On 10 April, the BBC Symphony Orchestra will present the world premiere of The Earthly Paradise, a setting of prose, poetry, and sayings by William Morris composed by Ian McQueen. The complete program is as follows:
Elger, In the South (Alassio)Mendelssohn, Violin ConcertoIan McQueen, The Earthly Paradise (BBC commission)Sir Andrew Davis conductorJennifer Pike violinBBC Symphony ChorusWednesday, 10 April 20107.30 p. m.Barbican HallLondon EC2Y 8DS UK020 7638 8891
The search for the land where “none grow old” guides the twists and turns of William Morris’The Earthly Paradise. Ian McQueen’s new work for chorus and large orchestra evokes the extraordinary world of the poet, surges with erotic charge and conjures up Morris’s magical vision of Iceland’s landscape and sagas. Jennifer Pike made headline news eight years ago as the youngest ever winner of BBC Young Musician of the Year. Tonight she applies her special artistry and élan to Mendelssohn’s evergreen Violin Concerto.
The concert is preceded by a Study Afternoon on “The Writings of William Morris”
Fiona McCarthy, author of the Wolfson History Prize-winning biography of William Morris introduces Morris and his writings. Clive Wilmer, poet, editor of Morris’s poetry and expert on Ruskin and his contemporaries, discusses Morris’s writings and Fiona McCarthy interviews composer Ian McQueen on his use of Morris’s poetry for his new work Earthly Paradise. The afternoon ends with a roundtable discussion and an opportunity for questions from the audience. Free to ticket-holders for the evening concert but separate ticket required.