What is the Great War Symphony?
The Great War Symphony is a a choral symphony in four movements with each movement depicting a year of the First World War. It is being written by internationally acclaimed composer Patrick Hawes and is the only major composition of this scale to commemorate the First World War in music. Remember WWI, the UK-wide community engagement project supported by the Department for Communities & Local Government, has adopted the symphony as their official music and Patrick as their Official Composer. Two parts from each of the movements were recorded in June 2015 at Abbey Road Studios with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain and the English Session Orchestra, and will be released over the coming few years. The complete work will be premiered in 2018 as part of the Remember WWI commemorations to mark the end of the centenary and will involve community choirs and musicians across the UK.
Why are we doing it?
The Great War Symphony is being written as a unique and powerful commemoration of all those who bravely gave their lives a hundred years ago, but also to instil a hope of future peace in the world. Through a series of prerecorded sections of the symphony which will form part of the 2018 full premiere, the symphony provides a means of outreach to choirs and musicians around the country.
What are we trying to achieve with The Great War Symphony?
The Great War Symphony will engage musicians and groups from many different communities in reflection and community participation as a way of commemorating the First World War. Poignant texts will be drawn from a variety of sources to illustrate the impact upon society through the service and sacrifice made 100 years ago, and recognition of these themes today.
Who are The Great War Symphony team?
The Great War Symphony is proud to have as its core team representatives from several different groups, including:
Remember WWI (a not-for-profit campaign to mobilise volunteer activity around the commemoration of the First World War, supported by the Department for Communities and Local Government)
Classic FM (media partner)
The Daily Telegraph (media partner)
Audio Network (one of the largest global Production Music Library companies in the world)
Hawes Music (publishers for Patrick Hawes and The Great War Symphony)
About the composer
Born in Grimsby, Patrick Hawes is an English composer who has made his mark as a torchbearer of the English musical tradition of Vaughan Williams and Delius. He first came to public recognition in 2002 with the release of his debut album Blue in Blue. This was made CD of the Week on Classic FM and Patrick consequently became the Classic FM Composer in Residence from 2006-7. In 2010 he composed the Highgrove Suite for HRH The Prince of Wales which was premiered at Highgrove House by the Philharmonia. In recent years he has worked with some of the country’s finest musicians and in 2013 signed a three-album record deal with Decca Records. The first album with them was released in March 2014 and reached Number One in the classical charts. Entitled Angel it features the Choir of New College Oxford, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as well as guest soloists. Patrick has written several new works to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War including Eventide: In Memoriam Edith Cavell, I Know The Music and The Angel of Mons. He is currently working on several exciting ventures including a clarinet concerto, a major project for Sony with Blur guitarist Alex James, and his biggest project to date – a choral symphony entitled The Great War Symphony – to be premiered in its entirety in 2018
For all queries contact Andy Berry (Manager to Patrick Hawes)
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