I'll be narrating AND illustrating the guide, and - very exciting - I'll also be painting seascapes to accompany the Sea Interludes. They are such marvellous, evocative music. They immediately conjure up the broad, open skies of the Suffolk coastline, the ebb and flow of the sea. Growing up just outside Lowestoft, the same skies and seas that inspired Britten, inspired me too. I've written before about my family connections to Britten, so it feels entirely apt that I should be painting to his music on this landmark date.
PLEASE come and join us in London's Docklands, in the beautiful St. Anne's Church in Limehouse. This unique voluntary orchestra is made up of exceptionally talented youngsters, and will be conducted by their director, Spencer Down, who set the orchestra up. This is an evening concert, but families are welcome ('tis a Friday night, so no missed school the next day).
The programme will be completed with Tchaikovsky's passionate 4th Symphony. Which I will not paint to, but just sit and enjoy!
It's an interesting combination, apparently with not much in common. But in fact there are definite links. Britten visited Russia often and became great friends with Dmitri Shostakovitch, the cellist Mstislav Rostropovitch and his wife, the soprano Galina Vishnevskaya. She is generally considered the best interpreter of Tchaikovsky's finest operatic heroine, Tatiana in Eugene Onegin. And, of course, both composers were gay. With the dreadful current situation in Russia, one wonders what fate would have awaited these two brilliant composers now...
It would be great to get a good crowd and really support this terrific orchestra. And I can't think of a better celebration of Benjamin Britten on his actual 100th birthday.
Tickets are on sale now. Full details and links on how to book can be found on the orchestra website HERE: http://www.docklandssinfonia.co.uk/concerts