- On 25 August, 2016, Rhian's song-cycle, Wildflower Songbook, was presented at the Machynlleth Festival (director, Julius Drake), by Anna Stéphany (soprano) and Sholto Kynoch (piano), the performers who gave its première the previous summer at the Oxford Lieder Festival (see below). The work sets poems by the award-winning Anglo-American poet, Anne Stevenson. It was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 8 September, 2016, and will be recorded for a CD in late 2017.
- On 4 July, 2016, Rhian received an honorary DMus from the University of Wales, Trinity-St David's. She was presented to the congregation in a lovely speech by the renowned writer and poet, Prof. Mererid Hopwood. Rhian's acceptance speech is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICqx80UNksM
- Rhian's song-cycle, A Swift Radiant Morning, to poems by WW1 poet Charles Sorley premiered at the 2015 Three Choirs Festival (see below), was re-broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Tuesday, 7 June, 2016.
|RS with Prof. Medwin Hughes, Vice-Chancellor, University of Wales|
- Two of Rhian's compositions for soprano were presented at the Bangor Music Festival, March 1-6, 2016. The solo setting of Yr Alarch (The Swan), a beautiful, anonymous Welsh 14th-century poem, was included on Elin Manahan Thomas's recital on Thursday evening, March 3, along with works by Judith Weir and Roderick Williams.
|Ruby Hughes at a rehearsal of |
at theHoddinott Hall, Cardiff
- The next day, Clytemnestra, a 7-movement work for soprano and large orchestra c. 25" was performed by Ruby Hughes and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by New Zealand-born Tecwyn Evans. It was later broadcast on International Women's Day (8 March) on BBC Radio 3. A dramatic scena which treats the protagonist more sympathetically than do many canonical musical works (by Gluck, R. Strauss, Milhaud, etc.), its texts are taken from The Oresteia by Aeschylus. Commissioned by the BBC, it was first performed by Della Jones, soprano, and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales with Tadaaki Otaka, conductor, in 1994. This work will be recorded on BIS records with Ruby Hughes as soloist and the BBC NOW in April 2108.
- On March 7, 2016, Rhian's work for chamber ensemble, On this Precious Earth, was premiered at the Holywell Music Room Oxford by the Adesso Ensemble conducted by Cayenna Ponchione. (This work later became the basis for On this Precious Earth for wind orchestra). It consists of three movements, 'Diminishing glory, 'Under the night sky' and 'Lament for Paris'. It explores through music some aspects of our fragile planet, both its natural resources and its human inhabitants. The concert was sponsored by the Oxford University Faculty of Music; the programme also included works by Nicola Lefanu, Lili Boulanger and Galina Ustvolskaya. Before the concert, Rhian and Nicola engaged in a public discussion of the situation of women composers in the present day.
- The anthem for unaccompanied choir, Love bade me welcome (published by Stainer & Bell) to the poem by George Herbert, was sung at Evensong on both Feb. 23 and 27, 2016, by the choirs of King's College, London (director, Joseph Fort) and New College, Oxford (director, Robert Quinney), respectively, and given two wonderful performances! The latter is now on YouTube and also on a CD of their favourite anthems by the New College Choir, just released.
- Two new song-cycles commissioned from Rhian were premiered in the summer of 2015. A Swift Radiant Morning was performed by Roderick Williams (baritone) and Susie Allan (piano) at the opening recital of the 300th anniversary of the Three Choirs Festival (Hereford) in July, 2015 and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 a few days later; its text is by the First World War poet Charles Sorley.Susie Allan, RS and Roddy Williams at St Holy Trinity Church, Hereford
at the premiere of 'A Swift Radiant Morning', 25 July, 2015
- Wildflower Songbook was written for the Oxford Lieder Festival, October, 2015, for Anna Stéphany (soprano) and Sholto Kynoch (piano). It was commissioned by hte Nicholas John Foundation
Sholto Kynoch, RS, Anne Stevenson and Anna Stéphany
in the Holywell Music Room, Oxford, UK, at the premiere of 'Wildflower Songbook'
28 October, 2015