Lancaster University

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Northern Festival Brass

12/05/2002 15:15:31

Northern Festival Brass will be bringing Mussorgsky's 'Pictures at An Exhibition' to life in The Great Hall, Lancaster University, together with other pieces of music written especially for Brass. 'Pictures' is also the inspiration behind an exciting project involving children from four local Primary schools.

Formed in 2001, Northern Festival Brass features some of the North West's finest musicians, many of whom play regularly with the UK's best-known orchestras and ensembles. NFB is dedicated to performing innovative programmes from the vast repertoire of brass music and to commissioning new works from established and up-and-coming composers.

John Iveson cut his tombone-playing teeth as a youngster in the Water Prize Band in Rossendale, and began his professional career in 1965 as co-principal trombonist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He has worked with all the major London orchestras, and was principal trombonist in the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and with the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble. It was with the latter that he first appeared in the Lancaster Concert Series over twenty years ago. Many of his arrangements have become established classics of the brass ensemble repertoire.

Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition were inspired by a real exhibition seen by the composer in 1874. Long accepted as a challenge by musicians, Mussorgsky's piano score found its most successful orchestral transformation in the version written by Ravel in 1922. Elgar Howarth's vivid brass arrangement is no less virtuoso achievement.

Schoolchildren from four local Primary schools are currently working with members of the Northern Festival Brass, an artist and classroom teachers. They are producing their own Pictures at an Exhibition, creating both artwork and music to illustrate the pictures. Part of Lancaster International Concert Series' new education programme, this is just one of several projects aimed at bringing young people together with top class musicians.

Each class will play a short musical 'movement' to members of the public in the Great Hall at 6.30pm, prior to the Northern Festival Brass concert. The children's event is free to attend.

Tickets for NFB: £12, £9.50 (£9.50, £7 concs) Young Person £5. Box Office: 0800 028 3042

The programme:

Dukas Fanfare from La Péri

Chabrier (arr. John Iveson) Bourrée fantasque

Jim Parker A Londoner in New York, Suite

Britten Russian funeral music

Mussorgsky (arr. Elgar Howarth) Pictures at an Exhibition