Current news from Hagley String Orchestra

Hagley String Orchestra

This article will appear in a later Issue of Hagley News, but I’m writing it on Thursday 20 August which is the 70th Birthday of one of Hagley’s most illustrious residents, Andrew Downes.

Professor Downes is a highly acclaimed international composer, his music being performed by the major orchestras and soloists throughout the world. Prior to his retirement, Andrew was Head of the School of Composition and World Music at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire where I heard many of his pieces, inspiring me to commission him in 1980 to compose The Temple of Solomon which my choir loved performing.

Andrew has the supreme skill in moulding his compositions to the requirements and technical skill of his performers, whether, as in my case, to those of an amateur choir, or to the impressive abilities of the professionals. In past years, Hagley Strings - for which Andrew’s wife Cynthia is our Principal Viola - has revelled in rehearsing Andrew’s Concerto for American Flute and Strings, Five Movements for Piano and Strings, and one of his String Quartets.

HSO and all Hagley congratulate Andrew, and we much look forward to playing more of his music in future. I’ll let you know when we’re able to restart after this frustrating (if essential) lockdown.

Jeremy Patterson, Conductor

Hagley String Orchestra

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