A Note From Richard Lester

Tuesday 23 June 2015

Blue Shadows Fall

Huw Watkins, our multi-talented guest pianist and featured composer, and I have just been together teaching at a chamber music course on the banks of the St Lawrence river, near Quebec City. The Domaine Forget is an important educational institution hosting different music courses throughout the summer in the dramatically beautiful and inspiring surroundings of the Charlevoix region of Quebec.

From our terrace high above the river one can see downstream towards Greenland, upstream to the Great Lakes and across the vast river to the American states of Maine and Vermont. Beluga whales with their flashing white fins are our regular neighbours in the river and Spring Peeper frogs sing to us from the trees around the estate.

It’s a marvellous place to immerse oneself in music, working with students at the highest level, but also with time to prepare for the upcoming Peasmarsh programmes. I was playing Huw’s string quartet with the students and Huw and I were able to rehearse his piece ‘Blue Shadows Fall’ for cello and piano, a co-commission by Wigmore Hall and New York’s Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Center.

We will be performing this exciting new work together in Peasmarsh in our Composer Portrait on Sunday at 5pm. Huw will also play a short piano piece of his and we will be discussing various aspects of his work, ideas about new music and how it is to be both composer and performer.