Successful Fundraiser, Premiere of Flautando

A September fundraiser raised over £370 for the historic church of St Mary’s, Prescot.

The concert of ‘Brass & Organ Classics’ featured organist Tim Hall, trumpeter Pete Moss and the Brassworks quintet, but a particular highlight of the evening was the first public performance of a new work by Robert Howard.

Performed by its dedicatee, flautist Laura Bonnett, Flautando used the whole range of the flute and a plethora of techniques to fill the vast 17th-century church with beautifully haunting sound.

Listen to recording of the first performance below, and explore Rob’s other compositions (score excerpts and audio) here.

Flautando: First Performance

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Friday 25 September will see the first performance of Dr Robert Howard’s composition Flautando.

A four-minute solo piece for flute, the work will be performed by its dedicatee, Laura Bonnett. It is a substantial reworking of a piece Robert wrote as a student, originally called simply For Flute (1996).

Flautando, whose title means ‘flute-like,’ explores the full range of the instrument, over three octaves, and a wide variety of gestures and techniques.

The acoustic and reverberation of the venue make it a highly suitable space for this premiere.

The performance takes place at 7pm on Friday 25 September 2015 at Prescot Parish Church, as part of a c75-minute concert of Brass & Organ Classics. Tickets are just £5 on the door, including wine and nibbles afterwards. See prescotfestival.co.uk for more information.

Photo: Flautist Laura Bonnett (by Alan Humphreys)

Cortege Receives Premiere, Second Performance 28 June

Dr Robert Howard’s latest composition, Cortege, received its first performance on 19 May 2015 at Liverpool Hope University Chapel.

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A stirring piece for full orchestra, it has a march-like quality, beginning subtly and growing in intensity towards its climax, exhibiting a rousing, rhythmic style that is all the composer’s own.

The South Liverpool Orchestra will play the piece again at the finale of the 11th Annual Prescot Festival of Music & the Arts on 28 June, in St Mary’s Church Prescot. The programme also includes music by Sibelius, Rossini, Bizet and Elgar, as well as a performance of Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto, with soloist Hannah Mackenzie.

Pictured: Robert conducts the premiere of Cortege (photo by Alan Humphreys)

Robert Howard Completes Latest Composition

Dr Robert Howard has recently completed his latest composition, Cortege (2015), for orchestra.

He has composed it for South Liverpool Orchestra, David Kernick (co-founder and webmaster of the Prescot Festival), and the 11th Annual Prescot Festival of Music and the Arts.

The piece will initially be performed by South Liverpool Orchestra (Liverpool Hope University) and conducted by the composer. The piece lasts approximately six minutes.

The first performance will be on Tuesday 19 May, 8pm at Liverpool Hope University Chapel, Taggart Avenue, Childwall, Liverpool, L16 9JD. Tickets are only £3.50 on the door, and the concert also includes works by Rossini, Purcell/Britten, Fucik and Elgar, as well as Sibelius’s Finlandia. The event will be followed by a buffet.

The second performance, and first festival performance, is on Sunday 28 June, 7.30pm, at Prescot Parish Church, Church Street, Prescot, Merseyside, L34 1LA. This is as part of the finale of the 11th Prescot Festival of Music & the Arts (www.prescotfestival.co.uk). Tickets are £5, and the concert also includes Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto (soloist – Hannah MacKenzie (RNCM)) and works by Rossini, Purcell/Britten, Fucik, Elgar, Sibelius, Arne and Parry.

Once again, the orchestra will be conducted by the composer, Dr Robert Howard.

Christmas 2014 Concerts for Dr Robert Howard

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Dr Robert Howard will be conducting three concerts this festive season:

  • Tuesday 9 December, 7.30pm, Chapel at Hope University, Taggart Avenue, Childwall – South Liverpool Orchestra Christmas Concert, with Hope Park Voices and the Wavertree String Quartet. Rob will be conducting the orchestra and the congregational carols;
  • Thursday 11 December, 7.00pm, Prescot Parish Church – Mayor of Prescot’s Charity Christmas Concert, with Neston Brass Quintet, St Mary and St Paul’s Primary School Choir, Evelyn Primary School & Staff Choirs, and Prescot Parish Church Choir.  Rob will be compering the evening, singing with PPCC and conducting the congregational carols;
  • Sunday 21 December, 2.00pm, Palm House, Sefton Park)- Phoenix Concert Orchestra Christmas Concert.  Rob will compering and conducting the majority of the pieces.

As well as those listed above, Rob will be conducting and participating in several Christmas events at St Edward’s College, Liverpool, where he teaches.

See also:

Robert Howard Performances, Friday 26 September

Press Release:

“Composer Dr Robert Howard is pleased to announce the second performance of his solo organ work ‘Meditation.’  Robert is Founder and Artistic Director of the Prescot Festival, and composed this work for Prescot Parish Organist Tim Hall, for the 10th Annual Prescot Festival (June 2014).

“The inspiration for the work was a recent visit with his students from St Edward’s College, Liverpool (Choir School to Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral) to La Trinité Church in Paris, where Messiaen was organist.

“‘Meditation’ will be performed as part of an evening of music and poetry commemorating the WWI centenary at Prescot Parish Church, Church Street, Prescot, Merseyside, L34 1LA, on Friday 26th September 2014, beginning at 7pm.

“The composer will also perform, for the first time, a revised version of his own solo piano work, entitled ‘Chagall Reflection.”

‘Meditation’ Premiere a Success

Robert is delighted to report that the first performance of Meditation, his work for solo organ, was very well received at the Prescot Festival late last month.

Parish Organist Tim Hall gave the premiere on the organ of St Mary’s Church, Prescot, prior to a well-attended Evensong on Sunday 29 July. It was widely reported both locally and in new music circles, online and offline. Other organists in the area have already taken up the piece, and Tim will be repeating the performance on Friday 26 September at 7pm as part of his annual recital at St Mary’s.

Copies of the full manuscript are available on request.

The composition was written specifically for the occasion of the 10th Annual Prescot Festival of Music & the Arts, which Robert founded in 2005. This year’s 10-day programme was an unprecedented success, attracting record audiences of 1,400 to a concert series that included organist Ian Tracey, Foden’s Band, and Dr Jazz & the Cheshire Cats.

New Piece to Premiere at Prescot Festival

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Composer Dr Robert Howard is pleased to announce the first performance of his new solo organ work for the 10th Annual Prescot Festival of Music & the Arts on Merseyside.

Robert is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Festival and has composed this work for Prescot Parish Organist Tim Hall. The inspiration for the work was a recent visit with his students from St Edward’s College, Liverpool (Choir School to Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral) to La Trinite Church in Paris, where Messiaen was organist.

Meditation will be performed at Festival Choral Evensong at Prescot Parish Church, Church Street, Prescot, Merseyside, L34 1LA, on Sunday 29 June 2014 prior to the 6pm service (approximately 5.50pm).

Click the thumbnail to view the score excerpt at full size.