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Winner of the Schellhorn Prize for Sacred Music Composition announced

The winner of the 2015 inaugural Schellhorn Prize for Sacred Music Composition has been announced.

Marco Galvani

Young composer Marco Galvani wins a £500 prize and a world premiere during the Holy Week services at St Mary Moorfields Catholic Church in the City of London.

Marco, 20, from Prenton on the Wirral, is a second-year Music student at The Queen’s College, Oxford. His piece
Ecce Quam Bonum, a short setting of the first verses of Psalm 133, will be performed on Holy Saturday.

Marco said: ‘Winning this prize means an awful lot to me. I put a lot into the piece, I pushed myself more than I had before and tried out more complex ideas.

‘I have been singing choral music for as long as I can remember, and it’s an amazing feeling to win a prize for a choral piece that I have composed myself. I’m very excited about having my piece performed in London.’

Classical pianist Matthew Schellhorn founded the prize in 2014 to foster artistic endeavor and encourage excellence in the Sacred Liturgy. Matthew said: ‘The competition is aimed at 18 to 26 year olds, which is the age when musicians need financial help and encouragement and some kind of infrastructure. It is hoped the prize will provide an incentive and build up a working relationship.’

‘I was delighted to work with four leading practicing musicians in order to recommend a winner. Judging was a tough call because many of the entries displayed a high degree of compositional merit and sensitivity. Marco’s piece was outstanding, and further it is performable by a small group making it adaptable in the real world.

In addition, the Trustees have given an honourable mention to the following: Robert Busiakiewitz for
Kyrie, Barnaby Martin for Gloria, Thomas Neal for Pange lingua.

Matthew added: ‘Encouraging people to write liturgical music helps to raise the standard of contemporary music in Catholic churches. Currently lots of brilliant liturgical music is commissioned but is performed in concert and not in the Sacred Liturgy. This prize helps re-establish the link between liturgical music and the Church.’

The Schellhorn Prize for Sacred Music Composition is supported by the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales. Chairman Joseph Shaw said: ‘I am delighted that the Latin Mass Society has taken part in this important initiative of the Schellhorn Trust to encourage young composers to tackle liturgical music. I congratulate Marco for his winning piece, which will be a worthy part of our Holy Week services in St Mary Moorfields, London, this year.’

New review for Stations

Online review site MusicWeb International has published a new review for Matthew Schellhorn's latest solo disc, Ian Wilson: Stations.

MusicWeb International

Hubert Culot writes: "Matthew Schellhorn's committed approach is aided by his unfailing technique to bring out the best of this extraordinary construction. His beautifully shaped performance is also well served by an excellent recording allowing for a natural piano sound that never sounds aggressive even in the more forceful moments. … Ian Wilson's Stations is a major addition to the piano repertoire of the twenty-first century."

Read the full review

Matthew Schellhorn admitted as Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians

Matthew Schellhorn has been admitted as Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians.

Worshipful Company of Musicians

The ceremony took place at Cutlers Hall in the City of London, before the Master of the Company, Miss Kathleen Duncan, OBE, in the presence of his proposer Mr Andrew Morris, Senior Warden.

Matthew made the required oath "do all such things as may further the art or science of music" and at the conclusion of the ceremony, the Master said: “By your solemn and sincere Declaration just made you have promised loyalty to the Musicians Company and to do all such things as may further the art or science of music to which this Company is dedicated. I now have pleasure in welcoming you as a Freeman of our Company in token of which I offer you the right hand of Fellowship.”

As the only City of London Livery Company dedicated to the performing arts, the Worshipful Company of Musicians nurtures talent and shares music through outreach and live events, also working with conservatoires, music colleges, universities and other organisations in helping musicians achieve their potential.

Speaking afterwards, Matthew said: "I am pleased both to affiliate with an historic body of like-minded musicians and also to contribute to its activities. I am aware of the huge amount of good that the Company does, and I am proud to be part of a body capable of having an influence in the music world and in music education debates."

Pictures from the ceremony follow.

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Forthcoming performances at the Southbank Centre

Matthew Schellhorn returns to the Park Lane Group to perform twice at the Southbank Centre in January 2015.

Southbank Centre

Joining soprano Susanna Fairbairn he will perform works by renowned composers Robert Saxton and Joseph Horovitz during two "in conversation" events with Thomas Hyde and Piers Burton-Page.

The two events are as follows:

Monday 5 Jan 2015 6.15pm: Purcell Room
In conversation: Robert Saxton with Thomas Hyde
Robert Saxton: Brise Marine for soprano & piano
Robert Saxton: The beach in winter (Scratby) for baritone & piano
Robert Saxton: Piano Sonata (in memoriam Béla Bartók)
Susanna Fairbairn (soprano)
Matthew Schellhorn (piano)
Imma Setiadi (solo piano)

Tuesday 6 Jan 2015 6.15pm: Purcell Room
In conversation: Joseph Horovitz with Piers Burton-Page
Joseph Horovitz: Lady Macbeth for mezzo-soprano & piano
Joseph Horovitz: Zum 11 Maerz (For 11th March) for mezzo-soprano & piano
Joseph Horovitz: [with Michael Flanders]: Foie gras
Joseph Horovitz: Sonatina for clarinet & piano
Susanna Fairbairn (soprano)
Matthew Schellhorn (piano)
Christopher Stripp (clarinet)
Lucy Colquhoun (piano)

Further details from www.southbankcentre.co.uk

Matthew Schellhorn founds new prize for Sacred Music composition

Matthew Schellhorn has founded a new prize for composers up to the age of 26 focussing on Sacred Music.

The Schellhorn Prize for Sacred Music Composition will be awarded in 2015 to a composer aged 26 or under who composes an original motet. The winner will receive £500 and a professional performance at St Mary Moorfields Catholic Church in the City of London.

The Schellhorn Prize for Sacred Music Composition is supported by the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales. Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the Latin Mass Society, said: "I am delighted that the Latin Mass Society should be supporting this initiative, which demonstrates that the tradition of sacred music is alive, and continues to serve the Church's ancient liturgy."

Full details here

Interview in The Catholic Herald

Matthew Schellhorn is interviewed in The Catholic Herald this week.

Editor Luke Coppen asks a series of question about care, bereavement and assisted suicide.

Read the interview

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Matthew Schellhorn lobbies against the Assisted Dying Bill

Ahead of its second reading in the House of Lords tomorrow, Matthew Schellhorn has written an article giving the reasons why he opposes the Assisted Dying Bill.

Read the full article

World Premiere at the Harwich Festival

Matthew Schellhorn returns to the Harwich Festival this week, premiering a new work by British composer Toby Young with soprano Susanna Fairbairn.

harwich_festival_of_the_arts_2014

Pretty Stories (and Funny Pictures) is a cycle of five songs for soprano and piano commissioned by the Harwich Festival for this performance, .

The concert, on Friday 4th July, also sees a performance of Colin Riley's A Stranger Called This Morning, and works by Poulenc and Ravel.

Concert details

Late stand-in for Turangalîla-Symphonie

Matthew Schellhorn recently stood in at 48 hours' notice for a performance of Messiaen's Turangalîla-Symphonie by the Birmingham Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra.

The concert took place on 20 June in Birmingham Town Hall under the baton of renowned French conductor Pierre-André Valade.

The Birmingham Post gave the concert 5 stars, praising Matthew Schellhorn's 'poised and piquant' playing in the virtuosic solo part.

Read the full review

Four-star review in BBC Music Magazine

Matthew Schellhorn's latest disc, Ian Wilson: Stations, has received four stars in BBC Music Magazine.

BBC Music Magazine

The disc was featured in 'Brief Notes' of the May 2014 edition. Barry Witherden classified the disc as 'excellent', writing 'Wilson builds his spare yet rigorous reflections on the Stations of the Cross towards dramatic climaxes. Matthew Schellhorn's crisp, committed performance avoids melodrama and sentimentality'.
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