17 September 2014
PRS for Music marks the centenary of WW1 with special tribute
What better way for young people to engage with the First World War centenary than to write and perform an original piece of music, inspired by the immortal words of Laurence Binyon’s pre-war time poem “For the Fallen”?
Edward Gregson, the renowned composer, the English Schools’ Orchestra: conductor Robert Pepper MBE, Tim Nelson baritone and Roger Humphrey with his Southend Childrens’ Choir, are doing just that on Sunday, 2 November at 3pm in the Cadogan Hall. This brand new work entitled “Remember” was commissioned by the ESO and sponsored by PRS for Music, to commemorate the centenary of the First World War, as well as the centenary of the Performing Rights Society, and the twentieth anniversary of the orchestra.
Over 150 young musicians will join together for a programme which puts this brand new piece alongside famous works from the First World War era. The exciting young violinist Magnus Johnston will play Vaughan Williams’ “The Lark Ascending” and the programme is completed with George Butterworth’s Rhapsody “A Shropshire Lad” and Elgar’s First Symphony.
In a fitting tribute Edward Gregson has dedicated his work ‘to all the victims of war’ and sets three stanzas from the famous Laurence Binyon poem “For the Fallen”, for baritone solo, children’s choir, and orchestra, with intervening orchestral interludes acting as a dramatic counterpoint to the text. The work ends with a setting for children's choir of the Benedictus from the Latin Mass, bringing the work to a poignant conclusion as the baritone solo voice repeats the eternal line, ‘We will remember them’.
The English Schools’ Orchestra which regularly commissions new music has also partnered with PRS for Music to start an exciting new competition for young composers for which Edward Gregson is chief judge. The most successful pieces this year will be performed at the Apothecaries Hall in London at 7pm on Friday, 28 November by the English Young Artists’ Sinfonia (ESO professional alumni).
PRS Chair, Guy Fletcher OBE commented: “PRS for Music was formed one hundred years ago against the backdrop of the First World War so we are proud to be a part of this very poignant event. The performance is set to be a memorable one for all involved. Likewise, we are committed to supporting in the next generation of composers and the English Schools’ Orchestra competition is a wonderful opportunity for the UK’s brightest musical talent to shine.”
Notes to Editors: