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A4 Brass Quartet

 Sunday 3 July 2022:   5:30pm: St Michael and All Angels Church, Adbaston, ST20 0QE

Programme

FESTMUSIK DER STADT WIEN        Richard Strauss arr. J. Bates

OVERTURE TO ‘CANDIDE’              Leonard Bernstein arr. D. Thomas

LOCUS ISTE                                        Anton Bruckner arr. C. Robertson

BRASS QUARTET NO. 2                   Edward Gregson

III. SUFFOLK MORRIS FROM SUFFOLK SUITE    

                                                              Doreen Carwithen arr. J. Bates

FINALE FROM VIOLIN CONCERTO                      

                                                              Antonio Vivaldi arr. J. Bates
                                                              Tenor Horn Soloist: Jonathan Bates

PRELUDE 49TH PARALLEL               Ralph Vaughan Williams arr. J. Bates

ENGLISH FOLK SONG SUITE          Ralph Vaughan Williams arr. J. Bates

 

Interval


TOCCATA 2                                       Jonathan Bates

THE CODE                                         Andy Wareham

IF YE LOVE ME                                 Thomas Tallis arr. J. Bates

MOSKITO                                          Thomas Doss

LIBERTANGO                                   Astor Piazolla arr. J. Bates

CARNIVAL OF VENICE                   J.B. Arban arr. C. Robertson

                                                            Euphonium Soloist: Chris Robertson

A LITTLE PRAYER                             Evelyn Glennie arr. J. Bates

SALTARELLO                                     Felix Mendelssohn arr. C.Robertson

The Players:

Jamie Smith cornet / flugelhorn

Jonathan Bates tenor horn

Mike Cavanagh baritone horn

Chris Robertson euphonium

A4 Brass Quartet:

Comprises of principal players from some of the UK’s top brass bands, including Black Dyke, Brighouse & Rastrick and Foden’s. With “technical virtuosity in abundance” (Brass Band World), these four astonishing musicians come together to perform both lyrical and high-octane works, forming a distinctive and new take on chamber music.

 

The Quartet has a unique blend of instruments, with a cornet, tenor horn, baritone and euphonium creating an exclusive sound that stands out from the standard brass quartet.  With this unusual instrumentation, A4 Brass has actively developed their repertoire, commissioning new music, composing and arranging music themselves.

 

Formed in 2013 at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), A4 Brass Quartet has gone on to become a multi-award-winning chamber ensemble and establish itself at the forefront of British brass chamber music. Prizes including the Royal Over-Seas League Chamber Music Competition (2018); a Tunnell Trust Award (2018); the Musicians’ Company Maisie Lewis Prize (2018) and the Tillett Trust Young Artists’ Platform (2017). In September 2018 they were selected to become City Music Foundation Artists and the following month were the first brass ensemble to ever win the Royal Philharmonic Society Henderson Chamber Ensemble Award. They also regularly work with Live Music Now and Music in Hospitals & Care and are committed to expanding and diversifying their work.

The Quartet has performed widely throughout the UK appearing at major venues and festivals including Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Cadogan Hall, St. John’s Smith Square, Purcell Room, St. Margaret’s Church Westminster Abbey (for Park Lane Group), Battersea Arts Centre (RPS Awards 2019), St. Martin-in-the-Fields & St. James’ Piccadilly (for ROSL), Lake District Summer Music, Northern Aldborough, Wimbledon International and King’s Lynn Festivals.  Overseas engagements include a residency at the Lieksa Brass Week (Finland), Ceresio Estate Festival (Switzerland), Sibelius Academy (Finland), and two appearances at the Trakai Fanfare Week (Lithuania).

 

In June 2018 the Quartet completed the prestigious International Artist Diploma (IAD) in Chamber Music at the RNCM as John Fewkes scholars and upon graduating they accepted the invitation from Principal Linda Merrick to become Honorary Associate Artists of the RNCM. Furthermore, in December 2020 A4 Brass Quartet became the first ever ensemble to be awarded Associate Members of the RNCM (ARNCM) in recognition of the Quartet’s success in the music profession.

 

The Quartet has featured on national television and radio, appearing multiple times on both ITV’s Christmas Carol Concerts and BBC Radio 3’s ‘In-Tune’ with Sean Rafferty and Katie Derham.  In 2016 they released their debut CD, Mists of the Mountains, at the RNCM Brass Band Festival featuring new, original music composed for them, including works by Martin Ellerby, Edward Gregson, Oliver Waespi and Nigel Clarke. In 2021 they released their second studio album, Mosaic, on the SOMM Recordings label to critical acclaim and has been featured on Classic FM, BBC Radio 3 and Scala Radio.

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Jonathan Bates is a tenor horn soloist, composer and conductor hailing from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. In 2012 he became only the 2nd ever tenor horn player to reach the televised category final of BBC Young Musician of the Year following 2 consecutive appearances in the final of the BBC Radio 2 Young Brass Soloist of the Year in 2010 & 2011.Since then, he has recorded the tenor horn sample audio for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) grade exams, appeared as a guest soloist in the UK, Germany, Denmark, Norway & Switzerland and in 2019 became the first ever guest tenor horn artist to be invited to perform at the International Tuba & Euphonium Conference (ITEC) held in Iowa, USA, performing the world premiere of the brass band adaption of Anthony DiLorenzo’s Zodiac Concerto accompanied by the Fountain City Brass Band.

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Mike Cavanagh  is currently the Solo Baritone player with the world-famous Black Dyke Band. Mike prides himself on taking the Baritone to new audiences and venues for the instrument and performance highlights with A4 Brass include appearances at Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and Purcell Room in addition to concerts in Lithuania, Finland, Switzerland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.  In June 2018 A4 Brass completed the prestigious RNCM International Artist Diploma in Chamber Music as John Fewkes Scholars and were subsequently invited to become Honorary Associate Artists of the RNCM in recognition of the quartet’s success in the music profession. In 2020, Mike became an Associate Member of the RNCM (ARNCM) with A4 Brass Quartet – the first and only ensemble ever to be awarded this prestigious title.

Chris Robertson is originally from Carnoustie, Scotland and began playing euphonium at the age of 10. He is currently the Principal Euphonium of the Brighouse and Rastrick Band, having previously played with Grimethorpe Colliery, Wingates, Kirkintilloch and the multi-award winning Carnoustie and District Youth Band.

Chris moved to Manchester, England to study at the Royal Northern College of Music in 2013 with tutors Professor Steven Mead and Dr David Thornton. He graduated with first class honours and was nominated for the Harry Mortimer Award in his final year. The following year, he graduated from the RNCM’s prestigious International Artist Diploma Course as a member of A4 Brass Quartet.

Biographies

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Jamie Smith  is a performer, educator and conductor held in high regard. After starting to play the cornet at the age of 8, Jamie has worked his way broadly through the music world with a specialism in chamber music, education, brass performance and conducting.

Jamie is currently Principal Cornet of the world-famous Grimethorpe Colliery Band. Highlights include a tour of Australia and performing ‘Brassed Off Live’ at a maximum-capacity Royal Albert Hall on two occasions.

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