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Natalie Clein and Aurora Orchestra premiere

Natalie Clein and Aurora Orchestra  premiere

Natalie Clein and Aurora Orchestra under Duncan Ward gave the premiere of ‘The Certainty of Tides’ as part of Kings Place’s Venus Unwrapped festival, 14th December.

The title is taken from Maya Angelou’s empowering poem, Still I Rise, in which the strength and constancy of woman is likened to the certainty of tides:

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

With clarity, the cello sings powerfully through the piece, her persistent voice a singular source of energy for the ensemble. In constant motion and usually ascending, the piece sparkles and radiates. In one movement the solo voice, like a pathfinder, leads the ensemble through four inter-connected sections. In blazing a trail, she is at times alone but never lonely.

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Gallery of Slovenia in Ljubljana, the composer took the sculpture by Drago Trsar entitled, Amidst the Powerful and the Powerless, as her inspiration for the piece. In connection with this, the ground-breaking history project “The First 100 Years” celebrates pioneers in the legal profession over this period, since the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act, which paved the way for women to become lawyers for the first time. The sculpture is a visual representation of the principal themes inherent in the 100 years project and the music, in turn, embodies both.


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Charlotte wins an Ivor Novello Award

Charlotte wins an Ivor Novello Award

Charlotte’s work Invisible Cities, for viola and piano, has won an Ivor Novello Award in the Solo or Duo category.

The piece was commissioned by Verbier Festival and written for Lawrence Power and Julien Quentin who gave the premiere in July 2012. The work was recently recorded by Barbara Buntrock and Huw Watkins for Charlotte’s second CD on the RTF Classical Label.

This year’s judges praised Charlotte’s work as being “beautifully crafted, wide-ranging in its scope and emotional intensity and engaging in its overall shape. It is a really gripping and virtuosic piece and a strong addition to the repertoire.”

The Ivors Composer Awards 2019 at British Museum, London – Charlotte Bray, winner of Solo or Duo on Wednesday, 4 December 2019. Photo by Mark Allan

Listen to the work in full on Spotify


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Invisible Cities shortlisted for an Ivors Award

Invisible Cities shortlisted for an Ivors Award

Charlotte’s work Invisible Cities, for viola and piano, has won an Ivor Novello Award in the Solo or Duo category.

The piece was commissioned by Verbier Festival and written for Lawrence Power and Julien Quentin who gave the premiere in July 2012. The work was recently recorded by Barbara Buntrock and Huw Watkins for Charlotte’s second CD on the RTF Classical Label.

Seen and Heard International said of the latest performance of the work: “Barbara Buntrock and Huw Watkins gave a performance full of nervous energy. Its first movement of four, marked ‘vivid, frenetic’, certainly proved vividly variegated, opening with memorable contrast and synthesis – I think – of post-Schoenbergian harmonies with jazzy-Gallic syncopation.  ‘Unnerved, intimate’ is the marking for the second movement and so again it proved, with an intangible yet unquestionable sense of development from its predecessor. Buntrock truly dug into the strings, preparing the way for what I hope it is not too Romantic to describe as organically developing third and four movements, the latter climactic in both anticipated and unanticipated ways. Piano repeated notes offered counterpoint according to various understandings, viola harmonics seemingly generative of new yet related material, music and performance (piano and pizzicato viola) eventually fading into nothing.”

The Ivors Composer Awards recognise the creative talent of composers and sound artists to promote the art of composition in contemporary classical, jazz and sound art.
Since 2003, they have been recognising exceptional talent in classical, jazz and sonic art composition. For the last 15 years, the awards were known as the British Composer Awards, but from 2019 they are The Ivors Composer Awards.
As an award presented by fellow composers and songwriters to their peers, an Ivor Novello Award is a uniquely authentic and respected recognition of craft. The Academy holds a public call for entries and all eligible submissions are reviewed by juries specifically appointed by the Academy.

The Ivors Composer Awards are sponsored by PRS for Music. The event is in association with BBC Radio 3 providing exclusive broadcast coverage.

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New Disc: Chamber and Solo Works

New Disc: Chamber and Solo Works

I am very excited to announce that my second CD is out today! Available for purchase direct from Nimbus Publishing, on iTunes or Amazon. I am extremely grateful to everyone who helped me achieve this; the musicians, Tonemeister Christoph Franke, the Sendesaal Bremen, the Richard Thomas Foundation, the PRS Foundation #Composersfund, and the Nicholas Boas Charitable Trust

Join us for the launch concert in the Purcell Room Southbank Centre, 16th October 2018
more info & tickets