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St Bride's Church, Fleet Street
Sunday 5th December, 6:30pm
On 5th December St Bride's Choir will perform the world première of O Viridissima Virga by Harry Escott, and Benjamin Britten's Saint Nicolas.
Acclaimed composer Harry Escott explores the themes of Advent and Christmas with a hauntingly beautiful new score for Choir accompanied by an ensemble of Organ, Piano, Guitar, Vibraphone, French Horn and Trumpet. Framed by settings of hymns to the Virgin Mary written by the 12th century Benedictine Abbess, Hildegard of Bingen, the piece explores the Christmas story through the poems of women writers from the 19th and 20th centuries, including Christina Rossetti and Alice Meynell.
Conducted by Matthew Morley, the Choir and Orchestra of St. Bride's will then be joined by choristers from Dulwich School Chapel Choir and the City of London Girls School for a performance of Benjamin Britten's much loved cantata, Saint Nicolas, with the title role sung by St Bride's choir-member and tenor soloist Matt Long.
Composer, Harry Escott, is best known for his scores to films such as Hard Candy, A Mighty Heart, Deep Water and Shifty. His collaborations with directors such as Michael Winterbottom, Nick Broomfield, David Slade and Clio Barnard have greatly influenced his approach to composition, encouraging a focus on the capacity that musical sound has to convey meaning and emotion. This focus on the potential for music to function as storyteller is a common theme that threads through all of his work, from the concert platform to the big screen.
Born in London, his musical education began as a chorister at Westminster Cathedral and he went on to complete his studies at The Royal College of Music and Oxford University, studying composition under Robert Sherlaw Johnson and Francis Pott.
He has composed the scores for several award-winning films such as the BAFTA winning Poppy Shakespeare and Michael Winterbottom's The Road to Guantanamo (Berlin Silver Bear). Most recently, he scored the feature documentary, The Arbor, which has picked up a number of prestigious awards on the international film festival circuit and has been nominated for 6 BIFAs. He received a coveted BIFA nomination for his scoring of Shifty in 2008 and has developed the score into a concert piece for his own ensemble, The Samphire Band, which was premiered at last year's Latitude festival.
Harry is a visiting lecturer at Trinity College of Music and frequently gives talks at schools and universities across the UK. He is passionate about inspiring young composers to discover the often-inaccessible world of film scoring and was a guest speaker at the British Film Institute for an event that focused on music for the London Film Festival earlier this year.
As an arranger, Harry has worked with a wide variety of groups and performers ranging from the City of London Sinfonia to the MOBO winning rapper turned soul sensation, Plan B.
Harry is working on a new album for The Samphire Band, inspired by the British seaside, tales of bygone seafarers, traditional sea shanties and folk songs, which will be released in Spring 2011. Future concert works include a commission for string quartet and sequencer that is to be performed at Es Muss Sein in August 2011.
Date: Sunday 5th December 2010 at 6.30pm. Doors open 5.45pm.
Venue: St Bride's Church, Fleet Street, London EC4Y 8AU
Tickets: Free admission with retiring collection. Tickets can be reserved on 020 7427 0133.