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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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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A 5-star Times review for Les fêtes d’Hébé!

Thank you Richard Morrison for your wonderful 5 star review in The Times (7 April). Your kind words are much appreciated…! “This charming production – wittily staged, vividly designed and meticulously choreographed by Thomas Lebrun – perfectly captured the inconsequential élan of the original….The voices were young, but stylishly deployed, and in the pit Jonathan Williams encouraged spirited playing from the RCM Baroque Orchestra. Hébé must have been richly entertained, and so was I.” Read the complete review here (behind…

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An imaginary pilgrimage… and a unicorn?

Here’s a beautiful post from my terrific former St Hilda’s colleague, Dr Kathryne Beebe. Katy has been working on Felix Fabri’s accounts of his pilgrimages to the Holy Land in the 1480s. His day-by-day accounts were read by enclosed nuns so that they might make an ‘imaginary pilgrimage’ to Jerusalem and beyond without leaving their cloisters. Katy and I had a wonderful time putting together text, images and music for a performance to illustrate the real and imagined journeys, which…

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Jonathan Williams © 2018. CSD