World Premiere of Roderick Williams’ CUSP

World Premiere of Roderick Williams’ CUSP
© Theo Williams

Roderick Williams CUSP, featuring text by Rommi Smith, will have its World Premiere on Thursday May 16 at the Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall, London. The Bach Choir and Philharmonia orchestra conducted by David Hill will perform the work with the composer as soloist. The work, commissioned to act as a prelude to Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, explores death and grief. 

‘Leaving Elgar and Cardinal Newman to explore one soul’s journey into the afterlife from a religious, doctrinal perspective, I wanted to stay with those left behind and examine the loss and grief that remains with the living, people of any faith or no faith at all.  I asked the Bach Choir to share their personal experiences of bereavement, recent or otherwise. I was overwhelmed by the response, deeply moved by the stories and testimonies that I received. I realized immediately that fashioning some sort of libretto from these personal, tender, honest accounts was beyond me and I was grateful and relieved in equal measure when Rommi Smith, with whom I have collaborated before, agreed to join the project and create the text. She met with members of the Bach Choir and people from within her own immediate networks who shared their experiences of bereavement, as well as palliative care staff and an oncologist – all with much experience of end-of-life care.’
Roderick Williams

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