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It’s all coming together! Just five days to go now before I present the latest of my collection of new piano love songs at Hoxton Hall.

I am playing the new pieces, one by one, to their composers, which is, as you would expect, incredibly helpful. I had half an hour yesterday on Skype with Richard Reed Parry in Canada and another session this morning with Chia-Ying Lin, the over-25 competition winner, in Italy, with more calls booked with Joby Talbot in Oregon and Pavel Zemek Novák in the Czech Republic. Frederick Viner and Daniel Fardon kindly appeared in London W14 in person yesterday. There are more

composers coming next week.

The pieces are all quite short, but the musical languages of all the pieces in my programme are incredibly varied. This is exactly what I hoped when I set up this commissioning project, but for the performance itself, switching from one to another is a challenge that needs a lot of rehearsal. The real thrill of the project is getting to know the pieces themselves. There are some really beautiful contributions to the collection, not just in the Hoxton programme, but also amongst those that I will premiere at Leighton House (23 May) and at the Cheltenham Festival (9 July). For the final part of my project I will record sixteen of these pieces in late July for an album that will be released on Orchid Classics in June next year, as a companion album of romantic pieces, Sixteen Love Songs, that came out last year.

Tickets are selling well and my brain and fingers are just beginning to cope with the prospect of performing eleven very different premieres in one evening. Can’t wait for Wednesday…

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William Howard
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