Oldham Borough 150th Anniversary Concert
- 28 Nov 1999, 7:30 p.m.
- Queen Elizabeth Hall, West St, Oldham OL1 1QJ
- James Morrison
Jeffrey Lawton was born in Oldham and studied privately at the Royal Northern College with Elsie Thurston. After several years in business, he joined the chorus of the Welsh National Opera, where he very soon became a principal contract artist. During the ten years that he was their principal tenor, he performed over 20 roles, including the great ones of Otello, Siegfried in ‘The Ring’, Aeneas in ‘The Trojans’, and the title role in ‘Tristan und lsolde’. He has also sung many times for Opera North, Scottish Opera, and, of course, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He became closely associated with the works of Wagner, Richard Strauss and Janacek, as well as the role of Otello.During his performing career he appeared regularly across Europe, Canada and Israel and in 2000 he made his American debut with Chicago Opera and in 2001 his Argentine debut at Teatro Colon – both as Tristan. His concert appearances included performing with most of Britain’s finest orchestras and in major festivals such as the Edinburgh Festival and three Albert Hall proms; he also appeared regularly on TV and radio. He is now a principal tutor at the Royal Northern College of Music.Jeffrey has performed many times with Oldham Choral Society and in the early 1990s was invited to become Patron after the death of Dame Eva Turner. He has worked very hard for the Society, using his contacts to procure a succession of first-class soloists for performances, almost all of which he attends. He was instrumental in the appointment of Nigel Wilkinson as Musical Director.
Wayne Marshall was born in the UK and, after musical studies there and in Vienna, swiftly established an international reputation as organist and pianist. He is now also in great demand as conductor and duo recitalist. Other musical activities include improvisation, jazz, radio and television presentation and composition, and in 2001 his Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis were published in ‘Faber New Choral Works’ series. In 2004 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Bournemouth University in recognition of his longstanding relationship with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. A regular visitor to the BBC Proms, he featured in the 1997 Last Night of the Proms as both organ and piano soloist and the following year made his Proms conducting debut with Porgy and Bess (their Gershwin centenary tribute) and also took part in the ‘Prom in the Park’. In 1999 he appeared with the BBC Big Band in their Ellington celebration and in 2001 returned as solo organist. In 2002 he conducted at the ‘Prom in the Park’ at the Sage, Gateshead and, most recently, appeared as soloist in James MacMillan’s Organ Concerto: A Scotch Bestiary in 2005.
As organ recitalist he draws on an exceptionally large and varied repertoire, particularly favouring the French Romantics, and has appeared widely throughout the UK, Europe, North America and the Far East, including such major centres as Dresden, Leipzig, Vienna, Paris, London, Tokyo, Calgary and Dallas. Recent recitals have included the inauguration of the organ in Los Angeles’ new Disney Hall, Berlin (Konzerthaus), Stockholm, Paris (Notre Dame), Singapore (Esplanade), Vienna (Konzerthaus), Birmingham (Symphony Hall), and Westminster Abbey. Forthcoming recitals include appearances in Washington National Cathedral, the National Concert Hall, Taipei and the Warsaw Philharmonic.
As solo pianist, his repertoire includes the complete works of Gershwin for piano and orchestra to works by Ravel, Bernstein, Stravinsky and Franck. He gave the opening recital of the 2002 Ruhr Piano Festival and in the past two seasons, a number of recitals in the UK, France and Germany.
In recent seasons, guest conducting in the UK has included appearances with the Bournemouth Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, London Philharmonic and Hallé orchestras. Other recent engagements have included concerts with Hong Kong Philharmonic, New Sinfonietta Amsterdam, Vienna Symphony, Swedish Radio Symphony, Orchestre National de Belgique, Berliner Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester, Bamberg Symphony, Norddeutscher Rundfunkorchester and Flemish Radio Symphony. He made his Vienna conducting debut in 2000 with Wonderful Town (Austrian Radio Symphony, Konzerthaus), returning in April 2002 for Guys & Dolls with the same orchestra. His Rotterdam Philharmonic conducting debut (Wonderful Town) in March 2002 was followed by concert excerpts of Porgy and Bess in October 2002 and he now returns regularly. In 2003 and 2004 he conducted the acclaimed production of West Side Story at the Bregenz Festival and in the last two seasons he also returned to Rotterdam Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony and CBSO and made his debut with Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester (Firebrand of Florence) and Santa Cecilia, Rome. In the current season he has made debuts with Washington National Opera (Porgy and Bess) to outstanding reviews as well as the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic. He will also make debuts with Maggio Musicale and Dresden Philharmonic as well as returns to Rotterdam Philharmonic and Bremen Philharmonic.
As pianist/director and organ soloist he has appeared with many of the orchestras above as well as Dallas, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver Symphony orchestras, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre National de Belgique, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Stuttgart Philharmonic, Munich Radio Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic under Simon Rattle and Claudio Abbado. In October 2004 he received excellent reviews for his performance in the premiere of James MacMillan’s organ concerto, ‘A Scotch Bestiary’, with the LA Philharmonic and Esa-Pekka Salonen in the new Disney Hall. Appearances with UK orchestras have included the CBSO, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Royal Scottish National, BBC Symphony and BBC Philharmonic, Hallé, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia and Bournemouth Symphony. Future plans include appearances as organ soloist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and further performances of the MacMillan Organ Concerto in Europe and North America.
With Kim Criswell, the eminent singing actress, recent seasons have included orchestral projects and recitals in Berlin, Hong Kong, Italy and London. He also gives regular violin/piano recitals with Tasmin Little and occasional trumpet/organ and trumpet/piano recitals with Ole Edvard Antonsen in major centres such as Munich, Barcelona, London (Royal Festival Hall), Tokyo (Suntory Hall), Hong Kong and Korea. He will perform recitals with new duo partners Natalie Clein and Matthew Trusler over the coming season. The 2002 Braunschweig Festival presented ‘Wayne Marshall and Friends’, in which all of these duos appeared and he returned for a similar project in 2003. Recitals with Willard White have included Barbican (London), Bridgewater Hall (Manchester), Snape Proms, South Bank (London) and Esplanade (Singapore).
Wayne Marshall is Organist-in Residence of Manchester's Bridgewater Hall, and in 1996, gave the inaugural solo recital on its splendid Marcussen organ, plus Jongen Sinfonie Concertante (Hallé Orchestra/Daniel Harding) to a capacity audience of 2,400. He regularly opens their organ recital series and other appearances include duo recitals and concerts with orchestra as organist, pianist and symphonic conductor. In addition to consultation over programming, he is closely involved with the Hall’s audience development, education and outreach programmes.
Outside Manchester, work with young musicians has included a number of youth orchestras and conservatoire orchestras, such as the Royal Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra, students of the Royal Northern College of Music, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and the conservatoires of Dresden and Winterthur.
He has recorded for many labels, among them EMI Classics, Virgin Classics, Philips Classics, Delos and Blue Note. Notable releases as conductor/soloist include two highly-praised Gershwin discs with Aalborg Symphony and his many recordings of piano with orchestra include Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Second Rhapsody; Hollywood Bowl Orchestra/Mauceri; Grainger with CBSO/Rattle; Saint-Saëns’ Third (Organ) Symphony with Oslo Philharmonic/Jansons; Bernstein with CBSO/Paavo Järvi; BBC Big Band. Solo piano releases include I Got Rhythm and Gershwin Song Book, and releases as organist include solo recital CDs, among them his own a vivid organ transcriptions Get Organised and a trumpet/organ duo recording with Ole Edvard Antonsen. Most recent releases are his Berlin Philharmonic/Abbado Hindemith Kammermusik No.7, and Strange Fruit, a collaboration with New Sinfonietta Amsterdam and Dutch pop/jazz singer Trijntje Oosterhuis, including songs by Billie Holiday and Gershwin.
He appeared as pianist and conductor in the 1998 Victoires de la Musique awards with the Orchestre de Paris and in May 1998 received the BBC Music Magazine's 'Artist of the Year' award. In October 1998, he also received an ECHO (Deutscher Schallplattenpreis 1998) award for his 'Gershwin Songbook' CD.