Sally Beamish wins the 2012 RPS Music Award for Chamber-Scale Composition with "Reed Stanzas".
We are delighted to announce that Sally Beamish’s Reed Stanzas (String Quartet No.3) has won the RPS Music Award for Chamber-Scale Composition which was presented in memory of Tony Fell.
The RPS Music Award winners were announced at an awards dinner on Tuesday 8 May at the Dorchester Hotel, London. Gareth Malone choral animateur, singer and presenter of the BAFTA-award-winning TV series The Choir was the key note speaker and the awards were presented by distinguished tenor John Mark Ainsley with the presentation ceremony presided over by BBC Radio 3’s Katie Derham and Petroc Trelawny.
Sally Beamish, who attended the awards, said:
“This is a huge thrill for me, and I am very grateful to the RPS for all they do to acknowledge all aspects of musicianship. It means a great deal to me to receive this honour – and even to be included on a shortlist alongside composers I so much admire.”
Reed Stanzas was written for the Elias String Quartet and was commissioned by BBC Radio 3. It was first performed on July 25th, 2011 in the Cadogan Hall, London, by the Elias String Quartet, as part of the BBC Proms Chamber Music Series.
Written on the Isle of Harris, in the Outer Hebrides, Sally found herself surrounded by the sounds of birds: “I was just putting them straight onto the page. This piece is full of birds.” She was also listening to Britten’s quartets in between working. These works reminded her of her former life as a viola player, and the wind blowing through the reed beds at Snape; a very different, but equally windswept, salt-scented wilderness.
Reed Stanzas takes the form of variations on a Celtic-inspired theme announced by the second violin, which opens and closes the work in the manner of Pibroch (the classical music of the Highland bagpipe). Sally has explored the intricate ornamentation used in Pibroch, highlighting its similarities to birdsong, and to Arabic reed flute (ney) playing. The piece also refers to the multiple reeds of the accordion (these days made of metal) – an instrument used in traditional music of many cultures. The idea of the loneliness and vastness of landscape underpins the quartet, while each variation, or ‘stanza’, has its own metre and mood.
To quote the Scotsman: “Sally Beamish’s new composition for the Elias Quartet invokes sounds of nature and the symbolism of reeds, contrasting plaintive fiddle with the other three players….prepare to be blown away!”
The annual RPS Music Awards, presented in association with BBC Radio 3, are the highest recognition for live classical music in the UK. Awards, in thirteen categories, are decided by independent panels consisting of some of the music industry’s most distinguished practitioners. The awards honour musicians, composers, writers, broadcasters and inspirational arts organisations. The list of previous winners reads like a Who’s Who of classical music. This year’s RPS Music Awards celebrated outstanding achievement in 2011.
Catch up with the winners on BBC Radio 3 on Sunday 13 May from 2-4pm with a programme of music and interviews devoted to the RPS Music Awards.
For further information please contact: Jo Carpenter Music PR Consultancy e:email@example.com Tel: 07771 538868 www.twitter.com/JoCarpenterPR www.sallybeamish.com www.rpsmusicawards.com