The Art of Beginning – BBC Commission for Proms 2019

Prom 35 on 13 August 2019, will feature the world premiere of Pictured Within: Birthday Variations for M. C. B. Commissioned by the BBC to mark the 60th birthday of Martyn Brabbins, the work will be played by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducted by its dedicatee. Like Elgar’s Enigma Variations (to be heard in the same concert), the work is a set of 14 variations. In this case, the Theme has been anonymously written (a modern-day ‘enigma’!). The Variations have been composed by (in alphabetical order): Kalevi Aho, Sally Beamish, Harrison Birtwistle, Richard Blackford, Gavin Bryars, Brett Dean, Dai Fujikura, Wim Henderickx, Colin Matthew, Anthony Payne, John Pickard, David Sawer, Iris ter Schiphorst, Judith Weir.

John’s contribution, called The Art of Beginning, constitutes the work’s Finale. Read more about this movement here.

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