Sawyers Viola Concerto
– Daniel Rowland (Viola)
Mozart Symphony No. 40 in G minor
ArtistsEnglish Symphony Orchestra
About this Concert
Following on from the success of Poulenc’s full-length ballet score, Les biches, commissioned by the legendary Sergei Diaghilev in 1923, the composer was fortunate to enjoy many well-paying commissions and fame as a result and one such opportunity was presented by the BBC in 1947 which went on to become his Sinfonietta. Although many musicologists have alluded to some ‘structural weaknesses’ within the work due to such contrasting styles, Poulenc’s complex emotional character is what gives this piece its dynamism and to quote the composer “don’t analyse my music – love it!”.
The story of Mozart’s final three symphonies is a remarkable one. He wrote all three pieces within the space of about nine weeks in 1788, as well as writing other works and simultaneously dealing with immense personal struggles. However, his Symphony No.40 is an iconic and instantly recognisable work that has been widely used in TV and film and possibly most frustratingly for classical music lovers, a catchy ringtone in the 1990s, and yet it’s power to draw the listener in is still as strong today as it was over 230 years ago.
Sawyers’ Viola Concerto was written in 2020. The work was inspired by attending a recording session by fellow composer and friend David Matthews. The lovely playing of the viola part by Sarah-Jane Bradley set off some ideas for a viola concerto of his own and tonight this piece is brought to life by Daniel Rowland.
About the Soloist - Daniel Rowland
Dutch/English violinist Daniel Rowland’s playing has been acclaimed as “wonderful, ravishing in its finesse” by The Guardian, as „both naked and highly virtuosic“ by NRC Handelsblad, while The Herald praised his “astonishing sound and uniquely single-minded intensity”.
Daniel has established himself on the international scene as a highly versatile, communicative, charismatic and adventurous performer, with a broad repertoire from Biber to Berio and Vivaldi to Ferneyhough. In recent seasons Daniel has performed with orchestras from Tromso in the north of Norway to Cape Town, in concertos from Beethoven and Brahms to Elgar, Berg, Korngold, Weinberg, Prokoffief and Schnittke and has worked with leading conductors such as Heinz Holliger, Jaap van Zweden, Francois Xavier Roth, Lawrence Foster, Anthony Hermus, Rossen Milanov and Andrey Boreiko. He loves championing contemporary composers and is a passionate advocate of concertos such as those by Vasks, Lindberg, Glass, Saariaho and Van der Aa. In 2017 he premiered Isidora Zebeljan‘s Violin Concerto „Three curious loves“ and this autumn sees the premiere of Roxana Panufnik‘s „Songs of Love and Friendship“ with the Dutch Radio Choir at the Concertgebouw. September 2020 saw the release of Daniel’s newest CD ‘Distant light’, for Challenge Records with Violin Concertos by Peteris Vasks, recorded live at the Stiftfestival 2019 with the composer present. (“A beautiful ode to Vasks – rich in tension and magic“ – NRC Handelsblad)
A passionate chamber musician, Daniel has performed with artists as diverse as Ivry Gitlis, Heinz Holliger, Gilles Apap, Anna Fedorova, Alexander Lonquich, Nino Gvetadze, Michael Collins, Nicolas Daniel, Vladimir Mendelssohn, Lars Vogt, Alberto Mesirca, Willard White and Elvis Costello. He is a frequent guest at foremost international chamber music festivals such as Kuhmo, Stellenbosch, Risor, Sonoro, Rio de Janeiro, Chiemgau and Osnabrück. Daniel is part of acclaimed duo partnerships with pianist Natacha Kudritskaya, “a perfect partnership“ according to BBC Music Magazine, and with cellist Maja Bogdanovic, who‘s recent duo CD „Pas de deux“ (Challenge Records) included 5 world premieres and was described as „a magical meeting between violin and cello“ by Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad. He is also a founding member of a cutting edge Tango Quintet with bandoneon virtuoso/composer Marcelo Nisinman (as ensemble with the power of dynamite – Süddeutsche Zeitung) and frequently chamber music partners include Anna Fedorova, Nino Gvetadze and Alberto Mesirca.
In 2005 Daniel founded the Stift International Music Festival in the bucolic region of Twente in the eastern Netherlands, where he grew up, with the 15th century Stiftkerk as the main venue. The festival has garnered acclaim as one of great intimacy, adventure and atmosphere. Daniel was for twelve years the leader of the Brodsky Quartet, performing all over the world, and making numerous recordings, including the celebrated Shostakowitch Cycle. He teaches at the Royal College of Music in London.
Daniel was born in London, and started his violin lessons in Enschede after his parents moved to Twente in the eastern Netherlands. He studied with Jan Repko, Davina van Wely, Herman Krebbers, Viktor Liberman and Igor Oistrakh. Meeting Ivry Gitlis in 1995 was of great significance, leading to lessons in Paris and, later, to musical collaborations. Daniel’s competition successes include first prize at the 1995 Oskar Back competition at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Brahms Prize in Baden-Baden. His violin is by Lorenzo Storioni (Cremona 1796), and his bow is a Maline, kindly loaned by the Dutch Instrument Foundation.