Grimethorpe solo euphonium star Philippe Schwartz will be taking to the orchestral concert stage later today (Saturday 8th December) when he will give only the second performance of Paul Mealor's 'Euphonium Concerto'.
Accompanied by the Philomusica of Aberystwyth under conductor David Russell Hulme, it will form part of a programme at Aberystwyth Arts Centre that will include Mussorgsky's 'Pictures at an Exhibition', Dvorak's 'Carnival' Overture and Welsh composer Morfydd Owen's 'Nocturne'.
Originally written for David Childs, the work was given its world premiere at the Welsh Proms in 2017 accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and immediately gained widespread critical acclaim.
Although renowned for his choral compositions, Mealor is a former euphonium player with the Northop Band, with his intuitive feel for the instrument's capabilities, seeing one critic call it, '... a work which deserves to be heard in concert halls around this land and beyond'.
It is inspired by a poetic Gaelic tale of lost love — full of Celtic mystery and passion, and talking exclusively with 4BR about the forthcoming performance, Philippe said that he was thrilled to be able to perform such a significant piece with orchestral accompaniment.
"David has done so much to bring the euphonium to the fore as an orchestral concerto instrument and bring a spotlight on it to a new audience, so it's great for me that this opportunity has arisen — and on a work by such a major composer.
As you can imagine given both Paul and David's heritage, it's fiendishly difficult — but a brilliant challenge for the performer.
The colours and textures that come from the orchestral score give the euphonium the ability to explore different avenues without ever being swamped in the brass band sound palette."
Philippe is also keen to build on this opportunity following the news that he will be performing another major euphonium work by composer Marco Putz in Europe with the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra in 2020.
"The opportunities to showcase a euphonium concerto are few and far between," he said.
"I've been fortunate that through my contacts in working with orchestras in the UK and Europe that conductors and promoters are increasingly appreciating the instrument, so I hope works by the likes of Marco Putz, Philip Wilby, Karl Jenkins and Paul Mealor are heard on a more regular basis."
As you can imagine given both Paul and David's heritage, it's fiendishly difficult — but a brilliant challenge for the performerPhilippe Schwartz
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To find out more about the concert go to: