Alex Woolf


Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings: Cambridge Premiere

I’m really excited to be bringing my Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings to Cambridge, its first performance since the premiere at Snape Maltings Concert Hall during Britten’s centenary weekend in 2013. It’s happening at St John’s Chapel at 8pm on Saturday 13th February, completely free and open to all! More information can be found on Facebook, here.

I’m particularly thrilled that King’s College Choir tenor Toby Ward and Royal Academy of Music horn player Alexei Watkins (to whom the Serenade is dedicated) will be soloists for this performance. Joining them will be a bespoke ensemble led by Gabriella Jones, featuring some of the best string players from Cambridge University, Aldeburgh Young Musicians, and Hills Road Sixth Form College.

My Serenade, of course, takes the ensemble Britten made famous as its starting point, and was developed and realised first at Aldeburgh, the artistic environment he created. Each of the four poems I set reflect key aspects of Britten’s character; the Serenade is therefore in many ways an ode to Britten. It seems appropriate, therefore, to precede it with his arrangement of Purcell’s Chacony in G minor. The performance as a whole will thus be rich with Britten’s musical footprint, pointing both forwards and back.