MEIRION BOWEN - career profile cont.


Professional Music-Making

Founder/Director, music-theatre/percussion group, The Electric Candle (1968-76), numerous performances in the UK & on BBC Radio, specialising in contemporary British & American works.

The Electric Candle - programme from 1972

Specially commissioned works included:

  • Elliott Schwartz: Multiples
  • David Bedford: Variations on a rhythm by Mike Oldfield
  • Edwin Roxburgh: Dithyramb II, for piano and percussion
  • Howard Rees: A large Number of Long Dogs
  • Stephen Oliver: The Great McPorridge Disaster

Other first performances included:

  • Ben Johnston: Knocking Piece
  • Larry Austin: The Maze, for 3 percusssionists, dancer, lights, films, one-arm bandits
  • Robert Moran: Bombardments No.2, for percussion
  • David Reck: Three poems of e.e.cummings, for receiter and percussion
  • Lejaren Hiller: Three Rituals, for percussionists
  • Lejaren Hiller: Machine Music
  • Alvin Curran: home made

Also world premiere of:

  • Rossini:Un petit train de plaisir (arranged by Meirion Bowen for piano, organ (ad lib) and 3 percussion (music-theatre presentation designed by Anton Furst)

Piano accompanist:

(i) Numerous recitals with the soprano Kathryn Harries from 1978-1984, first performances include:

  • Symon Clarke: The Necessary Angel (Leighton House, London, 1981)
  • Robin Holloway: Wherever we may be (St Ives Festival, 1982)

Meirion Bowen & Kathryn Harries rehearsing, St Ives Festival, 1982

Other twentieth-century repertoire included:

  • Michael Tippett: The Heart's Assurance
  • Roberto Gerhard: L'infantament meravellos de Shaharazada
  • Nicholas Maw: The Voice of Love
  • Brian Dennis: Songs to Chinese texts
  • John Casken: Ia Orana, Gauguin
  • Robin Holloway: Banal Sojourn
  • Priaulx Rainier: Three Greek Epigrams
  • Alexander Goehr: Das Gesetz der Quadrille
  • Dominick Argento: From the Diary of Virginia Woolf
  • Messiaen: Harawi
  • Szymanowski: Songs of the Fairy Princess

(ii)Piano accompanist at other recitals includes:

  • Hugo Wolf: Italian Songbook (complete), with Anne Mackay (soprano) and Omar Ebrahim (baritone)
  • A Rossini Supper Concert, with Anne Mackay (soprano), Catherine Denly (mezzo-soprano) Thomas Randle (tenor) and Omar Ebrahim (baritone)

3) Music arrangements: works by Tippett

(all published by Schott Music International)

a) The Knot Garden: Version for 22 players Premiered by Opera Factory/London Sinfonietta & toured in UK 1984 Further performances by Royal Academy of Music (1985); Gelsenkirchen Opera (1987); Spoleto/ Melbourne Festival, 1989; Cincinatti University (1990); Boston University (1991); L'Atelier de Recherche de l'Art Lyrique, Paris (19940; Royal College of Music (1994)

b) Suite: New Year world premiere: San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, January 1990; Australian premiere, Perth Festival, February 1990; European premiere, Cheltenham Festival, July 1990; recorded by Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Richard Hickox (Chandos)

c) Water out of Sunlight: string orchestra version of Tippett's String Quartet No.4 Commissioned by Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields and first performed by them conducted by Sir Neville Marriner, Royal Festival Hall, London, June 15, 1988

d) Song-cycle: The Heart's Assurance (version with orchestral accompaniment) Commissioned by the London Bach Orchestra and premiered at Barbican Arts Centre, London by Teresa Cahill (soprano) and LBO conducted by John Lubbock Recorded by John-Mark Ainsley (tenor), City of London Sinfonia conducted by Richard Hickox

e) Triumph: A Paraphrase on The Mask of Time, for concert band Commisioned by the New England Conservatory, Baylor University, University of Michigan, Florida State University, Ohio State University and Cincinnati Conservatory First performances by all of them during 1992/93

f) The Shires Suite: orchestral version First performed by Northern Junior Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Cleobury, City Hall, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 31 July 1995 First London performance by Stoneleigh Youth Orchestra conducted by Adrian Brown, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, December 1998

g) Suite:The Tempest. Commissioned by BBC Radio 3 for the tercentenary celebrations of the birth of Henry Purcell. First performed by Martyn Hill (tenor), David Barrell (baritone), The Nash Ensemble conducted by Andrew Parrott, Purcell Room, London. 14 December, 1995; broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

Related sites:

4) Other Musical Arrangements:

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