Matthew Schellhorn

pianist

Navigation
twitter-m soundcloud-m youtube-m vimeo-m rss-m email-32

Cambridge Music Festival 2009

Newly commissioned set of piano miniatures Homage to Haydn received its world premiere recently in the 2009 Cambridge Music Festival.



On Thursday 12 November, six pieces by different composers were performed to an enthusiastic audience in Robinson College Chapel.

Homage to Haydn is a set of six miniatures commissioned by pianist Matthew Schellhorn for the 2009 Cambridge Festival. The idea came from the project undertaken a hundred years ago for the Haydn Centenary by Debussy, Ravel, Dukas, d’Indy, Hahn and Widor, each of whom wrote a miniature, later published in La Revue Musicale, for the Société Internationale de Musique. These pieces were based on the letters H-A-Y-D-N translated into the musical notes B-A-D-D-G (where B = H in German, and with D and G supplying for otherwise unplayable letters): this technique, known as soggetto cavato (literally, ‘carved subject’), was commonly used in the Renaissance.

A hundred years later, six British composers – Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Michael Zev Gordon, Cecilia McDowall, Colin Riley, Jeremy Thurlow, and Tim Watts – have written pieces to celebrate Haydn’s bicentenary. At Matthew Schellhorn’s request, the choice of letters was freed up, with the two ‘spare’ letters becoming at the discretion of each composer.

Full programme notes for these pieces and an interview with Matthew Schellhorn in Muso Magazine can be read here.



Matthew Schellhorn with five of the six composers. From left to right: Tim Watts, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Jeremy Thurlow, Michael Zev Gordon, Cecilia McDowall. Absent: Colin Riley.


Messiaen CD on BBC Radio 3

Messiaen: Chamber Works was played recently on Radio 3 Requests.



Chi-chi Nwanoku introduced requests from Radio 3 listeners.

Click here to listen again (5 days left)

Click here to buy the disc from Amazon

Click here to download from iTunes

Praise for Messiaen CD

Messiaen: Chamber Works continues to receive glowing reviews!

Please visit CD reviews to read the latest press.



Soloists of the Philharmonia Orchestra

Buy CD from Amazon.co.uk (opens in new window)

Messiaen CD on BBC Radio 3

Matthew Schellhorn’s new CD, Messiaen: Chamber Works (SIGCD126), was featured on BBC Radio 3’s CD Review on Saturday 19 July 2008.

Andrew McGregor chose to play the Morceau de lecture à vue, which receives its world premiere recording on the disc.

For programme details see http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/cdreview/pip/3cuql/

For more details about the CD visit Listen.

New Messiaen CD released

British pianist Matthew Schellhorn is joined by the Soloists of the Philharmonia Orchestra in this recording of Olivier Messiaen's chamber works, including the eight-movement masterpiece Quartet for the End of Time, written while the composer was a prisoner of war and premiered in 1941 at the Stalag VIIIA camp in Silesia.

Marking one hundred years since the birth of the composer, the disc also includes the newly published Fantaisie for violin and piano (discovered after the composer's death) and the world première recording of a beautiful miniature for solo piano.



Soloists of the Philharmonia Orchestra

Buy CD from Amazon.co.uk (opens in new window)

Matthew Schellhorn on BBC Radio 3 In Tune

Matthew Schellhorn will be playing some items from his forthcoming Wigmore Hall programme and talking about his recent and forthcoming activities on BBC Radio 3's In Tune tomorrow (Friday 21 March 2008).

You can listen online at www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/intune and the interview should be just after 6 p.m.

Forthcoming Wigmore Hall recital

Matthew Schellhorn will be performing birdsong-inspired works by French composers Daquin, Rameau, Ravel, Dutilleux and Messiaen, and also bringing to completion the wonderful cycle of Stations written for him by Irish composer Ian Wilson.

Wigmore poster

There will also be favourites by Mozart and Chopin.

You can download the full flyer by clicking on the poster above.

Tickets begin at £10 and can booked by telephone (020 7935 2141) or online at www.wigmore-hall.org.uk.

Wigmore Hall

New Messiaen book from Ashgate

Olivier Messiaen: Music, Art and Literature
Christopher Dingle and Nigel Simeone (editors): Ashgate, 2007

"Before his death, Messiaen was, quite naturally, regarded as the primary, often the only, source of information about himself and his music. ... Matthew Schellhorn provides a prime example of the kind of recent scholarship that is not afraid to cast a critical eye upon the reliability of some of Messiaen's key pronouncements, in this case with respect to Stravinsky's Les Noces." (Preface)

When Olivier Messiaen died in 1992, the prevailing image was of a man apart; a deeply religious man whose only sources of inspiration were God and Nature and a composer whose music progressed along an entirely individual path, artistically impervious to contemporaneous events and the whims both of his contemporaries and the critics. Whilst such a view contains a large element of truth, the past ten years has seen an explosion of interest in the composer, and the work of a diverse range of scholars has painted a much richer, more complex picture of Messiaen. This volume presents some of the fruits of this research for the first time, concentrating on three broad, interrelated areas: Messiaen's relationship with fellow artists; key developments in the composer's musical language and technique; and his influences, both sacred and secular.

The volume assesses Messiaen's position as a creative artist of the twentieth century in the light of the latest research. In the process, it identifies some of the key myths, confusions and exaggerations surrounding the composer which often mask equally remarkable truths. In attempting to reveal some of those truths, the essays elucidate a little of the mystery surrounding Messiaen as a man, an artist, a believer and a musician. Specifically, the volume covers Messiaen's attitudes and associations to Cocteau, Stravinsky's Les Noces, Dutilleux and Toesca, as well as exploring his teaching techniques, the Traité de rythme, de couleur et d'ornithologie, Messiaen's harmony, performing and transcription techniques, composing for Ondes Martenot, his association with ballet, Saint François d'Assise and the influence of his faith.

Messiaen himself contributes directly in the form of a speech that he gave about the tapestry-maker Jean Lurçat, and the collection also includes the first literary translation of L'âme en bourgeon; the garland of poems written by Messiaen's mother, Cécile Sauvage, when she was expecting him. The composer described these poems as "the only influence" in his life, making L'âme en bourgeon a fascinating centrepiece to a rich and rewarding collection of essays.

Further information
Illustrations: Includes 9 b&w illustrations and 76 music examples
ISBN: 0 7546 5297 1
Publication Date: June 2007
Number of Pages: 378 pages
RRP: $99.00 / £55.00

More details from Ashgate

Buy the book from Amazon.co.uk

World Premiere of Stations by Ian Wilson

During a recital at the 2007 London Festival of Contemporary Church Music on Friday 18 May 2007, Matthew Schellhorn gave the world premiere of a new work written for him by Irish composer Ian Wilson.

Stations is a fourteen-movement work for solo piano (as of May 2007, half-complete), inspired by the Catholic devotion of the Stations of the Cross – a narrative in fourteen scenes that relates to the events leading from Christ's death sentence to his entombment.

Ian Wilson writes: "The work came from an embryonic idea that I had been considering for some time but which came into sharp focus once pianist Matthew Schellhorn expressed interest in having a new work from me.

"In the past, I have sought on occasion to marry aspects of the Christian faith with universal human experience. Works such as The Seven Last Words (for piano trio), Winter's Edge (for string quartet), and Rich Harbour (a concerto for organ and orchestra) have all sought to distil the emotional content of the ideas behind them and to transpose them onto dramatic musical frameworks that carry the works forward unhindered by dogma or imagery.

"In Stations, I use the devotional sequence of the Stations of the Cross as the structural and emotional basis for a large-scale instrumental work. As well as being obviously related to that idea, I also want to expand the potential 'meaning' of the work so that intimations of programme music or purely impressionistic or pictorial responses will not arise, but rather a strong, unified journey-type piece will result. The intention is to have a multi-movement, seventy-five-minute work that creates its own sense of musical drama as it proceeds."

Stations is divided into four Books. While complete performances of the whole work are the aspiration, each Book is also performable as a separate entity. The cycle will continue in recitals in autumn 2007, and will be completed at the Wigmore Hall in 2008.

New interview with CompositionToday

Matthew Schellhorn talks to David Bruce, composer and founder of new music website, CompositionToday, about his background, his interests, and his plans for the future.

Read the full interview
See more news...