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MARTIN BUSSEY

composer

 
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WHAT THE DICKENS!

New work for two actors, choir, soprano, tenor and bass solos with oboe and piano 

July 20 2022 sees the premiere of this new work commissioned by the St Marylebone Festival


The work features six characters from the novels written by Dickens when he lived round the corner from St Marylebone Church, in Devonshire Terrace in the 1840s. These have been commemorated in the mural which now stands on the site of Dickens' house, including the unforgettable Scrooge, the drunken Mrs Gamp, the perpetually optimistic Wilkins Micawber, Little Nell and many others.

The work includes original settings of poetry by Christina Rossetti and W.B.Yeats together with Dickens' words and re-imaginings of music by S.S.Wesley, plus drinking and temperance songs of Dickens' time. The cast includes actors Ros Shelley and Alex Knox alongside the choir of St Marylebone Parish Church, Gavin Roberts, piano and Clare Hoskins, oboe.

More in the next panel!

 

WHAT THE DICKENS!

Below, actors Alex Knox and Ros Shelley channel their inner Micawbers

Musical Director Gavin Roberts keeps order

As a taster, listen to Martin Bussey playing Mr Dombey Seated here


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THE WINDHOVER

August 5th 2022 at 7.30 p.m.

Ambleside Parish Church 

Martin Bussey's well-received setting of Gerard Manley Hopkins' THE WINDHOVER flies again,

with acclaimed tenor ROBERT MURRAY and ROSA HARTLEY, Violin.

MARTIN BUSSEY is in conversation with CECILIA MCDOWELL and STEVEN THRELFALL

at 6.45 in Ambleside Parish Centre

Full details and tickets here

SCORE available from Composers Edition here


 

SHROPSHIRE LASS

New work for Soprano and guitar based on poems of Mary Webb

(click on links to explore Mary Webb & the performers)

The end of 2021 saw the completion of A Shropshire Lass, written for the duo of Holly Teague and Michael Matthews.

This semi-staged piece lasting around 35 minutes tells a story of love, loss and memory, with the Shropshire countryside a significant element as the singer traces her past love and his loss in the 1914-18 war.

Below Martin stands beside the bust of Mary Webb outside Shrewsbury Library.

If you are interested in hosting a performance of Shropshire Lass click here

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SHROPSHIRE LASS LAUNCHES!

Holly Teague and Michael Matthews perform the first five songs

(click on links in the page above to explore Mary Webb & the performers)

Saturday March 19 saw the first, very successful performance by Holly and Michael of the first five songs of Shropshire Lass as part of the Caldecott Festival in Whitchurch, Shropshire. The performance was introduced by Martin Bussey who stressed the natural elements which are a focus of Mary Webb's poems and also the frank allusions to sexual love in her work. The enthusiastic applause from an appreciative audience showed the high standard of the performance and bodes well for reception of the work in its full version later this summer. 

Below Holly and Michael are in the Masonic Hall, Whitchurch.

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A BROTHER ABROAD

Explore the vivid spiritual and political lives of 14th-century Bishop Peter of Corbavia!

The first performance  of A Brother Abroad at Pinner Music Festival was deemed a resounding success by the festival organisers and an appreciative audience on June 12 2021.

The commission celebrated 700 years since the dedication of St John's, Pinner by Bishop Peter of Corbavia.

The Festival's Director says:

'The performance was a triumph, with the superb and finely crafted score being widely appreciated for the way it brought the person of Peter, his faith and his time to life.'


A Brother Abroad sets a vibrant and spiritually charged text by Anthony Pinching.

Click here to hear Martin and Anthony discuss the work.

The next performance at Ludlow English Song Weekend on April 9 2022 was equally well received in the magnificent surroundings of Ludlow Parish Church.

The score is available now from Composers Edition

Read more about the dynamic performers at the premiere by clicking on their names:

Marcus Farnsworth, baritone

Emma Halnan, flute

George Strivens french horn

Chris Brannick, percussion 

Click here to hear George Strivens play The Rites observed a metamorphosis of themes from the work for solo horn composed by Martin Bussey for him. The score can be previewed here.

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WELCOME 2022!

Martin Bussey previews exciting performances and recording in prospect for 2022

Click here for a round-up of some future events, including the premiere of Shropshire Lass (more details on the next page)

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CAMBRIDGE WEEKEND

MATTHEW SCHELLHORN 

FLOREAT COLL REG

Over the weekend of November 19/20 2021 pianist Matthew Schellhorn continued his performances of Martin's Floreat Coll Reg.


Matthew commissioned this work and premiered it at the 2021 Three Choirs Festival.

In these two short pieces, Radliffe's Repose and Ledger's Coranto Martin pays tribute to two important influences from undergraduate days at Cambridge, Philip Radcliffe and Philip Ledger.

The work was played at St Catharine's College on Friday evening then Corpus Christi College on Saturday alongside piano music by Herbert HHowells

Follow this link to access the St Catharine's performance (Floreat  begins around 37 minutes in)

 
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THREE CHOIRS FESTIVAL PREMIERE! 

PIANO MUSIC

July 30 2021 saw the premiere  of Floreat Coll. Reg. commissioned and performed by Matthew Schellhorn at Worcester Three Choirs Festival

Read what Matthew and Martin have to say about this new commission here 

Go to Composers Edition to view Martin's music for piano and organ including ​Floreat Coll Reg & links to other works.

Listen to Martin playing his piano music, including Shocklach Sketches here

 
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TIMELESS FIGURE

The new collaboration with photographer Laurel Turton

'A 45-minute tour de force...imaginative writing for marimba, clarinet and viola...some striking textures...the vocal line being expressive and singer-friendly yet highly wrought.' - planethugill.com, 2020

 

Upcoming Events

  • Mary's Hand
    Thu, 01 Oct
    Tower of London date tbc 2021
    01 Oct 2020, 19:30
    Tower of London date tbc 2021, St Katharine's & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB, UK
    "Elegant, thoughtful, current" - The Independent
    Share
  • Mary's Hand
    Fri, 25 Sept
    Aldeburgh Parish Church date tbc 2021
    25 Sept 2020, 19:30
    Aldeburgh Parish Church date tbc 2021, Aldeburgh IP15 5DU
    "Elegant, thoughtful, current" - The Independent
    Share
 
In No Strange Land: Choral Works by Martin Bussey

In No Strange Land: Choral Works by Martin Bussey

Children of Light

Whitsunday

Swet Jesus

 

BEHIND THE COMPOSER

A life of music, words and gardens

Nourished by the borderlands of England and Wales

Creating music theatre, choral, vocal and instrumental music in a converted Methodist chapel

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REVIEWS

The Independent

MARY'S HAND

The Independent
★★★★★

‘The outstanding Mary’s Hand’

The Stage

MARY'S HAND

The Stage
★★★★

'The writing is linear, finely wrought and daringly spare'

BBC Music Magazine

IN NO STRANGE LAND

BBC Music Magazine
★★★★

'This disc of choral works by contemporary composer Martin Bussey is glorious...Shimmering sound'

The Observer

THROUGH A GLASS, DARKLY

The Observer
★★★

'An enthralling piece which makes a philosophical exploration of dreams and reality'

 

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