NEWS AND RECENT EVENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS: Beginning in October 2018, Mary Hofman (violin) and Richard Ormerod (piano) will undertake a concert tour, 'Beethoven in Wales', whose programme includes Rhian's new Violin Sonata. The tour will encompass music clubs thoughout Wales and has received funding from the PRS Foundation. The premiere of Rhian's work will be at the Rhyl Music Club on 17th October.  

There will be a busy few days for Rhian in November, 2018:
  • 12th: A repeat performance by David Titterington, Head of the Organ Department at the Royal Academy of Music, of Rhian's three pieces, Ad Lucem (Tŷ Cerdd), will be given as part of his concert to launch the newly-refurbished organ at King's College Chapel, The Strand, London.
  • 14th: Rhian's large-scale orchestral piece,Tirluniau/Landscapes (Stainer & Bell, 2000)will be played at St David's Hall, Cardiff by the Symphony Orchestra of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama conducted by David Jones. (This work was commissioned by the BBC for the Millenium Proms in the Albert Hall and premiered there by BBCNOW with Tadaaki Otaka, conductor.) 
  • 15th: 2nd performance of the Violin Sonata (by Mary Hofman and Richard Ormerod), (Tŷ Cerdd, forthcoming) at the Welshpool Music Society (see above).
  • 16th:  Rhian will give a seminar to the composition students at the RWCMD.
  • 17th: The Ardwyn Singers, conductor David Leggett, will premiere two new sets of choral pieces by Rhian, Tair Alaw, to texts by Nesta Wyn Jones, and The Listening Eye, to texts by Anne Stevenson. The concert will be at the RWCMD Dora Stoutzker Hall, Cardiff.
  • A week later, on Sunday 25th November, Rhian's Ave Maria (Tŷ Cerdd), written for the New College, Oxford, Choir and Edward Higginbottom, will be performed by the Copenhagen Royal Chapel Choir, conductor, Ebbe Munk, in Aalborg, Denmark. 
Elin Manahan-Thomas, RS,
Jocelyn Freeman
RECENT EVENTS: On 2nd October, 2018, at the Swansea International Festival, renowned soprano Elin Manahan Thomas sang Rhian's Yr Alarch for solo voice (the work toured earlier in the year by Matthew Hoch in the USA) and in the same concert, accompanied by pianist Jocelyn Freeman, The Gaze, a setting of Ophelia's words from Shakespeare's Hamlet (words which describe the Prince's descent into madness and Ophelia's response). 

Anna Stéphany, Sholto, RS

On 27th September, the launch concert for a new CD, 'Nature's Songbook', by mezzo Anna Stéphany and pianist Sholto Kynoch was given as part of Bob Boas's concert series at 22 Mansfield Street, London. The CD includes Rhian's Wildflower Songbook, three songs to texts by Anne Stevenson, commissioned by the Oxford Lieder Festival in 2015. 


David Titterington with RS in the
Duke's Hall, RAM

A week earlier, on September 18th, David Titterington, organ, gave a wonderful premiere of Rhian's Ad Lucem, commissioned by David for his inaugural recital as Professor of the University of London. The concert took place in the Duke's Hall at the RAM.  

Earlier this year, Ensemble Cymru undertook a concert tour of Wales with Emerging (lightly) on the programme; before the second concert of the tour, on 6th May, they presented a Composer Portrait of Rhian at the Aberystwyth Arts Centreperforming Fritillaries (clarinet & harp) and Pererin (flute & clarinet). What fabulous players! Thank you to clarinettist Peryn Clement-Evans, director of Ensemble Cymru, and Composers of Wales for arranging it.
Anne Denhom (harp), Alena Walentin 
(flute), RS, Oliver Wilson (viola) 
after the concert at Aberystwyth 
Arts Centre


Besides Emerging (lightly), other pieces by Rhian toured in early 2018 included Yr Alarch, performed by baritone Matthew Hoch across the southern United States in Jan-March (and gave a lecture-recital on the piece at the 'Music by Women' Festival at the Mississippi University for Women) and Far across the Sea/Ymhell dros y Môr, played in April - May by harpist Helen Davies in concerts in Spain and Portugal.

Also in May, 2018, the choral work, Yr Alarch, was premiered at Cardiff University, the choir conducted by Robert Fokkens, in a concert postponed from March in deference to storm Emma. It was performed again and recorded in June. In late April, the recording of Clytemnestra got under way, with one more session scheduled to complete it. Soprano Ruby Hughes, BBCNOW, Jac van Steen (conductor) and Robert Suff (BIS records) all participated and made the occasion a wonderful one for the composer. On the recording will also be Berg's Altenberglieder and Mahler's Rückert-Lieder, sung amazingly beautifully by Ruby. What an honour to have Clytemnestra in this company! 

In early April 2018, Rhian chaired the under-19s competition at the International Harp Festival at Caernarfon, North Wales. Her fellow-judges were harpists Cliona Doris (Dublin) and Carol McClure (Louisville, KY). The winners of the competition were Mared Emyr Pugh-Evans, Evelien Vaneysendeyk and Anwen Mai Thomas. Congratulations to all three!