PREVIEW: The Lark Ascending – performed by Tamsin Waley-Cohen @ Town Hall, Weds 22nd Oct

Tamsin Waley Cohen - by Patrick Allen

Pictures of Tamsin Waley-Cohen by Patrick Allen

Tamsin Waley-Cohen comes to Birmingham Town Hall on Oct 22nd for an afternoon performance of The Lark Ascending by Vaughn Williams, launching Orchestra of the Swan’s 2014/5 season.

Ms Waley-Cohen will also be performing further compositions from Elgar, Britten and Williams – conducted throughout by David Curtis. Doors open at 2:30pm with tickets priced between £6.50 – £21.50 plus transaction fee.

Vaughn Williams - source unknownInspired by the George Meredith poem of the same name, The Lark Ascending by Vaughn Williams is one of Classical music’s most recognised and recited compositions. But despite its prominence today, The Lark Ascending was contrary to the compositions popular at the time of its debut, with Williams embracing a pentatonic scale to allow greater freedom and expression for the solo violin.

Written initially for violin and piano in 1914, it wasn’t until after the Great War in 1920 that Williams would première The Lark Ascending with piano accompaniment at Bristol’s Shirehampton Public Hall.

The following year Williams would re-score The Lark Ascending for solo violin and orchestra, premièring the new ensemble at London’s Queen’s Hall conducted by Adrian Boult – three years before Boult would conduct the City of Birmingham Orchestra (now the CBSO). The violin solos at both debuts were played by Marie Hall, the Newcastle born harpist and violinist who was both William’s muse and collaborator for The Lark Ascending.Tamsin Waley Cohen - by Patrick Allen

Tamsin Waley-Cohen has been playing violin since early childhood, reported falling in love with the instrument after watching a televised Prom concert. Born in London, Tamsin Waley-Cohen became a Foundation Scholar at the Royal College of Music – whose other violinist alumni include Sir Neville Marriner, the late Hugh Bean, alongside contemporaries Daniel Hope and Vasko Vassilev.

Tamsin Waley-Cohen has won several awards for violin, including the Royal College of Music ‘String Player of the Year’ (2005), and is currently the Artistic Director of London’s Tricycle Theatre’s Chamber Music Series.

Ms Waley-Cohen was also the Associate Artist for Orchestra of the Swan during their 2012/3 season and plays a Stradivarius – as did Marie Hall, including during the first public performances of The Lark Ascending.

Tamsin Waley-Cohen performs The Lark Ascending at Birmingham Town Hall on Oct 22nd, launching Orchestra of the Swan’s 2014/5 season. Ed King will be there for a Birmingham Review.


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