Anglia Ruskin Orchestra and Chorus, under the directorship of conductors Paul Jackson and Alan Rochford, will perform the world premiere of the recently discovered Violin Concerto by English composer Anthony Scott.
Generously supported by Norfolk Concerts, Anglia Ruskin’s first visit to Saffron Hall on Saturday 17 May includes the first performance of Scott’s work, with Amelie Xiaojun Huang, one of China’s outstanding young violinists, as soloist.
Born in 1911, Anthony Scott was the only pupil of the composer Gerald Finzi, and was also composition assistant to Ralph Vaughan Williams. Struck by Scott’s 1936 Sinfonietta for String Orchestra, Vaughan Williams described it as being like Bach’s “Grosse Fuge but with knobs on!”
His work was widely performed from 1936, including concerts with the Three Choirs Festival, the Halle Orchestra and the BBC, with support from such musical luminaries as Thomas Beecham and John Barbirolli.
However, following a fall-out with the British music establishment in 1982, Scott’s later music remained in manuscript form until his death in 2000. The Violin Concerto was recently discovered by Douglas Gowan, the Director of Norfolk Concerts, in a chest of manuscripts in the Scott family home, following a chance meeting with the composer’s son.
This highly detailed score abounds with long-flowing melodies and angst-ridden harmonies. According to Douglas Gowan, Scott’s music “expresses emotion on its sleeve and thus appeals to young musicians today”.
The Violin Concerto is presented together with Percy Grainger’s suite In a Nutshell, which provides a dazzling display of orchestral writing in the Australian composer’s inimitable style. Beethoven’s sublime Mass in C major concludes the programme.
Anglia Ruskin Orchestra and Chorus
Saturday May 17, 7.30pm
Amelie Xiaojun Huang violin
Paul Jackson conductor
Alan Rochford conductor
Anthony Scott Violin Concerto (world premiere)
Grainger In a Nutshell
Beethoven Mass in C major Op.86
Tickets cost £12 (£8 concessions) available online, through the box office on 0845 548 7650 or in person at Saffron Walden Tourist Information Centre.