NEWS AND RECENT EVENTS

Newest compositions: more choral music!  Two sets of choral pieces for Cantorion Ardwyn Caerdydd (Cardiff Ardwyn Singers), conductor David Leggett, commissioned by the choir. The two works set wonderful poems in English and Welsh. They are Tair Alaw, for SATB choir with piano to texts by Welsh poet Nesta Wyn Jones, and The Listening Eye, for unaccompanied SATB choir to texts by Anglo-American Anne Stevenson, a poet with whom Rhian has worked many times before. 'Tair Alaw' was commissioned in honour of Janice Ball, the choir's accompanist for the past 50 years. Both works will be premiered in a concert on Saturday, November 17th, 2018 in the Dora Stoutzker Hall, RWCMD, Cardiff. 

Newest publications: Yr Alarch (The Swan) for SATB chorus and Three Yeats Songs for medium voice and flute (both Tŷ Cerdd, 2017). Yr Alarch, to an anonymous 14th-century text often ascribed to Dafydd ap Gwilym, will be performed in early 2018 by the Cardiff University Contemporary Music Group, conductor Robert Fokkens. It is Rhian's second setting of this beautiful poem, the first, quite different, being for solo voice  (pub. Stainer & Bell). The Three Yeats Songis a revised version of pieces Rhian wrote in 1967 as part of her Master's degree submission at Washington University, St Louis, USA, where these pieces were first performed. They set the famous poem, 'Had I the Heavens' Embroidered Cloths' as well as 'He and She' and 'Sweet Dancer'. 
    RS with Nicola Lefanu
    at the Bangor conferenc
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At the International Conference, 'Women's Work in Music', held at Bangor University, Rhian's Phantasy Trio (vln, cello, piano) was performed by members of Ensemble Cymru on 4th Sept. 2017. The following day, she presented her work, Clytemnestra, recently broadcast on BBC and about to be placed on CD by BBCNOW, Jac van Steen, conductor, and Ruby Hughes, soprano.






The second of the 2017 national youth courses run by  Cerdd, this time for the National Youth Brass Band of Wales and the National Youth Choir of Wales, took place in Monmouth at Haberdashers' Girls' School in late July. Rhian is Tŷ Cerdd composer-in-residence this year, the post generously supported by the Colwinston Foundation. 
               
            RS, Neil Ferris and NYCW
       
       Ian Porthouse conducting NBBW
The choir, directed by Neil Ferris, sang four of Rhian's Emily Dickinson settings, Lovesongs and Observations, in concerts at St Mary's Church, Swansea, on 29th July, and St Mary's Priory Church, Monmouth, on 30th July. The brass band under conductor Ian Porthouse gave the première of her new piece, Taliesin, at the Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl, on Sunday, 30th July and played the work again at the North Wales International Music Festival on 16 September, 2017.
      Rhian's setting of George Herbert's poem, 'Love bade me welcome', was released in May, 2017 on a new CD from New College Choir Oxford, director Robert Quinney. The CD, The Gate of Heaven: Favourite Anthems of New College Choir, is on the Novum label, NCR1391

      The first of the 2017 youth courses, this for the National Youth Training Choir of Wales and the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Wales, took place in mid-April. Works performed at the two concerts, at Monmouth Priory and at the University of Swansea, were Rhian's two Walt Whitman settings for choir and organ, The Gossamer Thread and A Clear Midnight, recently published by Tŷ Cerdd, the new clarinet quartet, Locomotion (pub. Stainer & Bell), and the new work, On this Precious Earth for wind orchestra.
      NYWOW with Pete Harrison, conductor
      Several of Rhian's vocal pieces with piano were performed in February, 2017. They included Cerddi Hynafol/Ancient Songs (Siân Dicker, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London), 'In Memoriam' from A Swift Radiant Morning (John Ieuan Jones, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester) and The Gaze (Gillian Keith, Holywell Music Room, Oxford)