Ian Stephens Clarinet Concerto premiere
The premiere of Ian Stephens’ Clarinet Concerto, written for and performed by Mandy Burvill, who is not only an excellent clarinettist (a past winner of the Britten-Pears Concerto Competition) but is also married to the composer.
The composer writes: “The Clarinet Concerto is dedicated to my wife, Mandy Burvill. Over the years I’ve listened to her performing concertos by Mozart, Weber, Debussy, Nielsen, Finzi, Copland and Magnus Lindberg, each performance an exercise in commitment and vitality, but with a surpassing sense of serenity and beauty in the slow movements. I’ve long wanted to write a concerto for her, but until now the opportunity hasn’t arisen. In 2018 the stars became aligned: Tom Seligman, principal conductor of Kensington Chamber Orchestra and a great friend, suggested bringing the idea to life. Funding was put in place – for which huge thanks to all those involved – and I wrote the piece intensively between November 2018 and February 2019.”
The concerto is partly autobiographical – an emotional journey in a way – and delights throughout in the lyrical and acrobatic qualities of the clarinet, and the endless possibilities of interplay with the orchestra.
Kensington Chamber Orchestra also perform CPE Bach’s Sinfonia in E flat and Beethoven’s Symphony No.4.