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Tuesday, 26 April 2022

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EBBC 2022 - Own Choice Pieces
Sunday 1st May, Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 11.30 AM.

The European Own Choice contest is one of the highlights of the brass band competition year. After a two-year enforced hiatus, the 2022 ‘edition’ promises to be up with the very best in terms of music, performance and atmosphere. We will be hearing eleven virtuoso scores, including pieces that have already impressed at band contests around Europe in recent years and one world premiere, Englishman Gavin Higgins’ tour-de-force So spoke Albion…, inspired by the poet and artist William Blake. Of the recent scores, Other Lives (2019), by Swiss composer Oliver Waespi, finds inspiration in one of Franz Schubert’s most haunting late songs, Die Doppelganger, from his song cycle Wintereisse.

In 2018, French composer Thierry Deleruyelle penned a dramatic sequel to his much admired 2016 EBBC set test, Fraternity. Whereas Fraternity tells the moving story of a tragic mining accident in Courières, France, when countries such as Belgium and Germany helped France, No Man’s Land tells a very different story. When war broke out in 1914, instead of helping each other, a no man’s land arose. We hear both works in Symphony Hall on Sunday afternoon. English composer Simon Dobson is also represented by two proven own-choice favourites, the 2014 Black Dyke Band commission, Journey of the Lone Wolf, inspired by the life and music of Hungarian master Bela Bartok, and The Turing Test (2017), a tour-de-force inspired by the English mathematician Alan Turing.

Among the latest additions to the bespoke own-choice repertory, performances on the European stage of A Gabrieli Fantasy by Bert Appermont (Belgium) and Sinfonietta No. 2 - Four Impressions by Pierre-Antoine Savoyat (France) are keenly anticipated. Dr. Peter Graham’s nostalgic tribute to the legendary Harry Mortimer, Dynasty, has established a firm foothold in the test piece arena since it was first heard at the 2019 British Open Championship - the last time a band contest was held in Symphony Hall before EBBC 2022. The two remaining works on this year’s own-choice roster, Eden (John Pickard, England) and From Ancient Times (Jan Van der Roost, Belgium) have acquired ‘classic’ status since they were first heard at the 2005 Brass Band Championship finals of Great Britain and the 2009 European Championships in Ostend respectively.

Full list in alphabetical order

  • A Gabrieli Fantasy - Bert Appermont
  • Dynasty - Peter Graham
  • Eden - John  Pickard
  • Fraternity - Thierry Deleruyelle
  • From Ancient Times - Jan Van der Roost
  • Journey of the lone wolf - Simon Dobson
  • No Man’s Land - Thierry Deleruyelle
  • Other Lives - Oliver Waespi
  • Sinfonietta n°2 - Four Impressions - Pierre-Antoine Savoyat
  • So spoke Albion… - Gavin Higgins
  • The Turing Test - Simon Dobson

Join us the EBBC Own-Choice Sunday, 1st May 2022 - an occasion not to be missed.
Paul Hindmarsh (Chair, EBBA Music Commission)

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