Alex Woolf

Composer

A Winter's Tale

This winter has certainly been a busy one so far! Here are a couple of highlights:

It was a thrill to perform at the Wallace Collection for the first time, directing my choir Vox Luna. Our (sold-out!) concert featured all manner of festive favourites, with two thirds of the music being written by living composers. We gave a performance of my carol Nowell! (now published by Stainer and Bell), written last year for David Hill and the Bach Choir, in amongst Christmas classics old and new.

The following day I flew to the Swiss Alps to work with the wonderful Choeur St-Michel on 3 of my choral works, for their performances in Chermignon and Fribourg - a really wonderful experience, and very seasonally appropriate indeed!

This month saw the premiere of my piano quartet Leaps and Bounds at the Purcell Room, Southbank Centre. It was a pleasure working with the Lipatti Piano Quartet on this piece, which was programmed alongside brilliant works by Mark-Anthony Turnage, Joe Cutler and Judith Weir.

I’m now hard at work on my song cycle for the Ludlow English Song Weekend, taking place this April. It’s exhilarating to say the least to be writing for Rowan Pierce (soprano), Elgan Llyr Thomas (tenor), and Iain Burnside (piano). My piece sets prose and poetry on the theme of London by the incredible (and now largely overlooked) 19th-century writer Louise Imogen Guiney. It’s a pleasure to be bringing these words to life with such fantastic performers. I’m looking forward to taking part in a panel discussion as part of this festival too, chaired by Katy Hamilton and alongside Tony Palmer, Edward Rushton and Benjamin Goodson.

If you find yourself in Cambridge over the next couple of months, there are 3 opportunities to hear my new set of responses at St John’s College Evensong – details here! I’m looking forward to accompanying the amazing flautist Dan Shao in the live premiere of my Golden Rhapsody (written for Sir James Galway) on Mach 19th (details/tickets here!). There’s also a 2nd performance of my choral work The Virgin Mary (setting words by John Donne) at Lincoln’s Inn on March 24, at their annual John Donne service – do come along if you’re in central London!

Here’s Vox Luna performing Eric Whitacre’s Lux Nova for Classic FM, just ahead of our December concert!