Thursday, 9 October 2014

Programme Notes

Programme notes are a constant part of my working life and scarcely a week goes by when I don’t produce at least one set. Many of the notes are written for St David’s Hall, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, but there are also many other festivals and concert giving organisations who ask me for notes as well. Here is the programme for last night’s concert at St David’s Hall in Cardiff for which I did the notes.

It was the first concert in their 2014-15 International Concert Series, given by the Russian State Philharmonic orchestra conducted by Valery Polyansky with music by Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky. 

After the concert there was a blistering post-concert performance of Shostakovich’s Third String Quartet given by the Mavron Quartet. And here is my desk a few weeks ago, strewn with books and scores for last night’s notes.

Lots of people think that notes can be drafted quite quickly using Wikipedia, but I find that each note usually requires me to look at all the main source books on the composer, as well as consulting other notes and, of course, the score. I’ve just reached 1700 notes on file which helps me to respond quickly to requests for notes for concerts (for a list see my website)

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