“What an astonishing year for British symphonies on disc… Philip Sawyers‘s classically structured Third, however, out-compels its rivals in sweep, scope and and the ESO’s gripping performance”

Congrats to April Fredrick, soprano, and producer Simon Fox-Gal, but especially to Philip. We’re so proud of our affiliation with him as our John McCabe Composer-in-Association, a collaboration which has yielded the three works on this disc, his wonderful new Concerto for Trumpet, Strings and Timpani, which we premiered in October with Simon Desbruslais, his Elegiac Fantasy in Memory of John Mccabe for Trumpet and Strings, his Violin Concerto which we premiere with Alexander Sitkovetsky in February and his new tone poem inspired by paintings of Samuel Palmer, Valley of Vision, which we premiere in March. Philip also wrote a wonderful student work, A Colwall Overture, which our ESO Youth Orchestras have performed several times this year.

Huge congratulations also to John Pickard, David Hackbridge Johnson and Steve Elcock. This is a golden age for symphonic music and we’re proud to play our part in its revival. Next up in our 21st Century Symphony Series is David Matthews (composer)‘s 9th Symphony, which we premiere in St George’s Church, Brandon Hill on the 9th of May and also record for Nimbus Records.


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About the author

American conductor, composer and cellist Kenneth Woods is Principal Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Colorado MahlerFest and cellist of the string trio Ensemble Epomeo. He records for the Avie, Somm, Nimbus, Signum, MSR and Toccata labels.

Learn about Kenneth at

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