Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

The award-winning Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra is the UK's oldest surviving professional symphony orchestra and has been at the heart of Liverpool’s cultural life since 1840. The Orchestra gives approximately 70 concerts each season in its home, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, as well as concerts in venues across the city, including Liverpool’s two cathedrals.

The Orchestra tours regularly throughout the UK and world-wide and has an extensive discography featuring many critically acclaimed recordings.
Their contemporary music group, Ensemble 10/10, also award-winning, is at the cutting edge of classical music, commissioning and performing new music by many of today’s leading composers.

Its Chief Conductor, Vasily Petrenko, joined the RLPO in 2006 and is committed to stay with the Orchestra till 2015. Born in 1976, he is recognised as one of the exceptional musicians of his generation.


Gourlay, Andrew

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.

Goddard, Lucy

Lucy is fortunate to have performed as a soloist in many of London's most prestigious venues including the Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall and St John's Smith Square. She is ideally suited to zwischenfach operatic roles, and enjoys performing Mozart opera in particular. She is also a keen interpreter of contemporary music and is a core member of EXAUDI vocal ensemble, with whom she regularly premieres works by exciting new composers. Recent staged work includes Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Annio in La Clemenza di Tito, both with Midsummer Opera, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Meg Page in Verdi's Falstaff, Triptych with ERRATICA at the Print Room, Notting Hill, and David Lang's The Little Match Girl Passion with Cryptic Theatre at King's Place. Concert engagements this year include Bach Magnificat with Solomon's Knot in the Leipzig Bach Festival, Christopher Fox's Catalogue Irraisoné at Cafe OTO with EXAUDI, a concert of Stravinsky's sacred works in St John's Smith Square with Philharmonia Voices, Bach Cantatas at Milton Court with the Academy of Ancient Music, and Reich's The Desert Music at the Barbican with the Britten Sinfonia. All of the above were recorded live for radio broadcast. Forthcoming engagements include Hänsel in Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel with Midsummer Opera, second soprano solos in Mozart C Minor Mass at St Bride's Church, London, and Berlioz Roméo et Juliette at the Proms and Mendelssohn Lobgesang at the Leipzig Gewandhaus, both with the Monteverdi Choir.

Dariescu, Alexandra

From the Royal Albert Hall in London to Carnegie Hall in New York, the young Romanian pianist Alexandra Dariescu, recently named as “one of 30 pianists under 30 destined for a spectacular career” in the International Piano Magazine, has dazzled audiences worldwide with her effortless musicality and captivating stage presence. Alexandra has recently been awarded the Custodian of the Romanian Crown Medal, the youngest musician to receive a distinction from the Royal Family of Romania. In 2013 she gave her debut at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and became the first ever Romanian female pianist to perform in this prestigious hall. Alexandra won UK’s Women of the Future Award in the Arts and Culture category in 2013, Romania’s Woman of the Year in 2014 and she has released two CDs on Champs Hill Records to critical acclaim. Alexandra was named “Special Ambassador of Romania” and was granted a diplomatic passport in 2015.


scapegoat is an experimental saxophone and percussion duo. Close creative collaboration and multi-media projects form the basis of their pursuit for artistic innovation and expression. Programmes are designed to broaden and challenge the musical experience of the audience, through original works featuring live electronics, performer-controlled sonic and visual amplification, video and lighting design, and improvisation. Formed in Paris in 2013 by Australian saxophonist Joshua Hyde and Canadian percussionist Noam Bierstone, scapegoat has performed in France, Germany, Canada, the US & the UK. In 2013-14, they were ensemble-in-residence for the m62 collaborative composition research project at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where they also presented workshops for the saxophone, percussion and composition studios. scapegoat recently completed a residency at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute in May 2015 to work with composer Mauricio Pauly and perform in his portrait concert as Radcliffe Fellow. This was followed by a North American tour of shows and workshops in Montreal, Toronto, Detroit, Chicago & New York. They will embark on a two-week tour of the UK in November 2015, including performances in Liverpool, Manchester, Oxford, London & Birmingham, and at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

Elias String Quartet

Elias String Quartet

The Elias String Quartet was formed in 1998 at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester where they worked closely with the late Christopher Rowland. They spent a year studying at the Hochschule in Cologne with the Alban Berg quartet; other mentors in the Quartet’s studies include Hugh Maguire, György Kurtág, Gábor Takács-Nagy, Henri Dutilleux and Rainer Schmidt.

The quartet have been chosen to participate in BBC Radio 3's prestigious New Generation Artists’ scheme and are the recipients of a 2010 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. In 2010, their disc of Mendelssohn, Mozart and Schubert on the Wigmore Hall Live label was given the BBC Music Magazine Newcomer Award.  
They have performed alongside artists such as Michael Collins, Jonathan Biss, Simon Crawford-Phillips, Ralph Kirshbaum, Alice Neary, Ann Murray, Joan Rogers, Mark Padmore, Roger Vignoles, Michel Dalberto, Peter Cropper, Bernard Gregor-Smith, Ettore Causa, Timothy Boulton, Robin Ireland, Adrian Brendel, Anthony Marwood and with the Endellion, Jerusalem and Vertavo Quartets.

Image Credit: 
Benjamin Ealovega


Emily Howard: Magnetite | Threnos | Mesmerism | Leviathan | Solar | Afference

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Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Andrew Gourlay conductor
Lucy Goddard mezzo-soprano
Simon Whiteley bass
Alexandra Dariescu piano
Elias String Quartet

Emily Howard’s degree in maths and computer science has informed her work, but, as she stresses, "I’m a composer, not a mathematician. My compositions embrace a diverse range of extra-musical influences including science, mathematics, philosophy, poetry, sport and chess, often simultaneously".

Magnetite (2007) was Howard’s first major orchestral commission for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Magnetite is the oldest known magnetic substance and Howard describes this piece as "a journey deep inside one of these crystals". Continuing a similar theme, Solar (2010) creates a musical image of our sun, using luminous, resonant sonorities and bursts of energy.

Mesmerism (2011) for piano and chamber orchestra is one in a series of works inspired by Ada Lovelace, the pioneering mathematician and daughter of Byron. This piece won a British Composer Award in 2012 with the BASCA judges commenting that 'the harmonic language of the music is lucid and beautiful, sustaining at the heart of the piece a great sense of stillness. This is an original voice'.

Works for smaller forces on this album include Afference (2014) for string quartet; Leviathan (2014-15) for baritone saxophone and percussion and Threnos (2015), a three-part song for bass and soprano voices (including the bass voice in falsetto).


'Magnetite [is a] sumptuous, powerful piece ... an engaging introduction to Howard's music, expertly played' The Observer

"A confident, major orchestral debut ... Scientific ideas brilliantly articulated in a score whose shimmering colours and essentially tonal trajectory are easily assimilated" BBC Radio 3 Record Review

'it is pure magic ... [it] takes the fascination with scientific theory and fashions an emotional journey' Planet Hugill

'Released by the excellent NMC and featuring consistently high quality performances, this fine disc offers a welcome introduction to a striking musical voice' BBC Music Magazine

'Emily Howard's music is dark and spacious, robust and sleek. She's the kind of composer who can summon big atmospheres in compact terms' Gramophone (Kate Molleson)

'[Magnetite] is a structural tour de force' AllMusic

'one of the most outstanding composers of her generation.' BBC Music Magazine (Nicola Lefanu)


With special thanks to The Ambache Charitable Trust, The Nicholas Boas Charitable Trust, Fidelio Charitable Trust and RVW Trust for their support of this recording.

Thank you to the trusts, foundations and individuals who have already invested in NMC's Debut Discs series:

The Astor Foundation

The Boltini Trust

The John S Cohen Foundation

Colwinston Charitable Trust

The Fenton Arts Trust

Nicholas and Judith Goodison

Mercers' Charitable Foundation

Stanley Picker Trust

The Radcliffe Trust

RVW Trust

Richard Thomas Foundation


Jennifer Roslyn Wingate

The individuals who donated through The Big Give Christmas Challenge December 2011


Solar, Magnetite and Mesmerism were recorded on 8-9 September 2015 at Liverpool Friary, Church of St Mary of the Angels, Liverpool.

Afference was recorded on 1 May 2015 at Menuhin Hall, Yehudi, Menuhin School, Cobham, Surrey.

Threnos was recorded on 1 December 2015 at All Saints East Finchley, London.

Recording Producer & Engineer: David Lefeber

Leviathan was recorded on 22 November 2015 at Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester.

Recording Producer & Engineer: Stephen Guy

Catalogue number:
NMC D219
Release Date:
23 September 2016