New Music 20x12
20 outstanding new works, each lasting 12 minutes, commissioned to feature centre stage of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

David BruceDavid Bruce

Fire

The Opera Group and Salisbury International Arts Festival have commissioned David Bruce to create Fire, an outdoor spectacle of visual and musical fireworks and based on a collage of texts, including works from celebrated poet Vikram Seth and the 6th century Jewish poet Yannai. The celebratory piece is a spirited meditation on humankind’s enduring fascination with fire and performed by renowned pyrotechnic artists The World Famous, an ensemble of horns and a community chorus recruited through each of the three festivals to which it tours.

New Music 20x12 is the brainchild of Jillian Barker and David Cohen who wanted to put new music at the heart of the Olympic celebrations in 2012. It is delivered by PRS for Music Foundation in partnership with BBC Radio 3, London 20x12 and NMC Recordings. For a full list of funding partners click here.

About David Bruce

Bruce's music draws inspiration from folk-traditions from around the world. He particularly enjoys collaborating with musicians who have strong connections with both classical and folk/world traditions, such as accordionist Michael Ward-Bergeman, mandolinist Avi Avital and clarinettist David Orlowsky. Bruce also enjoys close working relationships with some of the finest musicians of the younger generation including Ensemble ACJW; harpist Bridget Kibbey; the grammy-nominated Metropolis Ensemble in New York; Chroma in the UK; and Art of Elan in San Diego (whose commission The Eye of Night was premiered in Jan 2011 and will shortly be recorded).

Bruce's work in opera has also attracted considerable attention. A series of short operas for Tete a Tete in London culminated in the Genesis Foundation commission Push! (2006) which was Critic's Choice for 2006 in both The Telegraph and Classical Music Magazine and received universal critical acclaim. In 2008, Dawn Upshaw instigated the commission for his one-act opera A Bird in Your Ear (2008) for Bard College, NY. After its successful premiere the opera has had performances by New York City Opera as part of the 2009 VOX festival; as a finalist in the National Opera Association's Chamber Opera competition 2008; and with students at NYU. The New York Times said the opera, "rich with imagined folk tunes, undulant accompaniment patterns and vibrant choral writing, is delicate, tartly tonal and lucidly orchestrated."

Bruce's music has attracted numerous awards and prizes, including the Lili Boulanger Memorial Prize (2008) and the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Competition (1994).

 

Horns Aloud

Horns Aloud, formed in 2002 from graduates of Trinity College of Music, are a prize-winning Horn Quartet who perform a unique blend of chamber music around the country. The group has evolved with the founder members John Davy, Jamie Thomas and Marc Woodhurst joined in 2005 by Jocelyn Lightfoot and the ensemble’s success continuing to grow as the quartet explored new repertoire and audiences.

Recently, the quartet have performed in concerts and festivals abroad. A sell-out concert in Turin’s Palazza Madama in 2010 was followed by performances in the glorious alpine scenery of the 2011 I Suoni delle Dolomiti festival and record crowds for Colourscape’s visit to Turku in Finland, all events given with and organized by Martin Mayes, a Turin-based horn-player and musician. In 2012, the ensemble will be appearing in three performances of the new commission Fire by David Bruce, given as part of the Salisbury and Spitalfields festivals and delivered by PRS for Music Foundation in partnership with the BBC, LOCOG, Sound & Music and NMC Recordings.

During 2008, Horns Aloud were selected to perform by the Park Lane Group at the close of their Young Artists’ Series at the South Bank in London and also performed at the Colourscape Festival on Clapham Common in September, along with more recent Christmas concerts.
2009 was an even more eventful year, with the group appearing at the foyer of the Royal Festival Hall, and announcing the world premiere of a new work for the group by Cecilia McDowall at the British Horn Society Annual Festival.

 

 

Jeremy BackhouseJeremy Backhouse

JEREMY BACKHOUSE is one of Britain’s leading conductors of amateur choirs. He began his musical career in Canterbury Cathedral where he was Senior Chorister, and later studied music at Liverpool University. He spent five years as Music Editor at the Royal National Institute of Blind People, where he was responsible for the transcription of print music into Braille. In 1986 he joined EMI Records as a Literary Editor and from April 1990 combined his work as a Consultant Editor for EMI Classics and later Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers with his career as a freelance conductor.

In January 2009 Jeremy took up the post of Music Director of the Salisbury Community Choir, a 180-strong non-auditioned choir. His first major engagement with them will be the opening concert of the Salisbury International Arts Festival, in Salisbury Cathedral on Saturday 23 May, premiering a vast new work by Bob Chilcott called the Salisbury Vespers.

 

 

Brian MolesBrian Moles

Brian Moles was one of the founders of, and holds the position of Musical Director of Spezzati.

Brian gained both his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Royal Holloway, part of the University of London. During his time there, he he held the posts of both Organ and Choral Scholar, conducted the university chamber choir, as well as running departmental choirs and orchestras. He held the post of acting Organist and Director of Chapel Music during the Sabbatical of the college organist in 2003. After a period as Assistant Organist at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Cardiff, Brian returned to the London area, where he pursued a busy career as a teacher, composer and performer, as well as being a Lay Clerk at the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban. In September 2009 he was appointed Organist and Director of Music at St Mary's, Portsea.

Brian's time is divided between a busy teaching career, as a composer and as a performer. His work as an organist has seen him play in Notre Dame, Paris; St David's Hall, Cardiff and St Paul's Cathedral, London; as well as performing in several other Cathedrals around the UK and abroad. As a singer, he has been a Tenor soloist in various works, including Schubert Offertorium and Mass in G, Haydn Nelson Mass and Mozart Vespers.

 


David Bruce FireThe performance of Fire at Salisbury International Arts Festival was recorded by the BBC on 26th May and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 16th June 2012.

The work is available on NMC in mp3 and FLAC download formats. (See below)

 

 

 

 

VIDEO

David Bruce and The Opera Group

MUSIC MAP

FUNDERS

New Music 20x12 is the brainchild of Jillian Barker and David Cohen who wanted to put new music at the heart of the Olympic celebrations in 2012. It is delivered by PRS for Music Foundation in partnership with BBC Radio 3, London 20x12 and NMC Recordings. For a full list of funding partners click here.

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