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News - Brian Elias | Cello Concerto premiere at the BBC Proms

Wednesday, August 02, 2017
The new Cello Concerto by Brian Elias receives its premiere at the BBC Proms on Wednesday August 9. It is perhaps no surprise that, with a number of works for voice and orchestra to his name, Elias should have turned to one of the most lyrical instruments for his first purely instrumental concerto. The 25-minute piece is comprised of four sections that are played without a break. It is a characteristically tightly-structured work creating, in the composer’s words, 'not only a sense of unity but also an impression of familiarity that aspires to induce a dream-like perception of the passing music'.

The concerto will be performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Ryan Wigglesworth. In a late change to the programme, the cellist Leonard Elschenbroich steps in for the intended soloist Natalie Clein, who is unwell and has had to withdraw from this Prom.
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The Judas Tree revival

This autumn The Judas Tree returns to the stage at Covent Garden as part of the Royal Ballet’s Kenneth MacMillan celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of the choreographer’s death. Elias’ 40-minute score to the ballet is part symphony, part music drama, and contains some of the composer’s most striking and original music. First performed in 1992, The Judas Tree is MacMillan’s final ballet and remains his most controversial, having been inspired by biblical stories of betrayal as well as contemporary events. Performances take place on October 24, 26, 27 and November 1.
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New Recording

Greek myth and English poetry are the twin themes of a new recording of Elias’ vocal and ensemble music now available on the NMC label. The disc includes his breakthrough ensemble work Geranos and the award-winning Electra Mourns from 2013. Also included are the song cycles Once did I breathe another’s breath and Meet me in the Green Glen.
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