Featured Composer at Presteigne Festival 2014

July 23rd, 2014  |  Published in New Works, News

Andrew Burn, head of projects at the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and writer on 20/21st Cenury music, writes:

Stephen McNeff: Composer in Residence

“Residencies as one focal point of a festival provide valuable opportunities for the creative artist and audiences alike. For the latter there’s the chance to hear a range of work within a concentrated span of time, as well as to meet and engage with the creator, in this instance a composer, and to gleam what makes them ‘tick’. From the artist’s perspective, it provides a moment to take stock, and invariably the exciting invitation to create something new, because no residency would be complete without a premiere! Read the rest of this entry »

Current Projects

October 23rd, 2013  |  Published in New Works

Stephen McNeff has recently completed his Concerto for Oboe and Strings which will receive its premiere at the Presteigne festival in August with Ilid Jones as soloist and the Presteigne Festival Orchestra conducted by George Vass.  Please see the relevant diary listing.  Presteigne also sees another performance of Prometheus Drown’d, an expanded dramatisation of A Voice of One Delight (see the CD page) telling the story of the poet Shelley’s demise off the coast of Tuscany in his newly acquired yacht, Ariel.  Prometheus Drown’d was first seen in London at the end of July.

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New Vocal Recordings

October 21st, 2013  |  Published in Recordings



finalcoverversionNew from Champs Hill RecordsMadrigali dell’Estate, Italian inspired vocal works by Stephen McNeff for Clare McCaldin (mezzo), with Andrew West (piano) and the Orchestra Nova Ensemble, conducted by George Vass.

Buy the CD from directly from Champs Hill Records
or from Amazon

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New Orchestral Recordings

September 25th, 2013  |  Published in Recordings

 

duttonNew from Dutton Epoc, The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in 4 works from 2005 – 2007, conducted by Dominic Wheeler.  The CD is a celebration of the association between the BSO and Stephen McNeff who was Composer in Residence from 2005 – 2008.

Buy it from Amazon

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Vivienne – new chamber opera

September 21st, 2013  |  Published in New Works, Reviews


mcneffA new one act opera for mezzo soprano and piano about T S Eliot’s ‘mad’ wife, Vivienne

 

Reviews

Evening Standard *****
McNeff delivers an unpredictable yet instantly appealing score. The story unwraps in songs that always hint at popular idiom — crunchy bebop infuses her late-Forties mourning, Berlin-style cabaret hints at Eliot’s possible Fascist sympathies — but their structure is elastic and mutable. You enjoy the tune but never quite catch it. Kieron Quirke

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Secret Garden review

October 21st, 2012  |  Published in Reviews

 
Opera on Two Acts based on the novel by Frances Hodgeson Burnett

Newly revised version premiered by Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music in July 2012 and at the Banff Festival of the Arts in Canada in August 2012 conducted by Dominic Wheeler and directed by Kelly Robinson. Read the rest of this entry »

Chalk Legends review

August 21st, 2012  |  Published in Reviews

 
chalkTHE CHALK LEGENDS – When Viking skeletons were unearthed in Dorset it was the start of a tale that led back over a thousand years into a mysterious world… with a strange modern twist.


The Times
At this premiere it was also a triumph of hard work and organisation. The BSO, Dorset Youth Orchestra, eight local choirs and two dance companies successfully fused and struck sparks in a tricky rectangular space. Under MarkForkgen’s baton and Williams’s direction no cues were dropped, no note fumbled. Marvellous.
Geoff Brown

 

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The Chalk Legends

March 5th, 2012  |  Published in New Works

Stephen is working with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra on their ambitious  2012 cultural olympiad project, The Chalk Legends.

chalkclifsThe Chalk Legends is the largest Dorset community-based music and dance project inspired by London 2012. With the Olympic Sailing Events to be held in Weymouth and Portland in 2012, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Partners wanted to find a way of also making the year memorable in music and dance. We have devised The Chalk Legends, a large scale music, dance and multi-media event culminating in a spectacular presentation at the National Sailing Academy in Portland – just days before the WPNSA becomes the focus of world-wide attention during the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition. Read the rest of this entry »

Daughters of the elements

August 31st, 2011  |  Published in New Works, Reviews


Tête à Tête Opera Festival highlights this year included performances of Stephen McNeff’s Daughters of the Elements.

“Far more conventional but no less effective, Stephen McNeff’s Daughters of the Elements (simply but touchingly staged by Bankes-Jones) depicts Marie Curie and her two daughters reminiscing about Curie’s laboratory breakthroughs, her marriage, and her brief affair with a married scientist that scandalised Paris. With McNeff’s delicate instrumentation evocatively realised by the Chroma Ensemble under Robin Newton, and every word made crystal clear by Mary Plazas, Katherine Bond and especially Lucy Schaufer as Marie, the work emerges as an autumnal but lyrical song-cycle counterpointing the certainties of science against the unfathomable and often painful complexities of human behaviour.” The Times Read the rest of this entry »

Seven for a Secret

July 15th, 2011  |  Published in New Works

sevene_for_a_secret_4841
Autumn 2011 sees a major UK tour of Mcneff’s new score for the Rambert Dance Company, Seven for a Secret, never to be told.

The score is a reworking of Ravel’s music from l’enfant et les sortilèges.  

Follow a child through a world of boxers, dragonflies and frogs as he springs, jumps, mimics and dances his quick-witted heart out, in 15 glorious musical movements and one action-packed day. Come out to play with this fresh and enchanting take on a rarely-performed story.
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