Matthew Schellhorn

pianist

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IAN WILSON (b. 1964)
Flags and Emblems (2012)
fantasy for piano, orchestra and flute band | 18' | World Premiere 2012
  • SummaryOpen or Close
    Matthew Schellhorn was guest soloist in the world premiere of Ian Wilson's Flags and Emblems, a piano concerto with an unusual orchestra including flute band.

    The concert, part of the Belfast Festival at Queen's 2012, was later heard on BBC Radio 3.

    Flags and Emblems was commissioned by the Ulster Orchestra with funds from the Lottery Unity of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
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  • Programme noteOpen or Close
    Flags and Emblems takes two very different types of musical material and explores how having them in close proximity can alter their fundamental characteristics – marches can start to sound like folk tunes and vice versa, for instance. All the music is original, including a couple of ‘new’ folk tunes and marches I’ve written for the occasion, all presented through the prism of a fantasy-like work which is by turns exciting, contemplative and uplifting. Pianist Matthew Schellhorn is a long-time collaborator of mine and it’s a particular pleasure to have the Ballygowan Flute Band involved in this performance.

    Flags and Emblems was commissioned by the Ulster Orchestra with funds from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Lottery Unit.

    © 2012 Ian Wilson
  • PerformancesOpen or Close
    30 October 2012
    Ulster Hall, Belfast, UK; with Ulster Orchestra, Ballygowan Flute Band, Ian Wilson (conductor)
    World Premiere
  • Concert reviewsOpen or Close
    "A century ago American pioneer Charles Ives was imitating the sound of marching bands in his music. In Flags and Emblems, a new Ulster Orchestra commission, Belfast composer Ian Wilson went one better, by involving a real band (the Ballygowan Flute) in the performance. At the Whitla Hall premiere, the Ballygowan sat on the left of the floor area accommodating most of the players, with the Ulster Orchestra (minus strings) opposite, and pianist Matthew Schellhorn in between. It was a striking spectacle, with a large battery of percussion ranged onstage, and the crimson Ballygowan uniforms contrasted graphically with the traditional stage-black of the orchestra. Wilson used band, orchestra and soloist in shifting combinations, and occasionally together. Making his conducting debut with the Ulster Orchestra, Wilson drew a predictably tight, assured performance from the players, confirming that Flags and Emblems is an innovative, vividly imagined piece, worthy of repeat performances."
    Terry Blain, Belfast Telegraph, 31 October 2012
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