Welsh premiere of #CONNECT
1 August 2017
Due to the huge success of the world premiere of #CONNECT at the Royal Albert Hall in November 2016, Dr Daniel Bickerton’s internationally acclaimed composition was sought after for a performance at the Cerdd Gwent Music Showcase in St David's Hall, Cardiff.
The Welsh premiere took place on 26th June, conducted by Dr Bickerton and once again featuring Timothy Johnston on electronics. Timothy, who has recently graduated from the School of Music with a first-class BMus degree, previously worked with Dr Bickerton on the production of his performance thanks to the Cardiff University Research Opportunities Programme (CUROP).
650 talented young musicians returned to give the finale performance at the showcase to a packed audience. The line-up included over 400 vocalists and 200 instrumentalists including a jazz ensemble, strings, and percussion as well as dancers, beat-boxers and electro-acoustics.
Designed to celebrate technological evolution, #CONNECT is a work in four movements, each focussing on a different aspect of technology.
Dr Bickerton was interviewed before the performance and said: “It annoys me greatly when I hear people say that the arts are dying in Wales: it is not! It is funding, financial support and curriculum time for the arts that is dying.”
“What this project seeks to do is give talented performers from a diverse range of backgrounds the opportunity to collaborate in an exciting, contemporary performance that focuses on issues that are extremely relevant to them in the present day.”
“It is my great pleasure as a representative of Cardiff University School of Music to be involved in such a large project that celebrates the next generation of musicians. I’m delighted to be invited back to give the Welsh premiere of #CONNECT after such a memorable performance in London last November.”
Beyond #CONNECT it has been a busy few months for Dr Bickerton who recently had a new piece, Mad About ThaT, commissioned and performed by the University Big Band on tour to the Montreux and Evian Jazz Festivals this month.
Equation for solo piano was recently performed and recorded by Catherine Milledge at Cardiff University, and Sea of Stone (from Tyne Cot Sketches) was performed by Rebekah Weatherby at Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall, Leeds, in a recital of contemporary piano music.
Dr Bickerton also recently collaborated with Cardiff High String Orchestra on a special performance for a summer showcase concert. The day saw Dr Bickerton lead the string players in a series of sectionals and creative workshops on 28 June.
The final performance was a terrific success, with musical director Sophie Faria describing the workshop as “such a motivation boost for the students.”