ARTISTS

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1935 by Scottish composer and conductor Ian Whyte, the BBC SSO’s repertoire ranges from highly complex modern scores to the classics, from music by Scottish composers to film and TV scores. Its concert performances and recordings are broadcast exclusively on BBC Radio and television. Its innovative programmes and acclaimed recordings have made it the recipient of numerous awards, including two Gramophone Awards (including NMC D141) and a Grammy nomination. The Royal Philharmonic Society presented the BBC SSO with its award for Best Orchestra in 2002, and its Chief Conductor, Ilan Volkov with the prize for Best Young Artist in 2004.
 
The BBC SSO is especially active in commissioning and promoting new music, having worked with many leading composers over the years from Britten and Shostakovich to Kurtág and Tan Dun: it is especially proud of its support for Scottish composers – including Stuart MacRae, whose music the orchestra has recorded to great acclaim for NMC (on NMC D115).
 
The BBC SSO regularly tours Europe, and in recent years has visited China, the USA and South America. It appears annually at the BBC Proms and Edinburgh International Festival, and is in demand at festivals including Cheltenham, Huddersfield and St. Magnus in Orkney. The orchestra takes live music to towns and cities across Scotland every season, and is increasingly involved in the community, with its learning programme, dedicated to bringing the inspiration of great music to people of all ages and backgrounds.

Thom, Eloisa-Fleur

Eloisa-Fleur
Thom
Violin

Eloisa-Fleur Thom is a prize-winning violinist, director and curator. Highlights of her career so far have included performing J.S Bach's Concerto for two violins with the celebrated violinist Maxim Vengerov, and chamber music with Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood (LCO soloists). In the past few years Eloisa-Fleur has given performances at the Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, the Ashmolean Museum's 'Stradivarius' exhibition, Leeds International Concert Series, St George’s Bristol, been broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, and collaborated with Rambert Dance Company & composer Kate Whitley. Eloisa-Fleur is the Artistic Director and Leader of 12 ensemble, a virtuosic un-conducted string orchestra of a dozen young elite musicians who are currently taking the London music scene by storm. They recently performed at the Philharmonie de Paris in 2016 alongside Max Richter. Eloisa-Fleur held a 2015/16 creative residency at Heima in Seydisfjordur, Iceland.

BCMG

BCMG
BCMG was formed in 1987 from within the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and is established as one of Europe’s leading ensembles.   Sir Simon Rattle is the Group’s Founding Patron and has conducted BCMG in the UK, on tour in Europe and America, and on several EMI recordings. The Group has strong relationships with its two Artists-in-Association Oliver Knussen and John Woolrich, and also with Thomas Adès who conducts the Group during 2006/07 in Birmingham, London, Cologne and Paris, and with whom BCMG is invited to Carnegie Hall, New York in 2008. BCMG was awarded The Arts Ball 2002 Outstanding Achievement Award and has also won prestigious Prudential, Royal Philharmonic Society, Gramophone and PRS Millennial awards. In May 2005, BCMG was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Audience Development for its popular Rural Tours programme.
 
The core of BCMG's work is the performance of new music, and the Group has premiered over 100 new works by leading UK and overseas composers. Most have been commissioned with the help of a large number of individuals through BCMG’s ground-breaking Sound Investmentscheme. The Group regularly tours nationally and internationally. Recent UK engagements have included appearances at the Aldeburgh and Cheltenham Festivals, and at the BBC Proms with Birmingham Opera Company for Benjamin Britten’s CurlewRiver.  In April 2006, the Group toured the UK with New York-based jazz trumpeter, Dave Douglas, performing Blue Latitudes, a piece commissioned through BCMG’s Sound Investment scheme. Previous projects have included a European tour with Sir Simon Rattle in 2000, a tour of India in 2002 with Judith Weir and Indian storyteller Vayu Naidu and visits to the Berlin, Radio France Présences and Vienna’s Wien Modern Festivals, Denmark, Sweden and Portugal.   
 
BCMG is committed to engaging the widest possible range of people with its work, and runs extensive learning and audience-building programmes in pursuit of this aim. Projects with young people in and out of school and with adults in a range of community settings are complemented by free performance projects such as the Group’s popular ‘Rural Tours’, Late-Night performances and Meet-the-Composer days. BCMG broadcasts often on BBC Radio, has made TV programmes for BBC and Independent Television, and numerous CD recordings.  The relationship with NMC is particularly strong, with the recent launch of a new CD of Britten’s film music and several more discs planned.

Baker, Richard

Richard
Baker
Conductor

Richard Baker is a leading figure on the British contemporary music scene as one of the foremost composer-conductors of his generation. He studied composition in the Netherlands with Louis Andriessen and in London with John Woolrich, and first drew significant attention with two early works – a trio, Los Rábanos (1998), performed and broadcast widely by the Composers Ensemble, and the remarkable Learning to Fly (1999), a basset clarinet concerto premiered by the London Sinfonietta and Timothy Lines.

The position of New Music Fellow at Kettle's Yard, Cambridge (2001–3) inaugurated an important strand of work as a concert curator and programme adviser as well as supporting Richard's progress as a composer. Subsequent years yielded chamber music, a brace of short choral pieces and a number of songs and song cycles – notably Slow passage, low prospect (2004), commissioned by the Aldeburgh Festival for Christopher Purves and Andrew West, and Written on a train (2006) for Christianne Stotijn and a small ensemble led by Christian Tetzlaff.

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London Contemporary Orchestra

London Contemporary Orchestra

London Contemporary Orchestra is a leading global orchestral group focused on playing, commissioning and developing new music and artistic output. Alongside working with well-known artists, LCO focus on developing a diverse next generation of players, conductors and composers by creating opportunities for them to work at the highest professional level.

Formed in 2008 by co-artistic Directors Robert Ames and Hugh Brunt, the LCO has collaborated with a wide array of musicians, artists, creative figures, platforms and venues such as: Radiohead, Frank Ocean, Jed Kurzel, Jonny Greenwood, Steve Reich, Justice, Terry Riley, Thom Yorke, Mica Levi, Actress, Beck, William Basinski, Richard Reid Parry, Goldfrapp, James Lavelle, Secret Cinema, Vivienne Westwood, Nike, Bill Morrison, Conrad Shawcross, Ron Arad, Hannah Perry, NTS, Boiler Room, DAZED, Resident Advisor, Meltdown Festival, The Barbican, Southbank Centre, The Roundhouse, Printworks, Tate Modern, BBC Proms etc.

LCO have a strong recording and performance record for film, television and music, having recorded soundtracks such as The Master, Alien: Covenant, Macbeth, Phantom Thread, Assassins’ Creed, You Were Never Really Here, McMafia, Suspiria, American Animals etc. performed live Moonlight, There Will be Blood and Under the Skin and featured heavily (strings and choir) on Radiohead’s 2016 “A Moon Shaped Pool”.

Upcoming projects include: A world tour of Phantom Thread performed live, a development collaboration with Erased Tapes label, a new organ concerto with Philip Glass, a studio album with Actress, a new collaboration with Hannah Perry and Mica Levi, a new live show of Become Ocean developed with Universal Assembly Unit etc.

The LCO is a winner of the RPS “best ensemble” award, the UK’s highest accolade for an orchestral group.

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Ames, Robert

Robert
Ames
Conductor

Robert Ames is at the forefront of a new generation of musicians questioning the conventions and rituals surrounding classical music. He is Co-Artistic Director and Conductor of the London Contemporary Orchestra and is also well known as an innovative programme curator. Robert has led the LCO in sell out concerts at The Printworks and Oval Space in East London, the Royal Festival Hall, Barbican Centre, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and BBC Proms at the Tate Modern and Royal Albert Hall.

Recent and upcoming conducting engagements include the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Moscow New Music Ensemble, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Aarhaus Symphony Orchestra, Kazakhstan State Symphony, Belarusian State Symphony, Symphony Orchestra of India, Wordless Symphony Orchestra, City Of London Sinfonietta, London Electronic Orchestra and The Manchester Camerata.

Robert has worked closely with many leading figures in new music, including Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Bryce Dessner, Mica Levi, Nico Mulhy, Richard Reed Parry, Terry Riley, Anna Meredith and Steve Reich.  He is also passionate about championing music from the leading composers of his own generation, premiering works by Shiva Feshareki, Claire M Singer, Emilie Levenaise Farroush, Catherine Lamb and Edmund Finnis amongst others. He has also collaborated with a variety of artists in other fields including fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, architect-designer Ron Arad and Sculptor Conrad Shawcross. Recent forays and collaborations have also taken him into the world of pop working with artists such Actress, DJ Shadow, Jonny Greenwood, Thom Yorke, Jamie XX and Frank Ocean.

Ólafsson, Víkingur

Víkingur
Ólafsson
Piano

Possessing a rare combination of passionate musicality, explosive virtuosity and intellectual curiosity, pianist Víkingur Ólafsson has been heralded “Iceland’s Glenn Gould” by the New York Times (Anthony Tommasini, August 2017). Before lighting up the international scene in 2016, Ólafsson won all the major prizes in his native country, including four Musician of the Year prizes at the Icelandic Music Awards, and the Icelandic Optimism Prize.

Beilman, Benjamin

Benjamin
Beilman
Violin

Benjamin Beilman has won praise both for his passionate performances and deep rich tone which the Washington Post called “mightily impressive,” and The New York Times described as “muscular with a glint of violence.” The Times has also praised his “handsome technique, burnished sound, and quiet confidence,” and the Strad described his playing as “pure poetry.” In a 2018 feature in The Boston Globe, David Weininger remarked that Beilman’s “playing already has its own sure balance of technical command, intensity, and interpretive finesse.”

Beilman began playing violin at the age of five and went on to study with Almita and Roland Vamos at the Music Institute of Chicago, Ida Kavafian and Pamela Frank at the Curtis Institute of Music, and Christian Tetzlaff at the Kronberg Academy.

He plays the “Engleman” Stradivarius from 1709 generously on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.

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Britten Sinfonia

Britten Sinfonia
Orchestra

Britten Sinfonia is an Associate Ensemble at the Barbican in London, has residencies across the east of England in Norwich, Cambridge (where it is an Ensemble-in-Residence at the University) and Saffron Walden, where the orchestra becomes Resident Orchestra at Saffron Hall in Autumn 2016. The orchestra also performs a chamber music series at Wigmore Hall and appears regularly at major UK festivals including the Aldeburgh Festival and BBC Proms. The orchestra’s growing international profile includes regular touring to North and South America and Europe. The orchestra made its debut in China in May 2016 with a three-concert residency in Shanghai, as well as performances in Beijing and Wuhan.

Founded in 1992, the orchestra is inspired by the ethos of Benjamin Britten through world-class performances, illuminating and distinctive programmes where old meets new, and a deep commitment to bringing outstanding music to both the world’s finest concert halls and the local community. Britten Sinfonia is a BBC Radio 3 broadcast partner and regularly records for Harmonia Mundi and Hyperion.

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Harry Rankin

Gourlay, Andrew

Andrew
Gourlay
Conductor
Born in Jamaica, with Russian ancestry, Andrew Gourlay grew up in the Bahamas, Philippines, Japan and England. A trombonist and pianist by training, he studied conducting at the Royal College of Music, where he prepared Bruckner symphonies for Bernard Haitink and Mozart symphonies for Sir Roger Norrington. He was selected by Gramophone magazine as their 'One to Watch', and by BBC Music Magazine as their 'Rising Star: great artists of tomorrow'. Andrew Gourlay took up the position of Music Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León (OSCYL) in January 2016, having been Principal Guest Conductor since the 2014/15 season. He won First Prize at the 2010 Cadaques International Conducting Competition, securing concerts with 29 orchestras around the world. For the next two years he was Assistant Conductor to Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra. He twice replaced Sir Colin Davis at the Barbican, and worked as cover conductor for Kurt Masur, Valery Gergiev and Esa-Pekka Salonen. Recent and future guest engagements include conducting the San Diego Symphony, Philharmonia, the BBC orchestras, RLPO, Hallé, CBSO, Opera North, RTÉ Symphony, Ulster Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony, Australian Youth Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Stavanger Symphony, Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, Orquesta Sinfonica de Chile, numerous major orchestras throughout Spain, and the London Sinfonietta at the BBC Proms.

Volkov, Ilan

Ilan
Volkov
Conductor
Volkov first conducted the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (BBC SSO) in 1998. He becamse Chief Conductor of the BBC SSO in January 2003, the youngest chief conductor appointed to a BBC orchestra at the time. He was named the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Musician of the Year in 2004, in recognition of his work with the BBC SSO. In September 2007, the orchestra announced Volkov's departure from the BBC SSO chief conductorship in September 2009. In December 2008, the BBC SSO announced the appointment of Volkov as its principal guest conductor, to commence after the conclusion of his tenure as chief conductor, for an initial contract of 3 years with 4 weeks of scheduled guest-conducting appearances. In January 2011, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra named Volkov as its 9th chief conductor and music director, effective with the 2011-2012 season, with an initial contract of 3 years. His initial contract was for 3 years, with 6 weeks of scheduled appearances in his first season and 9 weeks of concerts in subsequent seasons. Volkov concluded his tenure with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra in August 2014, following the orchestra's debut at The Proms.
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COMPOSER:

DESCRIPTION

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Ilan Volkov conductor
Eloisa-Fleur Thom violin
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
Richard Baker conductor
London Contemporary Orchestra
Robert Ames conductor
Mark Simpson clarinet
Víkingur Ólafsson piano
Benjamin Beilman violin
Britten Sinfonia
Andrew Gourlay conductor

Edmund Finnis is a ‘hugely gifted composer’ (Sunday Telegraph) and his multifaceted output ranges from intimate music for soloists and duets to immersive electronic pieces, music for film, ensemble and choral music, and works for large orchestra. This album demonstrates the breadth of Finnis' music to date with world-class ensembles and soloists including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, BCMG, London Contemporary Orchestra, Víkingur Ólafsson and Mark Simpson, along with conductors who have demonstrated a deep understanding of his music: Ilan Volkov, Richard Baker, Robert Ames and Andrew Gourlay.

Finnis' compositions are beautiful and iridescent, and explore in detail the potential embodied in each of the instruments he writes for. Two examples of this are the title track The Air, Turning which draws on the idea that music is just vibrating air and the sensation of sound moving around us and Elsewhere, written for violin with reverb, that delicately spins melodic shapes like spiderwebs, with light bowing and whispy flautando effects.

This is a stunning release from a young composer with a unique and compelling soundworld.

REVIEWS

'Edmund Finnis’ The Air, Turning is a similarly descriptive and evocative creation with hints of film music enhancing a strong piece of storytelling' thoroughlygood.me

'A striking collection of works' The Guardian

''Reveals his precious ability to transform the most straightforward musical objects, sometimes even a single chord, into something richly mysterious and compelling' The Guardian

'RTE Sound Out March Music Pick' RTE Sound Out Recommends

Official Charts

Classic FM

FUNDING

With special thanks to Christoph and Marion Trestler, The RVW Trust, The Hinrichsen Foundation and the Royal Academy of Music for their support of this recording.

RVW        Hinrichsen             Royal Academy

   

 

Thank you to the Trusts, Foundations and individuals who have invested in NMC’s Debut Discs series:

 
The John S Cohen Foundation
Nicholas and Judith Goodison’s Charitable Settlement
The Mercers’ Charitable Foundation

Stanley Picker Trust
The Steel Charitable Trust
Terry Holmes
Robert McFarland
James and Anne Rushton
Martin Staniforth
Judith Weir

The individuals who donated through NMC’s Debut Discs Appeal
 

 

Parallel Colour was commissioned by Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, with financial assistance from the following individuals through BCMG’s Sound Investment Scheme:

John Barnden
Anthony Bolton
Paul Bond
Richard Bratby & Annette Rubery
Alan S Carr
Christopher Carrier
Simon Collings
Alan B Cook
Ann Copsey
Susanna Eastburn
Gareth Llyr Evans
Anne Fletcher
Wally Francis
Sally Groves
Matthew Harris
Fern Hodges
Martyn Leighton
Jeremy Lindon
Amanda Cadman and Peter T Marsh
Andrew Mason
Adam Nagel
Roy Parker
Kim and Kay Prior
Maureen and William Scott
Howard Skempton
Michael and Sandra Squires
Nest Thomas
Terry Thorpe
Owen G Watkins
Doreen and Harry Wright
Alex Wright

 

The Air, Turning was commissioned by the BBC for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Elsewhere was commissioned by Daniel Pioro. Between Rain was commissioned by the London Contemporary Orchestra. The first performance was given by the London Contemporary Orchestra, conducted by Hugh Brunt, at the Roundhouse, on 23 August 2014. Four Duets was commissioned by Mark Simpson with generous financial assistance from the Fidelio Charitable Trust. Shades Lengthen was commissioned by London Music Masters, supported by The Boltini Trust.

RECORDING CREDITS

Shades Lengthen, Between Rain and Elsewhere were recorded at All Saints Church, East Finchley, London on 14-15 April 2018. Parallel Colour was recorded at CBSO Centre, Birmingham on 6 May 2018.
DAVID LEFEBER Recording Engineer & Producer


Four Duets was recorded by the BBC at BBC Maida Vale Studios, Studio 2, London on 28 May 2013.
PHILIP BURWELL Recording Engineer
JANET TUPPEN Producer


The Air, Turning was recorded by the BBC at City Halls, Glasgow on 23 February 2017.
HYWEL JONES Recording Engineer
DOUGLAS TEMPLETON Producer

Catalogue number:
NMC D249
Release Date:
8 February 2019