Four visionary composers from across the pond helped
shape the future of classical music for the 20th century
February 13 2021
MUSIC DIRECTOR & CONDUCTOR
SEASON SPONSORED BY
Luis Angel Salazar and Alyssa Roggow are featured in Romantic Fantasy, a double concerto for violin and viola.
Four Scottish Dances, by English composer
Sir Malcolm Arnold, is an orchestral set of popular light music pieces inspired by Scottish country folk tunes and dances. Ranked with Benjamin Britten as one of the most sought-after composers in Britain, Arnold’s works in many genres include his Oscar-winning film score for The Bridge on the River Kwai.
A child prodigy, Ruth Gipps was eight when her first composition was published. At 26, she was the youngest woman in Britain to receive a doctorate in music. At her death in 1999, Gipps was one of the most prolific composers in Britain, having written five symphonies, seven concerti and numerous chamber and choral works despite the fact that her early career was affected strongly by discrimination against women in the male-dominated world of music and music criticism. Ambarvalia was written in memory of a longtime friend, who she once described as her “musical twin.”
Arthur Benjamin was appointed a professorship at the Royal College of Music in London in 1921, where he developed a distinguished career as a piano teacher while composing numerous chamber works as well as songs and choral settings. His Romantic Fantasy, combining violin and viola, is somewhat unusual in concertos. The instruments support, comment, and engage with each other. Alyssa Roggow, principal viola with our orchestra, and Luis Angel Salazar, our principal/second violin for the 2019-20 season, present this melodic work “guaranteed to bring a tear to a glass eye,” according to one reviewer.
Sir Charles Villiers Stanford was an Irish composer, music teacher and conductor who at the age of 29, was one of the founding professors of the Royal College of Music. Among his pupils were rising composers whose fame went on to surpass his own, such as Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams. Stanford’s 200 compositions include seven symphonies, choral works for church performance, and nine operas. His Irish Rhapsody No. 1 includes an orchestral setting of Danny Boy, a ballad written by English songwriter Frederic Weatherly, set to the tune of the traditional Irish melody of “Londonderry Air.”