Childs premiere at Carnegie Hall
Euphonium star David Childs made a fourth appearance at Carnegie Hall last month,as a featured artist in the prestigious New York International Music Festival where he gave the world premiere of Bernard Kane's 'Seren Wen' — Concerto for Euphonium, accompanied by the Gwent Youth Wind Orchestra, conducted by Sean O'Neil.
Unsurprisingly given the pedigree of the performers, the programme was something of a Welsh showcase, with works performed including Gareth Wood's 'Salome' and a new euphonium solo version of Paul Mealor's 'A Welsh Prayer'.
It is the fourth time the Besson artist has performed at the iconic venue, and the fourth time this year that he has crossed the Atlantic for concert performances. On this trip he also gave a special masterclass at the Buffet Crampon Showroom off Broadway.
The trip saw David and the Gwent youngsters link up with Bernard Kane, the Welsh born composer who has worked with the likes of Quincy Jones, The Manic Street Preachers, Sir Karl Jenkins, Julian Lloyd-Webber and Michael Sheen, and whose previous commissions have included works for the Royal National Theatre, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Welsh Proms.
David commented: "The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra premiered his 'Overture to Mr Dahl' at last year's 'Last Night of the Welsh Proms' and this was my introduction to his music and the ideal way to ask him to write a work for me."
'Seren Wen', Welsh for 'White Star', is inspired by the famous transatlantic shipping line and its iconic flagship, RMS Titanic.
Amazingly, the ship’s distress signal was first picked up and relayed to the world by an amateur radio enthusiast in Pontllanfraith (a few miles from David's home in south Wales), over 3,000 miles from where she hit the fateful iceberg. David added: "The story of the Titanic is the work's impetus, and its link to Wales is of particular significance given the performers involved.
It was wonderful to give the premiere with the Gwent youngsters under the direction of Sean O’Neill, they really did themselves and their music service proud and it was a real privilege to have the composer Bernard Kane in attendance. It’s always a pleasure to perform on this iconic stage, but this time was made all the more special as my wife and two young sons made the trip with me and were in the audience for the concert.”