by a student composers’ workshop.
One of the student pieces will then be chosen for a world premiere performance as part of the concert.
Bryn, who in addition to his academic work at the university is also a leading British composer, has already been asked to write a new work for the Goldberg for next year’s celebrations tour.
And if all of that were not evidence enough of the Goldberg’s firm links and commitment to music in Huddersfield, they also work closely with Huddersfield-based Chris Robins who is manager and fund-raiser for all the ensemble’s contemporary music projects.