CONCERTO PROJECTS 2019/20
The world's most dynamic recorder virtuoso solos with orchestras worldwide in a stunning range of old and new concertos...
DAVID BEDFORD - RECORDER CONCERTO
Written for Piers Adams in 1994, David Bedford's Recorder Concerto has become a classic in the instrument's repertoire, a work synonymous with Adams' bravura musicianship. He has performed it over 30 times with orchestras across the world, to rapturous critical acclaim (his recording with the BBC Symphony Orchestra hailed in BBC Music Magazine as 'beyond virtuosity into the realms of improbability...'), winning over many new audiences both to the stratospheric technical and expressive possibilities of the recorder and to Bedford's highly engaging musical language.
The concerto is scored for solo recorder (playing five different instruments from bass to sopranino - and occasionally two at once!) and 9-part strings. Stylistically it fits loosely into the category of 'post-minimalism', but contains varying elements from rock-like riffs to Vivaldi-esque arpeggios to pastoral English lyricism. The overall effect is a fantastically well-crafted, exhilarating musical journey which appeals to all tastes, and finishes in a breathtaking sprint to the inevitable conclusion!
Amongst the orchestras who have invited Adams to perform this work are the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, City of London Chamber Orchestra, English Sinfonia, Orchestra of St Johns, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong and the Lapland Chamber Orchestra. Following his 2019 performance with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra (USA) the newspaper critic wrote: "A world-class virtuoso of absolutely astonishing technical skill.... Over a blanket of quiet string haze, [the concerto] puts the soloist through mind-boggling solo work that displays the successive ranges through the members of the recorder family, from bass to sopranino. At least twice, the soloist must play two instruments at the same time... the flashy technical display is extraordinary."
CRISPIN WARD - CELTIC CONCERTO
Anglo-Irish composer and conductor Crispin Ward wrote his Celtic Concerto for Piers Adams in 2018, after working with him on several projects, including performances of David Bedford's Recorder Concerto which provided the inspiration for this new work. The Celtic Concerto exploits the full range of expressive and virtuosic qualities of the recorder in a substantial, 18-minute work, which combines elements of baroque dance, English lyricism and of course Celtic melody, in an evocative, filmic musical landscape. Between them Adams and Ward make up a half-and-half mix of English and Irish (Ward has three Irish grandparents, Adams has one) and this dual heritage is on ample display in this compelling new addition to the recorder's repertoire.
As a 'duo' - soloist and conductor/harpsichordist - Adams and Ward have formed an electrifying musical partnership, and are available as a unique 'package' to chamber orchestras with a range of programmes centring around the Celtic Concerto and/or David Bedford's equally stunning Recorder Concerto. Click here for sample programmes.
VIRTUOSO BAROQUE CONCERTOS
Piers Adams is recognised as one of the world's most highly skilled and flamboyant performers of the recorder's virtuoso baroque concerto repertoire, appearing with both modern and period instrument orchestras. A performer of 35 years of professional experience he brings not only breathtaking flair but also in-depth knowledge of baroque style to his work with string orchestras, and frequently directs performances from his recorder. Amongst the ensembles with whom he has collaborated in baroque repertoire are the Academy of Ancient Music, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, Baroque Band (Chicago), A Far Cry (Boston), the English Sinfonia, the European Union Chamber Orchestra, the Lapland Chamber Orchestra, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the Tromsoe Symphony Orchestra and many others.
Piers Adams' baroque concerto repertoire includes all of Vivaldi's spectacular concertos for sopranino and treble recorder, an original arrangement of the Four Seasons, two concertos and the Suite in A minor by Telemann, Sammartini's concerto for Descant Recorder and Bach's 2nd. 4th and 5th Brandenburg concertos.
ORCHESTRAS AND REPERTOIRE
Concerto appearances include:
BBC Symphony Orchestra / Martyn Brabbins (CD Recording)
BBC Concert Orchestra / Stuart Bedford (Radio 2 Broadcast)
Philharmonia Orchestra / Martyn Brabbins (Royal Festival Hall, London)
European Union Chamber Orchestra
Chamber Orchestra of Lapland / John Storgards (Finland)
Tromsoe Symphony Orchestra (Norway)
Baroque Band (Chicago, USA)
Salem Chamber Orchestra (Oregon, USA)
Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra (USA)
Singapore Symphony Orchestra
Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong
Irish Chamber Orchestra
Academy of Ancient Music / Paul Goodwin
Orchestra of St John’s / John Lubbock
City of London Sinfonietta
Opus 20 String Ensemble / Scott Stromann
London Musici / Mark Stephenson
Guildhall String Ensemble
City of Oxford Orchestra
Concerto Repertoire includes:
Vivalidi - Concerti for Sopranino Recorder in C major (RV443), C major (RV444), A minor (RV445), D major (Il Gardellino)
Vivaldi - Concerti for Treble Recorder in C minor (RV441) and G minor (La Notte)
Telemann - Concerti for Treble Recorder in C major and F major, Suite in A minor
Sammartini - Concerto for Descant Recorder in F major
Bach - Brandenburg Concerti nos. 2, 4 & 5
David Bedford - Recorder Concerto
Crispin Ward - Celtic Concerto
Malcolm Arnold - Recorder Concerto
Vladislav Shoot - Divertimento for recorder, vibes and strings
Chris Gander - Recorder Concerto
John Mayer - Music for the Common Man
David Pugsley - Recorder Concerto