Matthew Schellhorn

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Haydn commission shortlisted for British Composer Awards 2010

One of the pieces from Homage to Haydn, commissioned by Matthew Schellhorn and premiered in the 2009 Cambridge Festival, has been shortlisted for a British Composer Award.

Muso-Haydn

‘Stolen Rhythm’ by Cheryl Frances-Hoad (b. 1980), was written last year as part of a project to commemorate the Haydn bicentenary. Six composers were commissioned to write a piece based on the letters H-A-Y-D-N, taking as their inspiration a similar set of pieces by Debussy, Ravel, Dukas, d’Indy, Hahn, and Widor. ‘Stolen Rhythm’ was the fourth piece in the set. The other composers involved in the project were Tim Watts, Colin Riley, Cecilia McDowall, Michael Zev Gordon, and Jeremy Thurlow. The six pieces, grouped together as Homage to Haydn, received their world premiere performances in the 2009 Cambridge Festival and were published later that year in Muso magazine.

Cheryl Frances-Hoad writes: ‘I took inspiration from the third movement of Haydn’s piano sonata in E flat (Hob XVI: 45) – the way it continually moves forward with a boundless energy and wit is thrilling. It seemed to me that it was the rhythmic content of the movement that gave it these properties, so I decided shamelessly to steal the rhythm – hook, line and sinker – and simply put my notes to it. I have played with various transmutations of the notes B, A, D, D, G, generating lots of different sets of pitches by methods such as inversion and transposition in order to arrive at the harmonic and melodic content.’

‘I am delighted that Cheryl’s piece is gaining the recognition it deserves,’ says Matthew Schellhorn. ‘“Stolen Rhythm” is a fabulously crafted and witty piece, which is great fun to perform, and which makes a very fitting tribute to Haydn.’

Listen to the piece

See the music and read the interview in Muso magazine

Visit Cheryl Frances-Hoad’s website



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.

Tribute to Yvonne Loriod published in Muso magazine

Matthew Schellhorn’s tribute to former teacher and inspiration Yvonne Loriod is published in the August / September edition of Muso Magazine.



With the death of Yvonne Loriod on 17 May this year, the musical world lost not only a great pianist and teacher but also the catalyst behind some of the 20th century’s most extraordinary music. For some 50 years she was personally linked to Olivier Messiaen, first as his pupil, then as his muse and dedicatee, then as his wife and pre-eminent interpreter.

Muso-Loriod

Read the article

Homage to Haydn - music now online

Last year’s commission Homage to Haydn, which Matthew Schellhorn performed in the 2009 Cambridge Music Festival (see news), is now viewable online.

Muso-Haydn

The works are by Tim Watts, Colin Riley, Cecilia McDowall, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Michael Zev Gordon, and Jeremy Thurlow.

Read more about these works and download the music

Recent chamber collaborations

Matthew recently collaborated with new music specialists Ossian Ensemble in two festival appearances.



At the Sounds New Festival in Canterbury the Ossians played works by Jonathan Harvey, Bent Sørensen, Anne Boyd, Messiaen, and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. The concert also included the world premieres of Eden by Darren Bloom, and of Isochronous by Patrick Nunn, which Matthew performed with percussionist Sarah Cresswell.

The group also performed in a sell-out event in the newly established Kew Music Festival, performing the 20th-century masterpiece Eight Songs for a Mad King by the ensemble's Honorary Patron, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. The baritone was Kelvin Thomas. The event included a drinks reception, a private access-all-areas tour of the Palace and a talk by historian David Blomfield MBE. Festival Director Spencer Down wrote: 'A fantastic performance ... We feel very privileged to have you perform at our first festival.’

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)

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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

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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

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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.

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