Matthew Coleridge – Requiem In A Day is the offering at Portsmouth Cathedral on Saturday, February 8 from 9am-8.15pm.
Sspokesman Virginia MacNaughton said: “Dorset-based composer, Matthew Coleridge, is an exciting new voice on the British choral music scene. His acclaimed Requiem - his first major composition - has been performed numerous times in the UK and Europe and his a cappella works have been recorded by professional ensembles, including The Queen’s Six for BBC Music Magazine.
“Requiem In A Day is a series of choral workshops and performances set to take place in prestigious venues around the country, with singers spending the day being guided through the piece by the composer, before giving an evening performance.
“On February 8, this intensely beautiful and deeply moving work comes to Portsmouth’s historic Cathedral of the Sea with the choral workshop taking place during the day followed by a free evening concert performance, conducted by the composer.
“The Requiem features an integral part for solo cello which works as a wonderful counterpoint to the choir, and the series will feature some of the country’s most exciting young cellists.
“The Portsmouth Cathedral concert will feature Sarah Gait, a recent graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, who is rapidly gaining a reputation as a remarkable cellist, composer and improviser. In addition to Coleridge’s Requiem she will also perform a solo improvisation on themes from the Requiem, as well as Arvo Pärt’s hypnotic Spiegel im Spiegel.
“Matthew leads his workshops with energy, humour, patience and warm encouragement, giving singers the confidence to perform to the best of their ability. The day’s workshop will take place in the oldest part of the Cathedral - the medieval Chapel of St Thomas - learning the Requiem with Matthew assisted by the Cathedral’s organist, David Price, at the piano. After lunch, rehearsals will move to the nave and the choir will be joined by the soloists, Sarah Gait (cello) and soprano, Emily Hicks, before the evening performance (7pm; free admission).
“A self-taught composer and born into a musical family – both grandfather and great-grandfather were prolific composers – Matthew’s background as a chorister himself has helped make his Requiem a vastly approachable piece for singers, with richly melodic vocal parts woven around intricate solo cello lines to create a highly original tapestry of sound.
Last year, over 140 workshop singers performed the Requiem to a sell-out audience in Devon’s Buckfast Abbey, inspiring the composer to explore further opportunities to present his music in this unique way.”