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Matthew Taylor World Premiere - Symphony No. 2

BBC Symphony Orchestra
23 January 2008
BBC Symphony Orchestra (Conductor : Gary Walker)

Friday 23 January 2009, 7.30 pm, BBC Maida Vale Studio 1 (recorded for future broadcast)

Following the successful recent release of Matthew Taylor’s First and Third Symphonies on the Dutton Records label, Taylor’s Second Symphony received its première on Friday 23 January 2009.

The symphony was commissioned by the distinguished gynaecologist Ian Craft. Consequently, the evolution of this Symphony can be likened to embryonic growth. I was fascinated about the proposal which seemed to me to offer new dimensions of symphonic thinking though the prospect of embarking upon such a subject seemed formidable. It soon became apparent there were plenty of parallels between prenatal growth and symphonic writing so consequently the symphony explores different sorts of growth, mental, physical and emotional. Whilst there was no intention to depict specific actions or incidents in a Straussian manner, there are plenty of obvious parallels between prenatal growth and modern symphonic form.

While making the final revisions to the symphony my wife Juliet became pregnant with our daughter Emily which suddenly offered a keener understanding of the whole subject than ever before. The symphony is scored for a fairly large orchestra and is around 35 minutes in duration.

Matthew Taylor was born in London in 1964. His works have been championed by BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Allegri and Dante Quartets, Emily Beynon, Emma Johnson, John McCabe and Martyn Brabbins. Recordings include works on Toccata Classics, Dutton Epoch and ASV White Line Series labels.
To date he has written three symphonies, concertos for clarinet, piano, horn and double bass, the “Needles” Overture, “Blasket Dances” for wind orchestra, six string quartets, a piano trio, other chamber music and songs. His music has been played in Germany, Italy, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Russia, America and the Baltic States. Taylor has been Artistic Director and Featured Composer of the Malvern Festival (1992 -95), Composer in Residence at the Blackheath Halls 1999 series and the first ever Associate Composer of the recently formed chamber ensemble sound. collective (2003 - 05). In 2003 he became the founder and Artistic Director of the Royal Tunbridge Wells International Music Festival and in 2009 he will assume the role as Artistic Director of the St Petersburg British Music Festival. His commissions for 2008 included a Fifth String Quartet for the Dante Quartet and a Sixth Quartet for the Allegri Quartet,
premiered at the Presteigne and Little Missenden Festivals respectively. Current recording projects include a complete cycle of the String Quartets on Toccata Classics.

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