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Judith Bingham World Premiere 3 October

'Shadow Aspect' for Edinburgh Royal Choral Union
Judith Bingham has written a new work inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson and his family
Celebrating 150 years of the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union

Saturday 3 October 2009, 7.30pm. Usher Hall, Lothian Road, EDINBURGH

Two years ago the search began for a composer who would create a celebratory piece to honour the sesquicentenary of ERCU. Twenty-five interested composers from across Europe submitted proposals, from which acclaimed choral specialist Judith Bingham was selected to compose a 30-minute piece for ERCU, Edinburgh Youth Choir, baritone solo, timpani and the organ of the Usher Hall played by City Organist John Kitchen.

Judith Bingham writes: ‘The brief for this commission was to write a piece about the Stevenson family, and by one of those odd coincidences, I had been reading Jekyll and Hyde at the time, with an idea of writing an opera about the influences behind it … Once I started thinking about the ERCU commission I knew that I wanted somehow to include Robert Louis Stevenson’s essay “A chapter on Dreams and Dreaming”, as well as some of the spookier children’s poems. This developed into an idea to write a piece about fear of the dark. After reading an heroic account of the building of Bell Rock lighthouse, it suddenly came to me that RLS’s work was a literary metaphor for the engineering feats of his ancestors, that of shining bright lights into dark corners … and of course, he excelled in exploring the dark side of human nature, its shadow aspect.'

Concert details:

FELIX MENDELSSOHN - Hebrides Overture

JUDITH BINGHAM - Shadow Aspect (world premiere)

MENDELSSOHN - Lobgesang (Symphony No. 2)

Julian Tovey - baritone
Philip Hague - timpani
John Kitchen - organ
Fiona Scott - soprano
Madeleine Shaw - mezzo soprano
Malcolm Bennett - tenor

Edinburgh Royal Choral Union
edinburgh youth choir
Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Michael Bawtree - conductor


Contact Chloë Brookes for more information on Judith Bingham:
ERCU Contracts: or

Notes to editors:
Judith Bingham, is one of the most prolific composers of choral music active in the UK today, and was the Associate Composer with the BBC Singers until this year. She has won three British Composer Awards for her choral music, and she was made a Fellow of the Royal School of Church Music in May 2007. She has received commissions from an impressive range of choirs and ensembles – from King’s College Cambridge and the King's Singers, to the BBC Philharmonic, and in addition has written many works for amateur choir.

Bingham trained as a composer and also as a singer at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and was a member of the BBC Singers for many years. Her special insight into the voice has proved to be invaluable in the development of her unique choral sound-world. She has a thorough and practical understanding of vocal technique, which makes her music for the voice especially sympathetic.

In 2007 the BBC Symphony Chorus released a critically acclaimed portrait CD of her music on the Naxos label; “All five works on this disc reveal a distinctly modern idiom which combines clarity of thought and complexity of vision. Bingham’s music draws audiences in, without alienating them or compromising her expressive integrity”. (Gramophone April 2007). A new CD dedicated to Bingham's choral music, ‘Remoter Worlds’ was released by the BBC Singers in 2008 on the Signum label.

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