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First performance of my Elegy arranged for string orchestra


All smiles as John congratulates Karenza Peacock (far left) and the classic popup strings (l to r David O'Leary,  Jennifer Christie, Harriet Scott, Felix Tanner and Lauren Steel) after giving the premiere performance of his new arrangement of ‘Elegy’. They played it beautifully, of course, and a video of their performance-which was all the more admirable given the distracting windy conditions-is available below

To see more of the Classical Popups check out these links:


Craig Ogden’s new recording of ‘Elegy’


A new arrangement of ‘Elegy’ is featured on Craig Ogden’s new CD ‘Summertime’, originally released in 2011. This special deluxe version celebrates Classic FM’s 25th Anniversary with 3 brand new and exclusive bonus tracks which are sure to bring something extra special to an already stunning album:
'The new arrangement of ‘Elegy’, for guitar and string quartet, was created for Craig and hopefully you will enjoy it as much as the recent version for four guitars recorded by Aquarelle. Classic FM’s Composer-in-Residence Debbie Wiseman has also written a brand new composition, ‘Serenita’, especially for this album, alongside a solo rendition of one of Craig’s personal favourites by Agustin Barrios, ‘Julia Florida’'.

Paul Phoenix performs world premiere of ‘Father’


‘Elegy’ recording session


An excellent day at The Power Station, London to record ‘Elegy’ for guitar and string quartet, scheduled for release at the end of June. Craig Ogden played beautifully, as ever, and the complete lineup is shown below:

Aquarelle video


Do have a look at this great Chandos video, featuring excerpts from several pieces on their critically acclaimed ‘Aspects’ album - including ‘Elegy’

‘You have to write for yourself, ultimately’


Aquarelle’s ‘Aspects’ album - new review


Aquarelle’s ‘Aspects’ album, featuring ‘Elegy’, has received a very favourable review in the American Record Guide. You can read it here:

Aquarelle guitar quartet


The Aquarerelle Guiter Quartet’s new album ‘Aspects’ is the Editor’s choice in the January issue of “Gramophone’ magazine. It features ‘Elegy’, a piece John composed for them, and you can read the review by following this link:

Amazing Day - St. Mary’s Singers


The St. Mary’s Singers, conducted by Graham Wadley and with organist John Rippin, gave a beautiful reading of ‘Amazing Day’ at St-Mary-the-Virgin, Wivenhoe, on Remembrance Sunday…the soloists were Hilary Brunning (soprano) and Barnaby Crocker (Baritone).

Many thanks to the vicar, The Reverend Erwin Lammens

Aquarelle Guitar Quartet


The Aquarelle guitar quartet’s recording of John's ‘Elegy for guitar quartet‘ is featured on their new CD, ‘Aspects’, which will be released by Chandos on October 28th. They have also given a preview of the piece in a video recorded at the Royal Albert Hall, and you can watch the video, and get further information about the CD by clicking this link:

Tasmin Little


Saturday’s inaugural concert for the Hertfordshire Festival of Music was a huge success, and provided an exciting opportunity to hear John's guitar piece ‘Sahara’ performed by one of his favourite violinists, Tasmin Little, and her long time recital partner, pianist John Lenehan:
'It was immediately apparent that Tasmin had put in a lot of work to make the piece suitably violinistic, and the result was both beautifully realised and enthuiastically appreciated. It was also wonderful to hear James Francis Brown’s 'The Hart’s Grace’, not to mention a generous helping of Schubert, Beethoven and Franck. The acoustic of All Saints’ Church in Hertford was a revelation, enabling the whole audience to enjoy pristine sound wherever they were seated'.

Concerto Magna Carta


Craig Ogden performed the world premiere of 'Concerto Magna Carta' a few months ago, and he has now recorded the slow movement from it on his chart-topping album 'Craig Ogden and Friends'.

John remarks:
 'As a long time fan of Craig’s playing, I have always enjoyed the recordings he's made of my other works for guitar, and I love his open mindedness when it comes to music, which is why I am delighted that both the first performance and recording of the work are by him.
Having played guitar in rock bands for many years, it was probably inevitable than when I began composing in a classical idiom, I would naturally be attracted by the idea of writing a concerto for guitar and orchestra.
The work had a strange genesis. The energetic finale is based on a piece I composed for electric guitar, back in my rock band days, with the soothing slow movement coming next, and finally, I wrote the first movement – logical really! 
Classic FM asked listeners to name my new concerto and I couldn't have chosen a better title than William Holding from Houghton le Spring, Co. Durham who suggested "Concerto Magna Carta"'.
 
You can read about the competition here:

Xuefei Yang has recorded Romance No 1and Sahara


Romance No.1 and Sahara have been recorded by Xuefei Yang on her latest album "Sojourn".
 
The album is available on iTunes and other music stores.
 
You can read the album review at Classic FM:
 
 
 
John also interviewed Xuefei Yang at Classic FM. You can read her gripping story of financial struggle and cultural acceptance to become one of the world's most talented guitarists here:
 

Katherine Jenkins


'Katherine Jenkins has recorded my ‘Ave Maria’ and it is included on her new CD ‘Daydream’, released on Warner Brothers on 10th October 2011. This piece was written especially for Katherine and was recorded in London and Prague over the course of the Summer. I am thrilled with the result. I interviewed Katherine and talked to her about 'Ave Maria' and her new album'
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