Roderick sings Schubert and Skempton

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Roderick Williams.

THE baritone Roderick Williams, who lives in Kineton, will perform in two concerts as part of the 2017 Leamington Music Festival Weekend.

The festival will bring to the town a starry line-up of artists, but also involves two with international reputations who live locally.

On Sunday, 30th April, accompanied by Iain Burnside, Roderick will sing Schubert’s great cycle Die schöne Müllerin, and on Monday, 1st May, with Ensemble 360, he will perform Howard Skempton’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

Both take place at the Royal Pump Rooms in Leamington.

Roderick is currently half way through with his Schubert Project, which sees him giving performances of the three great song cycles over a period of three years.

He sang Winterreise in Warwick last November and he will conclude with Schwanengesang in the 2018 Leamington Music Festival Weekend next May.

The project also involves some educational work and a blog helps everyone to follow him on his journey through these masterpieces.

The composer Howard Skempton has lived in Leamington for some 30 years now. He is always very busy with commissions and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner was premiered in Birmingham in the late Autumn of 2015.

It was performed by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and given at the Wigmore Hall in London the following day.

The recording with Roderick, BCMG and conductor Martyn Brabbins will be issued in April.

The work was commissioned by Maurice and Sheila Millward, and Howard is working on a further commission for Roderick using D H Lawrence’s Man and Bat.

The premiere is scheduled for 20th July in Sheffield.

Howard Skempton celebrates his 70th birthday in October and to mark this special year the Leamington Music Festival Weekend includes a new work called Dedication, written for Benjamin Nabarro (violin) and Gemma Rosefield (cello), and the Clarinet Quintet which was premiered in Warwick in the festival 20 years ago, and which will be played by Jack McNeill with the Gildas String Quartet on Tuesday, 2nd May.

Tickets for all these concerts are on sale at www.royalspacentreandtownhall.co.uk or by calling 01926 334418. Full details can also be found on www.leamingtonmusic.org