RNCM Brand New Orchestra (7.30pm)

Daniel Lau R.O.O.T.
Chris Cook Dragonfly Vignette
Alice Brookes Dissolve
Lucy Hale Against the Tide
Eve Vickers Delta Relicta
Adam Webster Vision
Dominic Wills/Vladimir Nabakov I was the Shadow
Matthew Martin Façade

Elizabeth Vergara Gallego, Leon Frantzen, Ann Miller conductors
Samuel Knock tenor
Joseph Myer Dawson cello
Benedict Holland guest leader

Programme notes:

Daniel Lau - R.O.O.T.

‘For there is hope of a tree, If it be cut down, that it will sprout again, And that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, And the stock thereof die in the ground; Yet through the scent of water it will bud, And bring forth boughs like a plant.’ – Job 14:7-9 KJV

Keep our faith alive and we will be strong again.

Chris Cook - Dragonfly Vignette

This piece was written with the intention to evoke the concept of the visual phenomena of camera lens vignetting, with the subject matter of the depicted image being a dragonfly. Throughout the piece, through the utilisation the solo cello, this ‘image’ of a dragonfly slowly begins to come into focus. The solo cello starts buried in dense insect like textures in the orchestra but as the piece continues, it emerges and takes on a soloistic role.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Richard Newitt Fund for their support of my post-graduate studies.

Alice Brookes - Dissolve

Dissolve is written for full orchestra but was inspired by the vocal work, Embers. As a vocal piece the soundworld was intimate and fragile. The challenge of converting that into a work for full orchestra was immense but brought a fantastic new lease of life and command to the music, capitalising on the contrast between build, decay, and silence.

Lucy Hale - Against the Tide

This piece has a linear structure, progressively gaining energy and momentum until a final climax at the end. The violins have an ostinato which gets incrementally higher in pitch and eventually changes to double bowing before the end. All the pitched material that is not derived from this ostinato is based on 6 basic ideas. These ideas are the quintuplets first seen at bar 8, the sustained chords in the trombones, cellos and double basses first seen at figure 1, the melodic fragment first seen at bar 30 – 32 in the clarinets, trumpets, flutes and bassoons, the semiquaver and triplet motif first seen at figure 5 in the clarinets, the fanfare like material in the trumpets and trombones first seen from bar 63 and the motif first seen from bar 66 in the bass trombone, tuba and double basses. These ideas are repeated in different combinations and varied using techniques such as transposition, inversion and changes of instrumentation.

Note by Lucy Hale.

Eve Vickers - Delta Relicta

This piece is focused on the interplay between two objects, highly distinct in harmonic and timbral quality, and exploring the effect of colliding them at greater and greater levels of intensity, until they fracture and break down. These two objects alternate throughout the first half of the piece, with long sections of the first object being interrupted by interjections of the second. These interjections grow more frequent, as both timbres increase in their intensity and reach extremes of pitch and dynamics. At the midpoint of the piece, the two timbres ‘crash’; aspects of both combine both timbrally and harmonically in a loud, intense climax. This then leads into the second half of the piece, in which both objects are transformed into broken, unstable forms.

Adam Webster - Vision

The word vision is applicable to both the literal act of seeing (physical reality) and the ability to use one’s imagination, either consciously or unconsciously, to conjure images and dreams. I encourage the audience to allow their own ‘visions’ to manifest themselves as they listen to this piece of music.

Dominic Wills/Vladimir Nabakov - I was the Shadow

Pale Fire is a 1962 work of fiction by Vladimir Nabokov. The plot centres around a poet called John Shade who, shortly before he died, completed a cryptic 999-line poem entitled Pale Fire. I have set three extracts of the poem to music, in three sections for tenor and orchestra which tell the story of Shade’s life. I have tried to capture Nabokov’s dark wit and colourful prose in my music, as well as reflecting the unique poem-novel hybrid form of Pale Fire, by creating a musical work which is a song-opera hybrid. Furthermore, as Nabokov quotes Shakespeare and numerous other authors, I have quoted from a number of famous musical works, including Bach’s St Matthew Passion and Mahler’s Symphony No 2. The overall effect should be one of multiple layers and allusions which only heighten the ultimate sense of tragedy which is in so much of Nabokov’s writing.

Matthew Martin - Façade

Lush, rich harmony is obscured behind a façade of noise, as they circle and intertwine with each other, vying for the foreground. As the pieces plays out, this relationship is explored; the harmony occasionally piercing through the noise while the noise is weaving its way around the harmony. The strings glide over the top of this contest, undecided and teetering on the edge of both noise and pitch. The piece approaches its climax as both layers contend to entirely drown out the other until just one remains.

RNCM Brand New Orchestra:

Personnel list


Benedict Holland

Grainne White

Jocelyn Lau

Christopher Newton

Ailsa Burns

Samuel Kane

Sarah Razlin

Rory Masterson

Blair Taylor



Samy Okuma-Chin

James Warburton

Yutong Jiang

Jasmine Morris

Dylan Latham

Aleksandar Petrov

Jessica Holding

Coraleigh Kelly-Edwards



Michaela Jones

Ellie Waddington

Conrad Ihering

Emily Tomlinson

Rebecca Stubbs



Neil Sild

Rebekah Clarke

Lucy McLuckie

Esther Skipp



Sara Banks

Marcelo NunesRodrigues



Leah Wing

Isabeau Hansen

Xiaowen Liu (picc+alto)



Emma Chan

Will Graham

Mariam Jackson (cor)



Thomas Knollys

Nathan Kenworthy

John Kelly (bass)



Carys Nunn



Theo Puddu

Ruiying Wang

Erline Moreira (contra)



Tom Hutchison

Cecily OBrien

Dominic Allison

Chak Hin Lo



Robbie Richardson

James Corking

Leo Parry



James Hunt

Roz Fearnehough

Oliver Atherton



Josh Allen



Calum Montgomery



Luna Chang

Simone Herbert-Moores

Kiki Liang



Angharad Huw

Holly-Alice Morton



Harry Lai (Cook, Hale, Martin)

Michael Shiu (Lau, Vickers)