Tom Ingoldsby

Dances and Dirges

for thirteen players and conductor

duration: 21 minutes

Dances and Dirges
Began in early 2001 and finished during 2002, Dances and Dirges represents the second in a trio of works written during the last two years which share much in the way of emotional context. Like After the Eulogy which preceded it ( for violin and piano) and the Piano Sonata which followed, Dances and Dirges was composed 'in commemoration'. As such, it seemed natural and appropriate that in some various and not necessarily obvious ways, all three pieces refer to, and reflect upon each other. No attempt was made to be traditionally or literally programmatic, with the title being chosen to reflect the over all mood of the music.

The work is literally a two piano chamber concerto in two movements. No predetermined form was utilised in either movement, with the intention instead to allow the material to evolve in a truly linear manner. The consequence of this type of construction is that regardless of what compositional techniques or gestures are employed in the piece, the result will be a musical flow that hopefully sounds both instinctive and inevitable.

Tom Ingoldsby
One of the most exciting voices to emerge in recent years, Tom Ingoldsby’s music owes its immediacy and accessibility to a combination of engaging rhythmic complexity with a superb ear for instrumental colour and a long-breathed lyricism. Not surprisingly, over the past five years he has received a number of international awards, for both his large-scale orchestral pieces and several smaller chamber works, as well as several commissions.

Tom’s most recent compositions include a violin sonata, After the Eulogy, which will be performed at the London’s Purcell Room in November and subsequently released on the Sargasso label. Dances and Dirges, a chamber concerto for two pianos and 11 players, will be premiered in Manchester on 28 November with an ensemble conducted by Gavin Wayte. Both these works have been included on spnm shortlist.

Tom recently won the Birmingham Conservatoire Millennium Composition Competition 2002/2003 and has been commissioned to write an orchestral work for performance in spring 2004. Other works in preparation include a piano trio for the 2003 Leasowes Summer Music Festival, Shropshire, to be performed by the Markham Piano Trio and a piano sonata to be premiered by Clive Williamson at Manchester University on 13 February 2003.

Wave Etchings, a Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, was recently given its UK première by Rolf Hind and the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Pascal Rophe, and subsequently broadcast in Hear and Now on BBC Radio 3. Wave Etchings was awarded the 1999 City of Tarragona International Composition Competition, and was premièred in Tarragona in July 2000 by the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra under Antoni Ros Marbà, with Albert Attanelle as soloist. Joan Guinjoan, Co-ordinator of the Jury, wrote in El Punt "... a most powerful work, with a very big and exciting orchestration ... well received by the public because of the immediacy of its highly contemporary musical language."

A "late arriver" to classical music, Tom’s musical origins lie in rock and roll, and he lists artists from the Beatles to King Crimson as major influences on his life. After playing guitar in a few semi-successful rock bands, he began composing short pieces for piano, one of which won a Music Canada award. The judge of the competition was Dean of Music at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, and he invited Tom to attend the composition course. He studied with Boyd MacDonald and Mariano Etkin, and then obtained his Master’s degree at the State University of New York, Buffalo, working for two years with Morton Feldman. He subsequently spent three years at the Cleveland Institute of Music studying with Donald Erb.

Since 1990 Tom has lived in a small town in Devon, England, with his wife and two young children.

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