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Sirinu with Howard Skempton


Sara Stowe (voice and keyboard), Matthew Spring (hurdy-gurdy and lute), Chris Brannick (percussion), Jon Banks (accordion and medieval harp), Christopher Redgate (oboe) and Isabelle Carré (flutes and recorder)


An innovative concert for lovers of folk, early and modern music by the uniquely inventive composer Howard Skempton and other experimentalists.

Pre-concert discussion with Howard Skempton

Hay Primary School, Oxford Road,

Hay-on-Wye HR3 5BT

Please note change of venue and start time.

Tickets:  £14 (Students £7)

[Booking Information]

Please note:  this concert begins at 7.30pm and time given for end of concert is approximate


7.30 – 7.50 pm:  Howard Skempton in conversation with Sara Stowe

The music:

Howard Skempton:   Concerto for Accordion and Oboe

Giacinto Scelsi:   CKCKC (soprano and mandolin)

Howard Skempton:  Random Girl (oboe and vibraphone)

Howard Skempton:  Apple Blow (soprano and gamelan)

Erik Satie:  Première Gnossienne (bass flute, theorbo, percussion)

Howard Skempton:   Feste’s Song (soprano, recorder and guitar)

Howard Skempton:  The Arrow and the Song (voices)  

Howard Skempton:  Concerto for hurdy-gurdy and percussion

Astor Piazzola:  Tango (accordion, oboe, flute, and percussion)

Erik Satie:   Menus Propos Enfantins – Lui manger sa tartine (instruments  and réciters)

Igor Stravinsky:  Valse pour les Enfants, Polka (flute and lute)

Howard Skempton:   The Man Hurdy-gurdy and Me (soprano, hurdy-gurdy, medieval harp and percussion)

Chris Hobbs:   Bring us in Good Ale (tutti)

Concertos for hurdy-gurdy have not been many, since Haydn wrote his double hurdy-gurdy concertos for the King of Naples in the 18th century.  Sirinu revisits the form with an Indian tinge in Howard Skempton's concerto for hurdy-gurdy and percussion, along with his dance-like concerto for accordion and oboe.  Along with these concertos they perform a setting of Shakespeare for voice, recorder and guitar, pieces for gamelan and the programme title `The Man Hurdy-gurdy and Me'.  They intersperse these Skempton works with complementary pieces for early and folk ensemble.  Much of this programme has been featured on BBC Radio 3 and is shortly to be released by Métier Records.

Howard Skempton.jpg

Howard Skempton (born 1947) is an English composer, pianist, and accordionist who has been associated with the English school of experimental music.  His work is characterised by stripped-down, essentials-only choice of materials, absence of formal development and a strong emphasis on melody.  He teaches composition at the Birmingham Conservatoire.

Skempton was the winner in the Chamber-Scale Composition category at the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards in 2005 for his string quartet 'Tendrils' which also won the Chamber Music category in the BBC Radio 3's British Composer Awards.  His best known work is 'Lento' (1990), commissioned by the BBC for the BBC Symphony Orchestra and performed at the 2010 BBC Proms.  He also composes choral music, including an Advent antiphon for Merton College Oxford and anthems for Chester and Wells Cathedrals.

Skempton’s works have been published by Oxford University Press since 1994.

Later Event: April 27
Pre-Concert “Conversation “