Kensington Gore
London, England SW72A

See and hear the spectacle of the nation's top brass bands battle for the glittering and historic Challenge Trophy.

Having first qualified from eight Regional Championships, the ‘gladiators’ will lock horns on a brand new commission – The Torchbearer – Symphonic Variations and Metamorphosis on a Theme by Eric Ball by the popular and established composer, Professor Peter Graham.

The commission is a joint collaboration between the two organisations that present Britain and Australia's national brass band championships.

The work takes its inspiration from the trio theme of the SA Torchbearers March, by one of the most influential figures in the short history of the brass band, the late Eric Ball, and demonstrates many of the composer’s characteristics.

Eric Ball produced a series of original works that went some way to giving brass band composition confidence and integrity. Something of a revolutionary in musical terms, his work generally displayed a higher level of sophistication and technical awareness than those of his contemporaries.

The Torchbearer will be the second test-piece for the British National Championships from the pen of Peter Graham. His work, Harrison’s Dream, was an outstanding success when it was set as the Championship Section test in Millennium year and was described as 'an absolute knockout' by American Record Guide.

Securing the agreement of Peter Graham to compose a top section test for the British and Australasian ‘nationals’ is a coup. Performers and audiences alike celebrate the composer's work, and his arrangements and orchestrations have been performed on most British TV and radio stations, as well as frequently on BBC TV’s Songs of Praise. He has written for, and collaborated with, some of the world's leading performers including Karl Jenkins (as co-arranger and orchestrator on the EMI album, This Land of Ours), Evelyn Glennie (as composer and orchestrator on the Grammy-nominated BMG Classics/RCA album, Reflected in Brass), The Beautiful South (as brass orchestrator on the Universal/Mercury album, Painting it Red) and Peter Gabriel. He was also brass orchestrator on the Universal album, Together, featuring The International Staff Band and Lesley Garrett, nominated as Album of the Year at the 2009 Classical Brit Awards.

Peter Graham's music has also won many prizes; in 2002 he became the first composer outside the USA to win the American Bandmasters Association/Ostwald Award for Original Composition for Symphonic Winds.

So don’t miss what promises to be a day of outstanding music making by such iconic outfits as Black Dyke, Foden’s , Cory, Leyland and Fairey bands, to name but a few.

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Added by matthewirvinebrown on August 20, 2009