It is a large-scale unaccompanied cantata set in the night-time darkness of a forest into which creeps the tentative light of dawn. The Angry Planet was commissioned by The Bach Choir as part of a collaboration with music education charity The Voices Foundation, building partnerships with several schools in the Borough of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, with support from the charity in the form of training for class teachers in these schools. Other schools join them, as part of the BBC Singers’ outreach programme with children from the London Borough of Harrow.
The children’s contribution develops the environmental theme of the work with folksy, mischievous riddles, primarily about the survival for millions of years of the common weed. The Prom will be signed by Dr Paul Whittaker, Artistic Director of Music and the Deaf, with a team of signing students.
Bob Chilcott says “This new piece both mourns and celebrates our planet, and I very much hope that even the youngest child can’t fail to be drawn into the massed sound and thrilling atmosphere of the performance”
Notes for editors
This press release is issued by Jo Forrest PR on behalf of Bob Chilcott & Charles Bennett.
BOB CHILCOTT AND CHARLES BENNETT have enjoyed a fruitful partnership for several years, and the resulting works are published by Oxford University Press. Swimming Over London was composed for The King’s Singers and chosen as the title track for the CD released in 2010 on Signum. The Rose in the Middle of Winter, written for the 90th birthday of Sir David Willcocks, is a beautiful unaccompanied eight-part carol whose flexible meter creates a dramatic sense of movement. The Sparrows’ Carol is published in the prestigious new anthology, Carols for Choirs 5, and scored for choir and chamber orchestra. The Seeds of Stars was written for choir and orchestra and premièred at Newfoundland’
Described by the Observer as “a contemporary hero of British Choral Music”, Bob Chilcott works tirelessly as a composer and choral conductor. He has over 125 pieces published by Oxford University Press, two acclaimed recordings on Signum, Making Waves (The Sirens) and Man I Sing (BBC Singers), and he wrote the title tracks for the King’s Singers albums, Swimming over London and High Flight. His Irish Blessing featured on the multi-platinum debut album of The Priests in 2008. In March 2012 his Requiem was released on Hyperion, performed by Wells Cathedral Choir and the Nash Ensemble, conducted by Matthew Owens, and in November two complete discs of his music will appear, one by the BBC Choir of the Year, the Wellensian Consort, and the other, on Signum, on which he conducts the Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir.
In 2002 he was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC’s acclaimed professional choir, the BBC Singers, and he has conducted other distinguished choirs including RIAS Kammerchor, Vancouver Chamber Choir, Jauna Musika, The World Youth Choir, Tower New Zealand Youth Choir, Taipei Chamber Singers, Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir, and the Kyoto Echo Choir. Since 1997 he has conducted in 23 countries, and in 2012 he has invitations to conduct in Poland, Denmark, Spain, Germany, China, Japan, USA, and Canada.
Chilcott maintains a busy schedule of commissions. Amongst shorter carols and anthems, 2013 will see the completion of an hour-long setting of the St John Passion for Wells Cathedral for SATB choir, soloists, and instruments, and Five Days that Changed the World, a 20-minute work setting words by Charles Bennett for youth choirs, brass, and organ, which will be premiered in Worcester Cathedral as part of the Worcester International Festival for Young Singers in July 2013.
CHARLES BENNETT is a highly regarded, prize-winning poet whose work has been published to wide acclaim in the UK, Europe and America. He was born in the North West of England and was a mature student in the 1980s at London University and the University of Massachusetts, where he was mentored by Nobel Laureate Joseph Brodsky. Following the completion of a doctorate on the structure of meaning in Seamus Heaney’s sequences, he taught English and Drama for several years before becoming the first Director of Ledbury Poetry Festival, which he established and ran for a number of highly-successful years before stepping down to become an academic. He is currently Reader in Poetry at the University of Northampton where he leads the BA in Creative Writing.
His engaging second full-length collection, How to Make a Woman Out of Water, appeared with Enitharmon in 2007. His poems have been reviewed by Frieda Hughes in The Times and have featured in over 150 poetry magazines including the Times Literary Supplement.