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Wesleyan music professor to premiere new work in the UK

02.18.2014 | By:

Music Chairman and Professor John Fisher will accompany South African soprano Suré Eloff in the first London performance of song cycle Avebury Stone Circles.

Fisher, who will play piano, and Eloff will present two concerts in the United Kingdom during the University's 2014 spring break. The first recital will be held on Thursday, March 13 at St. Mary-le-Bow in Cheapside, London, famous for its bells.

After the premiere, Fisher and Eloff will travel to Wiltshire for a repeat performance at St. James Church in the village of Avebury on March 15, before returning to the United States.

About the Program

The program, consisting of two large song cycles for soprano and piano, will be the same for both occasions: Samuel Barber’s Hermit Songs, and the UK premiere of London-based composer Gregory Rose’s Avebury Stone Circles.

Avebury Stone Circles was commissioned by Eloff and was given its world premiere at Texas Wesleyan on Oct. 24, 2013, with Dr. Fisher at the piano.

Rose is an internationally-recognized composer and conductor specializing in music of the 20th and 21st centuries. Avebury Stone Circles is his seven-part song cycle for soprano and piano.

The text, also by Mr. Rose, was inspired by the Neolithic henge monument around the village of Avebury, Wiltshire, in southwest England, containing three stone circles. The monument, probably completed around 2600 BCE, comprises a henge (a bank and a ditch), with an outer circle - one of Europe's largest - and two separate smaller stone circles situated inside the center of the monument. It was almost certainly constructed as the site of rituals and ceremonies.

There are several older monuments nearby, including 'West Kennet Long Barrow' and 'Silbury Hill,' the tallest prehistoric man-made mound in Europe.

Rose has imagined gatherings at these magnificent sites of pre-Christian priests, meeting for rituals or casual assemblies of local communities.

When and Where

Church of St. Mary-le-bow, Cheapside, London, United Kingdom
March 13, 2014, 1:05-1:50 p.m.

St. James Church, Avebury, Wiltshire, United Kingdom
March 15, 2014, 1:05-1:50 p.m.