Links and Friends

Here is the web address of my website:

This blog has some of the same stuff on it but I am putting a lot of new material here as it so easy to update!

I've been amazingly lucky to have had some marvellous musicians play my music including Stephen Gutman, Nicholas Austin, Chisato Kusunoki, Tomonari Tsuchiya, Jonathan Powell, Richard Black, Maiko Mori, Yeu-Meng Chan, Wills Morgan, Mick Foster, Wei-Tsen Lin and Mark Drobinsky.

Chisato Kusunoki has premiered a lot of my piano music including Five Coloured Parakeet on the Branch of a Blossoming Apricot Tree, Tales From the Forest, Eclogue, Album Leaf and Paraphrase on an English Carol.  She has recorded some of these pieces too.  Her richly-toned way of playing late romantic composers like Medtner, Liadov and Liapunov has had a distinct effect on the way I write for the piano.  Here is her website:

Maiko Mori gave the first performance of my Piano Sonata No.15, Suite: Songs of the Seasons and A West Linton Haar.  She is the first person to play any of my piano sonatas in public.  She has a website here:

I have been giving concerts with Yeu-Meng Chan for nearly twenty years.  In addition to giving many revivals of neglected songs and violin/piano works, she has also joined me in premieres of my own stuff.  Her superb playing is unphased by whatever musical oddities I present to her!  Together we have premiered my Violin Sonata No.2, Waterfall-Epitaph, Drei Lieder and more.  With the addition of cellist Wei-Tsen Lin we have played my tone poem for piano trio, Petites mystères and Three Hebrew Sketches.  Yeu-Meng and Wei-Tsen have also played a couple of romantic cello pieces of mine: Pavane and Song of Teliessin.

Jonathan Powell is well known for concerts of legendary stamina and complexity including the seven and a half hour marathon Sequentia Cyclica by Sorabji!  He has also premiered some of my works that are on a more modest scale including Schero epicĂ© and Three Nocturnal Preludes.  He is also a super composer and I hope he will play some of his own pieces again soon; they reflect an absorbtion of some fascinating influences like the music of Scriabin, Feinberg and Finnissy.
Here he is: 

I went to school with Rolf Hind.  He was already a brilliant pianist as a teenager and I was always amazed at the daring works he would perform.  He was composing back then too (I remember a Piano Concerto with an under-the-stage trombone solo!) but I guess the piano playing took over for quite some time.  I am so pleased he is now composing as well as playing the piano because his works are original and ear-opening; I love the very quiet sounds he gets from instruments; it really makes you listen twice as hard!  Every now and then we have a coffee and I try to peep at his compositional secrets!  Here is Rolf's website:

I'm really interested in Erik Chisholm's music; I've performed some of it and written a number of reviews.  I met the composer's daughter, Morag, about ten years ago.  She has been amazing in her determination raise her father's profile in the musical world; he was almost forgotten before she started to promote his work.  Pianist Murray McLachlan has blazed the trail, performing all of Chisholm's piano music; much of it of furious difficulty!
Have a look at the Chisholm website here: 
Here is Murray's website:  As well as Chisholm, Murray is a great champion of Ronald Stevenson's music - see below.

I met composer Michael Garrett in Jack Long's second hand bookshop, Music and Lyrics (sadly no more) in Merton Abbey Mills.  He saw me buried in piles of second hand music.  Puffing on his cigar, he told me, 'I write music too'.  So began a friendship that has lasted to this day.  Michael is something of a free spirit, living purely to create and ignoring all the attractions of so called 'normal life'.  Hundreds of works have poured from his pen and at last a beautiful CD of his piano music has been release with wonderfully committed performances by Barbara Karaskiewicz.  Have a look here for more news about Michael and his work.  If you have time, do have a read of the lengthy essay I wrote about his piano sonatas.  Here is the link: 
Acyually I need to add a further chapter to that article because Michael has written four or five piano sonatas since I wrote it!

Ronald Stevenson is an amazing musician: composer, pianist and writer.  He is a constant source of inspiration to me both musically and in poetry.  He once said to me that if he hadn't been a composer he would have certainly been a poet.  He introduced me to the best (and worst!) of Hugh McDiarmid and to other great poets like Norman McCaig and Sorley MacLean.  Not only is his own music superb but he also encouraged me to study Grieg, Grainger and Busoni - in terms of their great originality.  I will never forget Ronald's performance of his transcription of Grieg's Den Bergtekne; I was shivering with emotion by the end.  There is a society that promotes his work here:

A number of years ago I was lucky enough to win a composition prize.  The judge was Justin Connolly and soon after we became friends.  Justin has as formidable an intellectual passion as Ronald Stevenson and like Ronald it is laced with humour and brilliant asides.  Of course their music is totally different!  Justin has come to many of my premieres since the competition and his advice is always spot on!  He is a fabulous composer - I never forget the effect his Piano Concerto had on me when it was broadcast on the BBC - a really shatteringly powerful work.
Here is a website for Justin:

More of my favourite people to follow!