Mead, Philip

Philip Mead studied piano at the Royal Academy of Music, London, receiving numerous prizes and awards and a distinction in his final practical exam. Mead was a prize winner of the 1978 Gaudeamus International competition for Interpreters of Contemporary Music, and since then has been at the forefront of contemporary music in this country. He has performed virtually the entire piano music of Messiaen at London's South Bank and given premieres by major composers such as Crumb and Stockhausen. In 2003 Mead gave the first London performance of Henry Cowell’s Piano Concerto at the Barbican with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Lawrence Foster and broadcast by both BBC Radio 3 and BBC 4 television. At the 2007 Spitalfields festival where Mead gave the European Premiere of Chris Dench’s major work for solo piano ‘Passing Bells: Night’.

Gourlay, James

James Gourlay was born in Scotland where, at an early age, he was volunteered to play in the local school brass band. He made rapid progress and soon became Scottish National solo champion at junior and senior levels. Gourlay later studied tuba performance at the Royal College of Music, London, but left after a short time to take up a full time position in the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Three years later, he became principal tuba of the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London. It was in that city that Gourlay became involved with the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble, sharing the tuba chair with John Fletcher. At that time, he was also active in the film industry, performing on the sound tracks of Superman II and III, Batman and Yentl, to name but a few. After 10 great years at the BBC, working with some of the world's greatest conductors, Gourlay was invited to become the solo tubist of the Zurich Opera House Orchestra in Switzerland. It was there that he developed his skills as a conductor, attending master-classes with Ralph Weikert, and working with the Brass Band Berner Oberland, with which he won the Swiss National Championship 5 times and the Swiss Open Contest 4 times, record that has yet to be beaten.
  • Total duration: 56'36
  • CD | PRICE £12.99

  • MP3 | 320K 44.1 KHz
    84.6 MB
     | PRICE £7.99

  • FLAC 16 | 16bit 44.1 KHz
    198.60 MB
     | PRICE £8.99


These three new works for brass, piano and percussion were all commissioned by pianist Philip Mead to play with the Royal Northern College of Music's acclaimed Brass Ensemble: Nicholas Sackman's rigorous and dramatic Meld, and Diana Burrell's Gold - which explores the sonorities of brass and gongs - are coupled with the title work, Geoff Poole's subversive yet jazzy portayal of Man's fall.


"Lucifer may have bagged the headline on this new disc, but the presiding angel is Philip Mead ... Anchored by Mead's muscular, formidable pianism, three very different [works] are showcased here: 'Lucifer' is ... a musical theatre bristling with everything from a portentuously Messiaenic Ezekiel to the louche landscapes of New Babylon. It's the perfect foil to the glistering metallic sheen of Diana Burrell's 'Gold', and the vivid, twitchy, discursive circularities of Nicholas Sackman's 'Meld'. The performances, under James Gourlay's alert direction, are exemplary - the RNCM Brass Ensemble at the top of its game."
BBC Music Magazine, 2005


Recording date: 20-21 November 2003

Recording venue:  Concert Hall, Royal Northern College of Music

Engineer/ Producer: David Lefeber
Editing & mastering: David Lefeber

Cover image: Francois Hall

(P) 2005 NMC Recordings Ltd

United Music Publishers
Catalogue number:
NMC D099
Release Date:
1 November 2005