Manchester Season: Gwilym Simcock, piano

“Gwilym Simcock’s prodigious creations on the piano straddle the border between classical and jazz to mesmerising effect….a stupendous improviser and a remarkable musician all round.” The Observer

Tippett Sellinger’s Round | Gwilym Simcock Cumbrian Thaw | Debussy arr. Simcock Children’s Corner | Haydn Symphony No. 85 ‘La Reine’

Celebrated composer-pianist and award-winning recording artist, Gwilym Simcock, joins us for one of the standout concerts in our 50th anniversary season at The Stoller Hall in Manchester. Gwilym is feted internationally for his ability to mesmerise audiences with exciting, effortless fusions of jazz and classical music. As a sublime pianist, his jaw-dropping technical brilliance and exceptional lyricism leave audiences knowing that they have enjoyed something extraordinary. Adding to his mega-watt reputation, he is also highly regarded as an imaginative composer. The programme features Gwilym’s own composition, Cumbrian Thaw for piano and strings, which combines jazz influenced harmonies and beautiful string writing to create a powerful, evocative work – along with his arrangement of Debussy’s Children’s Corner. This is the first time that we have worked with Gwilym Simcock and the dovetailing of classical and jazz traditions marks a new moment in our adventurous artistic programming. The programme has plenty for jazz and classical fans and also features Tippett’s Sellinger’s Round and Haydn Symphony No 85 ‘La Reine’.

It is hoped that this exciting exploration of ambitious, boundary-blurring programming will bring the NCO and classical music to a new jazz audience and vice versa – opening the doors for further jazz collaborations. General Manager, Tom Elliott said: “We are very excited to be returning to the fabulous Stoller Hall for this concert with one of the great creative talents in music today, Gwilym Simcock. His style, that defies categorisation and transcends genres, will blow audiences away, should they be of a jazz or classical persuasion. And for those that haven’t been to the hall, prepare to be stunned by a unique combination of clarity and warmth in the sound, which makes this one of the very best acoustics anywhere in Europe.”

Gwilym is an alumnus of Chetham’s School of Music and the concert will give him the opportunity to inspire and mentor young string players from this renowned centre of excellence. The young musicians are being given the unforgettable chance to rehearse with him and the NCO players, before sharing the limelight and the stage for Gwilym’s arrangement of Debussy’s Children’s Corner. Debussy dedicated this piece to his young daughter and it’s a delightful example of the French composer’s skill at creating charming stories through music, for all ages to enjoy – here stunningly re-imagined with a jazz twist. The programme has plenty for jazz and classical fans and also features Tippett’s Sellinger’s Round and Haydn Symphony No 85 ‘La Reine’.

Friday 12 January 2018 7.30pm

The Stoller Hall, Manchester