Brass Band Cazis from Switzerland will be celebrating its 125th anniversary this year with a special commission from Welsh composer, Tom Davoren.
Now based in the USA at the University of Kansas, his 12-minute contest style work, '1896: Unleashing the Force', takes its inspiration Henri Becuerel's discovery of radioactivity in the same year that the band was founded.
His work alongside Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie and Pierre Curie was marked by the presentation of the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics, whilst the becquerel SI unit for radioactivity is ow named after him.
Brass Band Cazis is based in the GraubÃ¼nden Canton and traces its formation to the post Franco-German war with the founding of a Musikgesellschaft (Music Society) in Cazis in 1896.
It has a strong history of organising innovative special projects, including collaborations with the Mirasteilas observatory, world famous trumpeter Matthias Höfs, and English composer Simon Dobson with his Daft Punk album 'Discovery'.
It has also enjoyed considerable success on the contest stage — winning the Swiss Second Division National Championships in 2002 and again 2005, rising to the Elite Division in 2018.
The band will organise a special gala evening to celebrate its 125th Anniversary in Cazis in October, where the centrepiece will be the world premiere of the work.
Speaking to 4BR, Tom said: "I'm delighted to have worked with Brass Band Cazis on commemorating this milestone in their history, and to be the first composer to write a large work for them in 125 years.
It's been a lot of fun to delve into Henry Becuerel's story, and on a personal note, it's always special to return to writing for a brass band."
It's been a lot of fun to delve into Henry Becuerel's story, and on a personal note, it's always special to return to writing for a brass bandTom Davoren
In response, Band Manager Hardy Pirovino added: "We look forward to rehearsing and performing Tom's composition for our 125th anniversary! It will be exciting to bring "1896 — Unleashing the Force" to life.
It is the first major commissioned composition in the band's history and we are confident that our audience will enjoy world premiere next October."