Saturday 5th May 2018

Roderick Williams,  Iain Burnside

A song recital given by the renowned baritone Roderick Williams, accompanied by Iain Burnside, who is a patron of this concert series. The concert marks the end of the First World War, which brought about a greater carnage than any previous war and features works by composers  who served, many of whom did not return. This will include Butterworth's 'Six Songs from Shropshire Lad’, together with ‘Songs of Travel’ by Vaughan Williams. Both composers enlisted in 1914 and served on the Somme. Vaughan Williams, then aged 42, became a medical orderly whilst Butterworth went into the Durham Light Infantry. He was killed by a sniper in August 1916. Vaughan Williams lost a close friend and mourned this tragic loss to English music.

Roddy Williams2Roderick Williams encompasses a wide repertoire, from baroque to contemporary music, in the opera house, on the concert platform and in recital. 

He enjoys relationships with all the major UK opera houses.  He has also sung world premieres of operas by, among others, David Sawer, Sally Beamish, Michael van der Aa, Robert Saxton and Alexander Knaifel.

Roderick Williams has sung concert repertoire with all the BBC orchestras, and many other ensembles including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Philharmonia, London Sinfonietta, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hallé, Britten Sinfonia, Bournemouth Symphony and Scottish Chamber Orchestra.  Abroad he has worked with the Berlin Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Russian National Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris,  Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome and Bach Collegium Japan amongst others.  

His many festival appearances include the BBC Proms (including the Last Night in 2014), Edinburgh, Cheltenham, Aldeburgh and Melbourne.

Recent opera engagements include Oronte in Charpentier’s Medée, Don Alfonso / Cosi fan Tutte and Pollux /Castor and Pollux  for English National Opera, Toby Kramer in Van der Aa’s Sunken Garden in the Netherlands , Lyon and London,  Van der Aa’s After Life at Melbourne State Theatre,  Sharpless in Madam Butterfly  for the Nederlandse Reisopera, the title roles of Eugene Onegin  for Garsington Opera and Billy Budd for Opera North.  , Cincinnati Symphony, Music of the Baroque Chicago, Virginia Arts Festival, BBC Proms, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment as well as many recitals and concerts in the UK and worldwide.

He is also an accomplished recital artist who can be heard at venues and festivals including Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, LSO St Luke’s, the Perth Concert Hall, Oxford Lieder Festival, London Song Festival, the Musikverein, Vienna and appears regularly on Radio 3 both as a performer and a presenter.  In 2017/18 he will perform all three Schubert cycles at the Wigmore Hall.

Roderick Williams at the Proms 2014.  The composer George Butterworth was killed on the Somme in 1916


Iain Burnside 2 c. TallWall Media

Iain's numerous recordings include Vaughan Williams, Berkeley and Britten operas for Chandos and an extensive repertoire of English song with pianist Iain Burnside for Naxos. Roderick Williams is also a composer and has had works premiered at the Wigmore and Barbican Halls, the Purcell Room and in for the BBc Proms 2017.

He was Artistic Director of Leeds Lieder in April 2016 and won the RPS Singer award in May 2016.  He was awarded an OBE in June 2017. Iain Burnside Iain Burnside is a pianist who has appeared in recital with many of the world’s leading singers. He is also an insightful programmer with an instinct for the telling juxtaposition. His recordings straddle an exuberantly eclectic repertoire ranging from Beethoven and Schubert to the cutting edge, as in the Gramophone Award-winning NMC Songbook. Recent recordings include the complete Rachmaninov songs (Delphian) with seven outstanding Russian artists (“the results are electrifying” Daily Telegraph). Burnside’s passion for English Song is reflected in acclaimed CDs of Vaughan Williams, Finzi, Ireland, Britten and Butterworth, with baritone Roderick Williams.

Away from the piano Iain is active as a writer and broadcaster. As presenter of BBC R3’s Voices he won a Sony Radio Award. For the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Burnside has devised a number of singular theatre pieces. A Soldier and a Maker, based on the life of Ivor Gurney, was performed at the Barbican Centre and the Cheltenham Festival, and later broadcast by BBC R3 on Armistice Day. His new project Swansong has been premiered at the Kilkenny Festival and will play in Milton Court in November.

Future highlights include performances of the three Schubert song cycles with Roderick Williams at Wigmore Hall. A Delphian release of songs by Nikolai Medtner launches a major series of Russian Song in the 2018 Wigmore Hall season. Other forthcoming projects feature Ailish Tynan, Rosa Feola, Andrew Watts, Robin Tritschler and Benjamin Appl.

Iain Burnside is Artistic Director of the Ludlow English Song Weekend and Artistic Consultant to Grange Park Opera. He is also a founder patron of the Woodbridge Chamber Concerts.

William  Dennis Browne was killed in the Gallipoli campaign in 1915, together with the poet Rupert Brooke.