Late Music concerts to pay tribute to Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Reginald Smith Brindle at Unitarian Chapel on Saturday

Sir Harrison Birtwistle, 1934-2022

YORK Late Music pays tribute on Saturday to two British composers:  a major name and an unjustly forgotten figure who is surely due for a revival.

The evening concert, A New Matrix,  has been planned as a tribute to Sir Harrison Birtwistle, who died in April 2021. Birtwistle was a colossus in contemporary music, especially opera, whose influence was worldwide.

Based around the clarinet, the 7.30pm programme also acknowledges the work of York musician Alan Hacker, who was a long-term friend and musical associate of Birtwistle, and who taught many of those involved in this weekend’s performance.

Alongside Birtwistle’s work, the programme includes pieces by Messaien (whom Birtwistle acknowledged as an influence) and Peter Maxwell Davies, as well as a series of short pieces composed following Birtwistle’s death.

Guitarist Federico Pendenza

The lunchtime concert (1pm) celebrates the work of Reginald Smith Brindle, who died in 2003. A Lancastrian, like Birtwistle, Smith Brindle’s eclectic output included two symphonies, although he is now best known for his solo guitar work.

Guitarist Federico Pendenza, from the University of York, will be playing four works by Smith Brindle, pieces by Poulenc and a Chris Gander world premiere.

Both concerts are at Late Music’s usual venue, the Unitarian Chapel in St Saviourgate, York. The evening event will follow a 6.45pm talk by composer David Lancaster, with a complimentary glass of wine or juice.

Lunchtime concert tickets cost £5; evening, £12, students £5, at or on the door