Musical inspiration: Hannah Kendall

Posted: 8th September 2017

Proms Debut for Augustinian’s ‘The Spark Catchers’

The Proms season comes to its conclusion tomorrow night at the Royal Albert Hall, the culmination of a summer season of musical riches that blazes across the London summer.

If you have been following this year’s Proms you will perhaps have seen composer and past pupil Hannah Kendall appearing on BBC Two’s Proms Extra on Saturday 19th August.  Presented by Kate Derham, Hannah was joined by other guests, composer/sitarist Anoushka Shankar and baritone Roderick Williams.

This was a mere taster of what was to come as on Wednesday 30th August Hannah’s latest work, the BBC-commissioned ‘The Spark Catchers’ was performed by Chineke!, Europe’s first professional majority black and minority ethnic orchestra, at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the Proms Season. Inspired by Lemn Sissay’s poem of the same title, the new work opened the programme, and can be watched here.

BBC Four will also be televising the performance tonight, Friday 8th September.

There have been reviews praising ‘The Spark Catchers’:

‘…a confident piece’. CLASSICAL SOURCE

‘…imaginatively intricate flashes of sound.’ FINANCIAL TIMES

‘…Chineke! and conductor Kevin John Edusei opted for a programme of miniatures. The most important of these was Hannah Kendall’s BBC-commissioned world premiere The Spark Catchers, rhythmically incisive, the score dancing above a solemn chorale played by the horns.’ THE GUARDIAN

‘Expertly scored to give off a bright, infectious sense of sparkling life…Kendall’s scoring is impeccable, nothing is masked unnecessarily. It is clear she knows just how to get the sound she requires.’ SEEN AND HEARD

‘…imaginatively expressed by the whirling sparks of offbeat shock‐chords…’ THE TIMES

Hannah was also followed by Andrew McGregor as she created ‘The Spark Catchers’, for the World Service’s ‘In the Studio’  which can be heard here.

Hannah Kendall is a shining inspiration to all aspiring musicians and we are delighted that she is becoming such a leading figure in the world of contemporary music.

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