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Birmingham Conservatoire to host major celebration of the music of Frederick Delius and John Ireland


Works by Delius are to feature in a five-day Festival at the Birmingham Conservatoire over 17th - 21st June. The Delius Society AGM, Annual Lunch and The Delius Prize 2013 (tenth year) will be held during the event on Friday 21st June.

'Delius and Ireland: A Celebration' is a five-day Festival, one of the biggest the Conservatoire has ever hosted, involving over 60 individuals from the senior and junior Conservatoire, students and Faculty (including those famously associated with this repertoire), as well as orchestras, choirs and guest artists.

Fifteen concert programmes will showcase songs, piano pieces, chamber and orchestral works - including performances of the complete solo piano works by John Ireland, the Delius Double and Ireland Piano Concerto - and culminate in a performance of Delius's masterpiece, Seadrift, with the Conservatoire Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Lionel Friend in Birmingham Town Hall on 21st June. This programme also includes the world premiere of an early work by Benjamin Britten entitled Chaos and Cosmos, which the Conservatoire's students have been preparing and recording as part of the Britten Thematic Catalogue.

Discover music of great beauty and expressive power

As John Thwaites, Head of Keyboard, explained: "Birmingham Conservatoire is mobilising hundreds of students to work alongside Faculty and guests in presenting a uniquely ambitious and comprehensive overview of the compositions of two of the twentieth century's truly great composer-pianists; John Ireland and Benjamin Britten, together with the stupendous orchestral colourist, Frederick Delius."

"One does still meet serious musicians who claim to be indifferent to this repertoire, but I am falling more deeply in love with it", he said, "and alongside profoundly committed colleagues and extraordinarily enthusiastic students from across the world, will be working to reveal its great beauty and expressive power."One does still meet serious musicians who claim to be indifferent to this repertoire, but I am falling more deeply in love with it", he said, "and alongside profoundly committed colleagues and extraordinarily enthusiastic students from across the world, will be working to reveal its great beauty and expressive power."

Amongst artists taking part will be Mark Bebbington, Katharine Lam, Duncan Honeybourne, Lionel Handy, Nigel Clayton, Victor Sangorgio, Philip Martin, De-Wet Lee, Daniele Rosina, Amy Littlewood, Yu-Fen Lin, and stalwart of the keyboard, Margaret Fingerhut, who will be performing Ireland's London Pieces.

Latest SOMM releases on sale

SOMM Records will have a presence throughout the week of the Festival. A double disc of six British Cello Sonatas, including those by Ireland and Delius performed by Alexander Baillie and John Thwaites, will be released, and the Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir's recording of Part Songs by Ireland and Delius (SOMM 0119) directed by Paul Spicer, will also be available. Volume I of Delius's Orchestral Music transcribed for two pianos, and performed by Hiroaki Takenouchi and Simon Callaghan (SOMM 0112) will be another 'must-have' recording.

How to book:

Tickets are available in advance from the THSH box office: www.thsh.co.uk
and on the door. Full details of the festival programme can be found at: www.bcu.ac.uk/conservatoire or email: bhamcons.concerts@bcu.ac.uk
Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham City University, Paradise Place, Birmingham, B3 3HG

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