Two premieres – first performances for new Michael Berkeley works in Moscow and London

13 November 2017

Michael Berkeley’s new cello concerto receives its world premiere this evening at the opening ceremony of the ninth Viva Cello Festival in Moscow.

The work, entitled Two Farewells, will be performed by the cellist and festival Artistic Director Boris Andrianov and the New Russia State Symphony Orchestra under the baton of John Axelrod.

Michael Berkeley’s Violin Concerto was first performed in the Royal Albert Hall in London as part of the 2016 BBC Proms, and his cello concerto is being premiered in the equally magnificent Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow.

Also this month, the annual Festival of St Cecilia Service will be held at Westminster Cathedral on Wednesday 22 November. The combined choirs of St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral will sing a new anthem by Michael Berkeley commissioned specifically for the service.

The festival has been held in London each year since 1946, on the Wednesday nearest to St Cecilia’s Day, 22nd November. It celebrates the contribution of music and musicians, and the work of Help Musicians UK. As Michael Berkeley was a chorister at Westminster Cathedral, no doubt this will be a special performance for him.

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