Josh Cirtina bass trombone with Alistair Welsh, tenor trombone and piano accompanist, Alan Brown
all three appearing courtesy of the Royal Academy of Music
Venue: Leatherhead Methodist Church Parking: Swan Centre Multi-Storey or Church Street
2017 Season Sponsor: Patricia Morgan Optician
Supported by: Leatherhead Concert & Arts Society
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) from Vier Ernste Gesänge, Four Serious Songs (1896) No 1 Denn es gehet dem Menschen For it is to Man No 3 O Tod, wie bitter bist du O death, how bitter are you
Chris Brubeck (b1951) Concerto for Bass Trombone and Piano I Paradise Utopia II Sorrow Floats III James Brown in the Twilight Zone
Chris Brubeck comments: The name of the 3rd Movement, James Brown in The Twilight Zone, might benefit from a note of explanation. The title refers to dual compositional elements used throughout; 2 bars from the "turn-around" of the GodFather of Soul's I Feel Good, and an ascending chromatic passage, originating in the piano and pizzicato strings, which is reminiscent of the music used in Rod Serling's innovative TV anthology. In addition to these very American cultural influences, the First Gulf war was being waged and Middle Eastern threads started to weave through the music.
The 2nd Movement, Sorrow Floats, is a reflective Adagio. I must admit I was inspired to name the movement after a chapter title from one of my favorite novels by John Irving. The 1st Movement, Paradise Utopia, is sizzling with American expansionist energy. I imagine a Donald Trump-like figure maniacally rebuilding the New York skyline. Jazz elements were inescapable, and realizing my old nightmare/dream, quite a bit of the trombone solo is meant to be improvised.
Charles Small Conversation for Tenor and Bass Trombone with Alistair Welsh, trombone
Charles Small, a New York freelancer and studio musician, wrote this duet for himself and NY bass trombonist Dave Taylor in the 70's. Small conceived the piece as a conversation between two neighbors in their backyards over a picket fence - alternating between the amiable and friendly to violent and hostile, the changing styles integrated with intertwining threads.
Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) from Des Knaben Wunderhorn The Youth's Magic Horn Urlicht Primeval Light (1892)
concert duration: 40-45 minutes
Free Concert, with a retiring collection to cover costs. Tea and coffee will be available after the concert.
Josh Cirtina is currently studying for his Masters degree at the Royal Academy of Music, having recently graduated with first class honours from the Royal Northern College of Music.
He started playing at the age of 10 in Cheltenham Silver Band. Josh was initially taught by James Garlick at the Junior RNCM. Adrian Morris and Christian Jones then taught him while studying at the RNCM and he is now currently being tutored by Bob Hughes and Keith McNicoll. Josh was also a member of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain from 2010 to 2013. During his time at the RNCM Josh was a member of the Fairey Brass Band, and has also performed with almost every other major UK brass band, including Grimethorpe, Black Dyke, Cory, Tredegar, Brighouse & Rastrick, and Foden’s.
In 2014 Josh won both the International Trombone Assoication George Roberts Bass Trombone Competition (for ages 20 and under) at Eastman School of Music, USA, and the British Trombone Society's Bob Hughes Bass Trombone Competition (for ages 23 and under). Josh then carried forward his successes to being awarded the 2014 ‘Don Lusher’ Award for the Best Trombone at Brass in Concert with the Fairey Band. Recent successes include winning the 2016 ITA Emory Remington Trombone Choir Competition with the RNCM Trombone Choir!
Now focusing on a freelance orchestral career, Josh has recently worked professionally with the Hallé Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Orchestra of Opera North, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Ballet Sinfonia and the Ulster Orchestra. Furthermore, he recently had the pleasure of touring Europe as a member of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester.
Josh would like to extend his thanks to the John Fewkes (Leicestershire) Trust, the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, and CHK Charities Limited for their very generous support towards his studies.
Alistair started learning trombone at secondary school and soon after began studying with Amos Miller at the Royal College of Music Junior Department. He is currently continuing undergraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music under the guidance of Dudley Bright, Matt Gee, and Ian Bousfield. Whilst studying at RAM he has received additional tuition from visiting professor Jorgen Van Rijen, with whom he has also worked and played alongside as part of the RAM Trombone Ensemble.
Alistair is actively involved with ensembles within the RAM: leading the trombone sections of the Symphony Orchestras under the baton of conductors such as Seymon Bychkov, Edward Gardiner, Yan Pascal Tortelier and Manuel Lopez-Gomez. He participated in a Mason Ensemble project alongside the London Sinfonietta at the Southbank Centre with Sir Harrison Birtwistle and has played in Symphonic Brass concerts with Jeroen Berwaerts.
As an orchestral player, Alistair has been involved with a number of London orchestral groups such as University of London SO, London Medical Orchestra, Young Musicians SO and London Graduate Orchestra. He successfully auditioned for and participated in the 2016 LSO Brass Academy, a week long course under the guidance of principal players of each section in the London Symphony Orchestra.
Alistair has played in a variety of other ensembles, including trombone ensemble the Olazti Quartet, with which he put on a concert as part of the 2017 Festival cultural Pamplona Accion Musical”in Spain. He also has an active role in a brass septet, founded by Academy alumni and current students, which has a number of upcoming concerts.
Outside of the classical genre, Alistair has been involved with a pop/alternative band called Cat Eyes since 2016, which has opened up opportunities to play at festivals such as Glastonbury, Womad and other venues across the UK. During summer 2016, he played as part of a Drumline group called Box 9s’ in their appearance at Secret Garden Party, and The Turner Brothers (Ska band) slot at Victorious Festival, with more performances to come this summer.
Alan studied piano and cello with Ruth Harte and Lilly Phillips at the Royal Academy of Music, gaining the prestigious Recital Diploma.
As well as solo recitals in the UK and abroad, Alan has a repertoire of over thirty-five concertos, including several twentieth century British works, and has played with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Mozart Players, the Virtuosi of England and other orchestras, working frequently with Arthur Davison. He is also in great demand as duo partner to wind and string players, both here and in Germany. He has performed the complete cycle of Beethoven violin and piano sonatas with Igor Ozim in Slovenia.
Alan works as accompanist and coach at both the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and has a regular summer commitment to international violin courses, working with Igor Ozim in Weimar, Salzburg and Slovenia.
Concert at Home
If you cannot be with us at the lunchtime concert you can enjoy a similar Concert at Home by clicking through the buttons below:
Our concert opens with two of Brahms' Four Serious Songs - Vier Ernste Gesänge. No 1 is Den es gehet dem Menschen - For it is to Man and No 3, O Tod, wie bitter bist du - O Death, how bitter are you. The trombonist is Weston Sprott of New York's Metropolitan Opera
Trombone player Justin Chiang, with pianist Yujhen Liu, bring us the next recording, of Christopher Brubeck's Concerto for Bass Trombone and Piano, recorded in April this year in the Recital Hall of Indiana University:
Charles Small's Conversation for Tenor and Bass Trombone represents a conversation over the garden fence, with its highs and lows. The performers here are Justin Neely, trombone, and Sean Durkin, bass trombone:
Our final work today is Urlicht - Primeval light, from Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn - The Youth's magic Horn. The performers are Evan Clifton, trombone and Nicholas Laban, piano:
Do you have time for an encore piece ? Try this duet for trombones, titled Trombone Institute of Technology, written by New York trombonist Michael Davis. You don't have to wear a vest, nor play it for, to, and with yourself. You could put on the resources of the Hip-Bone Big Band - you choose (or listen to both, like I did!)