Gregson’s first String Quartet is a substantial work lasting around 25 minutes and three movements. It was commissioned to mark the centenary of the Manchester Mid-day Concert Society. Gregson has said of the work ‘it returns to the models oflate Beethoven and Bartok in its use of tightly controlled counterpoint,textural adventure, and structural unity’. The work will be premiered on January 14 at the Bridgewater Hall by the Navarra Quartet – a quartet which enjoys a close relationship with the composer after forming at the RNCM whilst Gregson was Principal.
Gregson’s birthday will be celebrated further at the 2015 RNCM Festival of Brass. Entitled ‘Spirit of Celebration’, the festival spans three days (January 23-25 2015)and will present some of the country’s finest brass bands and international soloists. Gregson works such as Connotations,Variations on a Theme of Michael Tippett, the Tuba Concerto and Symphony in two movements will be performed alongside a range of other works, some of which were chosen by the composer, leading to an exciting and varied celebration of creativity and artistry within the brass band medium.
His recent work Of Distant Memories is also to be used as the test piece at the Norwegian National Brass Band Championships on February 7.