Heaton centenary to be marked by Norwegian concert

Ray Farr and Paul Hindmarsh will be lead a centenary celebration of the life and work of Wilfred Heaton in Norway in December — 100 years to the day of his birth.

  Heaton's output included iconic works such as 'Contest Music'

The 100th anniversary of the birth of Wilfred Heaton will be marked by a special concert in Norway in December.

Instigated and led by Ray Farr, it will take place 100 years to the day on which the Yorkshire composer was born, and will feature hosts Sørum Brass Band with Brøttum Brass Band at the Frogner Kulturhus, near Oslo, on Sunday December 2nd (7.00pm).

A special guest for the event will be Paul Hindmarsh, the leading academic and musical authority on the composer's life and works, who will compere the concert as well as conduct two massed band items.

Remarkable influence

The concert coincides with the recent release of the sixth and final volume of the massive 'Heaton Collection' CD project recorded by Black Dyke under Prof Nicholas Childs. It also is hoped that Paul's much anticipated biography of Heaton will be published in Spring 2019.

Heaton (1918-2000) is regarded as one of the most significant, although enigmatic compositional voices for the brass band medium, although his output still elicited a remarkable influence on a generation of writers — from his masterpieces such 'Contest Music', 'Partita' and 'Variations', to lighter works such as the march 'Praise' and meditation work, 'Just As I Am'.

Included in the concert will be works that span his compositional arc – from 'Le Tricot Rouge' and 'Toccata: O The Blessed Lord' to 'Victory for Me' and 'Partita'.

His was a remarkable compositional life, which thanks to the likes of Howard Snell and Paul Hindmarsh, is now regonised and appreciated for its significanceRay Farr

Time renaissance

Speaking to 4BR in Utrecht recently, Ray Farr said that he hoped the concert would ignite a timely renaissance in interest and performance of Heaton's works.

"I realise that the general public may never have heard Wilfred Heaton's music, but it has such appeal to those who appreciate his skill and musical outlook.

I feel strongly that we should acknowledge his contribution to the music world, especially 100 years to the day on which he was born. His was a remarkable compositional life, which thanks to the likes of Howard Snell and Paul Hindmarsh, is now regonised and appreciated for its significance."

Huge impression

He added: "I'm delighted that we are able to bring this project to a Norwegian audience and that Paul Hindmarsh will join is for it.

I am sure that the concert will make a huge impression on everyone taking part or listening, and I hope the event will help promote Heaton's music internationally."

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