The Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG) on Sunday gave the world premier of “Ballata” by the Italian composer Francesco Antonioni. The work had been commissioned for Dr Charles West a Shropshire GP.
“These players are some of the finest in the country,” said Dr West, “and it has been a pleasure and a privilege to join them for rehearsals of this new piece. Francesco Antonioni’s work combines a freshness of sensitive atmospheric writing with some powerful and lyrical lines derived in part from traditional Italian tunes. This is music making at a level which I find breath-taking, and I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of it. An additional bonus, for me, was that Adrian Spillet was playing in the same concert. Adrian played in the Shropshire Youth Orchestra and Percussion group at the same time as my own children. He went on to win the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition in 1998, and is now one of the country’s leading percussionists.”
Dr West plays the flute and himself played in the Shropshire Youth Orchestra in the 1960s. He has played in the Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra for over thirty years.
Background: BCMG was formed mainly from players from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra by Simon Rattle in 1987 when he was principal conductor of the CBSO. It is a registered charity and has given concerts on tour in Shrewsbury and around Shropshire.
Picture captions: 1st Matilda Mount (née West), Francesco Antonioni, Charles West, Michelle West, Alistair West, Deborah West 2nd Charles West with Francesco Antonioni