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Dundee Chamber Ensemble tackles Nigel Don’s String Septet

Dundee Chamber Ensemble will perform composer Nigel Don’s “A Dance Suite for String Septet” In Dundee University’s Bonar Hall on 22 September.

Two violins, two violas, two cellos and a double bass will bring ‘resonant bass textures’ to the first public performance of this suite, which is just under half an hour in length.

Nigel Don was formerly a local piano teacher and a conductor of the Dundee University orchestra. He will be there in person for the performance.

He said, “Composers like nothing better than hearing their music played, and I really appreciate the help I have had from Dundee Chamber Ensemble. Together we have prepared this Suite for performance, and I think the audience will enjoy it.”

The five movements include a waltz in three time - most of the time. The composer has added in some extra beats, and skipped one or two. Dancers beware!

There is also a cello ‘ceilidh piece’, a gentle slow section and a rumbustious finale.

The Ensemble is led for this performance by Stephen Spackman on violin. He will be joined by Toby Lipman, violin; Angela Green and Elspeth O'Riordan, violas; Nicola Chakraverty and Graham Leicester, cellos; and Louise Major, bass. All the players are also members of Dundee Symphony Orchestra.

Commenting, Stephen Spackman said, ""Its always a pleasure and a privilege to work towards the first performance of new music - particularly when the composer is a friend and so clearly concerned with audience appreciation."

Nigel Don added, “The combination of two violins, two violas, two cellos and a double bass is unusual though not unprecedented. The relatively low centre of gravity of the instruments allows very resonant bass textures but also means that the higher registers of the violas and cellos are exploited. All in all it’s a more varied sound palate than is normally experienced with a conventional string orchestra.”

“The Dance Suite for String Septet” will be performed on Friday 22 September 2017 at 13.20 in the Ustinov Room of the Bonar Hall, University of Dundee. The concert is part of the Dundee University Lunchtime Recital Series, run by the Director of Music Graeme Stevenson.

Listings for the Recital Series are at … https://www.dundee.ac.uk/music/events/lunchtimeconcertseries/

Ayr … Performance of Nigel’s work …

Monday 4 December 2017 at 19.30 in Ayr Town Hall; the Trevelyan Suite will be played by Ayrshire Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Wilson.

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Full house for String Septet

Every seat was taken in the the Ustinov Room at Dundee University’s Bonar Hall for the first performance of Nigel Don’s String Septet.

Dundee Chamber Ensemble coped admirably with some last minute refinements to the music, and the audience showed its appreciation of the music and the performance.

Ensemble leader Stephen Spackman led the ensemble expertly and Nigel thanked him for his help and guidance in preparing the piece for performance. Nigel is pictured after the performance.