Jonathan Williams

Rameau’s Rising Stars

It is with immense pleasure that I can announce the launch of two exciting new phases of Rameau Project research and performance taking place in 2020 and 2021: performances of the two versions of Castor et Pollux (1737 and 1754) and the writing of a much-needed guidebook on performing Rameau’s operas. These are made possible solely by a significant donation from Mrs Aline Foriel-Destezet, the lover of French music whose generous support has been such an essential part of the…

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Song Festival with the CBSO

Many congratulations to the CBSO team for the tremendous success of their first Baltic-style Song Festival! Hundreds of singers enjoyed a day making music with MIrga, Simon and the Orchestra in the newly opened Green Heart, right at the centre of the university. A wonderful day out and hopefully the first of many more Song Festivals to come…! Szła Dzieweczka, traditional Polish folk song, arranged for voices by Ula Weber, accompaniment by Jonathan Williams https://cbso.co.uk/event/song-festival

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Fauré, Chaminade & Machuel at the University Church

Many many congratulations to everyone who took part in the St Hilda’s annual Come and Sing at the University Church in Oxford on Saturday. Our Come and Sing events are going from strength to strength, so BRAVO to the Choir and Orchestra of St Hilda’s, our excellent soloists and all the enthusiastic Come-and-Singers for making our fifth event such a success… A special BRAVO goes to the St Hilda’s Consort, a new vocal group formed of the eight new Louisa…

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A Cool Yule with the CBSO

It’s been a real treat arranging Cool Yule for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Youth Chorus. The really catchy song made famous by Louis Armstrong proved to be an audience favourite at the performances thanks to the choir’s brilliant singing and the orchestra’s stylish accompaniment. Thank you Simon Halsey and Julian Watkins for the commission and thank you Will and Jack for all the help getting the orchestral parts organised so effortlessly. Looking forward to next Christmas…! https://cbso.co.uk/christmas-2018…

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Fauré & Finzi with the ECO

Thank you to everyone who made our concert commemorating the end of World War I such a moving and memorable experience. Peter Harvey and Catriona Hewitson for singing so beautifully, the English Chamber Orchestra for their exquisite accompaniment, those who stepped forward to read the war poetry and, of course, the wonderful Ealing Choral Society for all their hard work and terrific singing. Fauré Requiem Elgar Sospiri Finzi Requiem da Camera Parry I was glad

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Utrecht Early Music Festival 2018

It was wonderful to be in Utrecht for the first time in August and to give a paper at the Rameau Symposium. Approaches to Rameau’s complex performing practices was the subject and, with the talented soprano Lucía Caihuela, we explored two of Iphise’s airs from Dardanus – ‘Cesse, cruel Amour’ and ‘O jour affreux!’ focussing on what can be learned through the analysis of primary sources (scores and treatises) and of the music itself (metre, tonality, harmony, structure). And sharing…

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In conversation with William Christie

No-one has done as much to bring the music of the French Baroque stage back to life as William Christie, so what a great pleasure it has been to welcome him to Oxford this week as the Humanitas Visiting Professor of Opera 2018-19 and to participate in the lively round-table discussion with him. What with James Halliday’s lecture and Bill’s conversation with Edward Higginbottom (in Prologue and 5 Acts format!), we have been treated to events both fascinating and entertaining……

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NOVELLO and BAFTA success for Horizon Zero Dawn

Having already won two G.A.N.G. awards in San Francisco – including one for my choral compositions – and the Jerry Goldsmith award and having been BAFTA-nominated and voted the best game of 2017, the soundtrack of Horizon Zero Dawn has now been awarded the ultimate accolade – the 2018 IVOR NOVELLO award! Many congratulations to Joris, Joe, Alexis and Niels and everyone at Guerilla Games for this tremendous success…!

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Rameau’s Dardanus at ETO – ‘A remarkable work, shot through with grace and magic’

Here are some responses to the recent production of Dardanus which I was fortunate to conduct for English Touring Opera. I’m thrilled that the cast and orchestra have been recognised for their great work and that director Douglas Rintoul’s hugely intelligent, musically sensitive and sincere interpretation of the libretto has been so widely appreciated. Doug has completely changed the way I think about Rameau’s librettos and opened up new avenues of research to follow in 2018. Tim Ashley, The Guardian…

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Jonathan Williams © 2018. CSD