08:00 Friday 08 March 2013

Viola virtuoso's performs works of 'neglected composer'

Written byJAMES BRINDLE

ONE of the country’s leading viola players will be performing a special concert at a school near Rocester next week.

Sarah-Jane Bradley has become a multi-award winning classical musician after studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.

She made her Wigmore Hall debut in 1997 and has played there many times since, along with other high profile concerts, including the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.

At home with works from all eras, Bradley is also known as a pioneer of new music for the viola and has premiered many new works written especially for her.

Leading composer David Matthews has written numerous new pieces for her, including the concerto Winter Remembered, which, after joint premieres at the Deal and Presteigne Festivals in 2002, was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 with the City of London Sinfonia in 2003.

This was to form the basis for her acclaimed CD recording for Dutton of British Viola Music with Orchestra Nova conducted by George Vaas, released in February 2007.

Subsequently Bradley recorded the Arthur Butterworth Viola Concerto for Dutton in May 2008 with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the composer conducting in his celebratory 85th birthday year.

Bradley also recorded the viola concerto in the version for violin and viola with Philippe Graffin and the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by David Lloyd-Jones in January 2009.

This was released on Dutton Epoch in May 2009 and was Classic FM Editor’s Choice on release.

Bradley then gave the world premiere of Paul Patterson’s Viola Concerto at the 2009 Hampstead and Highgate Festival , which was also later recorded and released through Dutton Epoch.

Other work since then has included a recording of Arthur Benjamin’s Elegy, Waltz and Toccata for viola and orchestra, and the Romantic Fantasy for violin, viola and orchestra for violin, viola and orchestra.

As a distinguished chamber musician Bradley has toured throughout the world.

She was also a founder member of the Leopold String Trio (1991-9), a member of the Sorrel Quartet (1999-2005) and Fidelio Piano Quartet and recently has been invited to join the London Soloists Ensemble.

She will be performing at Abbotsholme School on Wednesday, March 13 at 8pm where she will be accompanied by pianist Anthony Hewitt, with whom she has recorded over the last few years.

Her programme on the night is of special interest as she has included a work for the viola by the lesser known English composer York Bowen, recently described as a ‘scandalously neglected composer’.

The programme will also include works for the viola by Mendelssohn, Bach and Kodaly.

Tickets cost £16, or £5 for under 25’s and are available from the box office by calling 01543 263304.

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