New Album Release: Taliesin's Songbook, featuring The Soul Candle

Gareth Brynmore John
Mark’s setting of Gwyneth Lewis’s poetry, The Soul Candle for baritone and piano, will be released on a new album from Tลท Cerdd on 4th June performed by baritone Gareth Brynmore John and pianist Andrew Matthews-Owen.

Taliesin’s Song Book is an exploration of Welsh song of the 20th & 21st centuries, and features unique performances by a range of prominent Welsh artists: sopranos Natalya Romaniw, Rebecca Evans, Elin Manahan Thomas and Susan Bullock; tenor Elgan Llyr Thomas and harpist Catrin Finch.

Andrew Matthews-Owen curated the repertoire for the record, which features songs by Alun Hoddinott, William Mathias, Dilys Elwyn-Edwards, Huw Watkins, Gareth Glyn, Rhian Samuel and Grace Williams.

Mark's new orchestral work Outside broadcast on BBC Radio 3

Mark’s new orchestral work, Outside, will be given its broadcast premiere by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Ryan Bancroft in June 2021.

The orchestra made a studio recording of the work in January — watch this space for further details!

New work for Royal Academy of Music bicenternary

Mark is composing a new work solo viola for the Royal Academy of Music’s bicentenary celebrations in 2022. The Academy has asked composers to write new works for solo instrument or voice. Composers include Academy alumni, staff, students and honorands. Watch this space for further details.

New work commissioned for National Youth Arts Wales

Mark is writing a new chamber work to mark the 75th anniversary of the National Youth Orchestra of Wales. The orchestra was established in 1945 with its first performance in 1946; it has the distinction of being the first national youth orchestra in the world. The new work will feature players from the orchestra and will mark the anniversary in a special online performance.

Voice on the Air, broadcast on BBC Radio 3

Mark has written a new work for Wales' New Music Ensemble, UPROAR. In collaboration with BBC Radio 3, UPROAR celebrates some of the most exciting voices in new music. Commissioned and composed during lockdown, Mark’s piece Voices on the Air, was inspired by his experiences over the year. The broadcast is available to listen to here

New chamber work commissioend by Uproar

Mark has been commissioned to write a new work for Uproar, Wales’ New Music Ensemble.

Watch this space for further details.

Outside recorded by BBC National Orchestra of Wales

Mark was given special permission to work with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales to record his new work Outside at BBC Hoddinott Hall. The new work, which was commissioned and composed during lockdown is a reworking of a chaconne from Act II, Scene 2 of Mark’s opera Sea Change. The piece will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 later in the year/

The Mare's Tale tour *postponed due to Covid-19*

Three Interludes at Fishguard Festival *postponed due to Covid-19*

Parable performed by London Sinfonietta

The London Sinfonietta series "Shorts" features new works by Mark and Graham Fitkin. The live-stream will feature Mark’s Parable played live by London Sinfonietta Principal Saxophone Simon Haram.

As a new weekly series, Sinfonietta Shorts Live brings bite-size pieces of new music – commissioned by the London Sinfonietta and performed by its Principal Players – direct to your living rooms every Wednesday at 3.00pm. Future programmes will be announced in due course.

You can watch the concert and interviews with Zoë Martlew on YouTube here.

Five Memos and For Michael at Vale of Glamorgan Festival

The wonderful folk at Vale of Glamorgan Festival have put together a lovely online event featuring Alice Neary, David Adams and Robin Green performing For Michael for cello and piano and ‘Exactitude’ from Mark’s Five Memos for violin and piano; an amazing feat considering they weren’t in the same room!

Mark also chats to Steph Power about music and Calvino. Have a watch/listen here.

ISCM World Music Days New Zealand *postponed due to Covid-19*

Five Memos selected for World Music Days 2020

Ty Cerdd recently announced that Mark’s work Five Memos for violin and piano has been selected to represent Wales at the 2020 World New Music Days to be held in New Zealand next year. Mark’s music will be performed alongside the best in new music put forward by sections of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) from around the world. World New Music Days is the annual flagship event of the ISCM. Next year’s festival is being presented by the Composers Association of New Zealand (CANZ). Further details here.

Ivor Novello Award nomination

Ivors2019Mark’s saxophone concerto Sapiens has been nominated for a Ivors Composer Award. The winners of each category will be announced at a ceremony in December.

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.

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. More details here.

The Mare's Tale: world premiere tour

The Mares Tale1
Mark is thrilled to present the world premiere tour of The Mare’s Tale, with the Berkeley Ensemble this spring. Inspired by a series of drawings by Clive Hicks-Jenkins on the theme of the Mari Lwyd, one of the oldest Welsh midwinter traditions, this work for actor and chamber ensemble sets a new text from poet Damian Walford Davies.

The tour will feature actor
Eric Roberts in the narrator’s role and will be conducted by Chloe van Soeterstede for performances in Cardiff, London and Glasgow this spring.

Tickets and further information

The Berkeley Ensemble’s performances of
The Mare’s Tale are supported by PRS Foundation’s Beyond Borders, a co-commissioning and touring programme run in partnership with Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales, Arts Council of Northern Ireland / An Chomhairle Ealaion.