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Issue 6062

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STAGE SET FOR CORY CONTEST - Draw made for online championship, with international flavour

Gavin Higgins in BBC NOW composer role

Thursday 10 September, 2020

The BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBC NOW) has announced the appointment of Gavin Higgins as its new composer-in-association.

News of the appointment came as Gavin’s piece, Rough Voices, received its world premiere by the orchestra at a recent BBC Prom concert, the first prom to be performed at BBC Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff. The three-year role will see him work closely with the orchestra, its audiences and different communities across Wales.

Commenting on his new role, Gavin said: “The opportunity to work with an orchestra is always exciting but so often your time with them is limited; an hour’s rehearsal then a concert. The chance to really get to know BBC NOW over the coming years, working closely with the players and principal conductor Ryan Bancroft is a special privilege. I have a number of works buzzing away in the back of my mind, including a large-scale piece that would engage with the local brass band community in Wales with whom I already have a rich and fulfilling relationship.

“I think music has helped people so much through the past six months and making sure the public has access to it, at every level, should be our priority but also continuing to put forward the case as to why it’s such an important and integral part of our culture is also needed now more than ever. I’m so looking forward to getting to know the audiences and can’t wait to start working with this amazing orchestra.” A familiar name to banding audiences, Gavin has written several daring works for brass such as Destroy, Trample as Swiftly as She (2011), Prophecies (2017) and So Spoke Albion (2019), commissioned for the European Brass Band Championship. He also composed music for Rambert Ballet’s production Dark Arteries, which involved Tredegar Town Band.