Pembroke student’s composition performed in Cambridge

by Katie McIvor

Photo by Luke Naylor-Perrott (2015)

Congratulations to Pembroke undergraduate Jay Richardson (2015), whose original composition laulan was performed recently in Cambridge by the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy.

The concert on Wednesday 2nd March featured soloist Esther Yoo, a BBC New Generation Artist and the youngest ever prizewinner of the International Sibelius Competition. The orchestra was made up of 35 players from the Philharmonia Orchestra and 20 or so young advanced string players from Cambridge. Jay’s piece, laulan, was a joint commission from Cambridgeshire Music and Cambridge Live Trust, in partnership with Aldeburgh Young Musicians, of which Jay is a former member. Jay was also joint winner of another competition run by Cambridgeshire Music last year, in which his piece was performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Laulan is a four-minute piece for string orchestra and violin soloist. The name comes from the Finnish for “I sing” and is a tribute to the supernatural potency of song in Finnish folk culture, as well as to the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, whose music has greatly influenced Jay and whose Violin Concerto was performed alongside laulan at the concert.

Jay said, “In terms of a future career, composition is definitely on the cards. I also hugely enjoy singing (I sing in Emmanuel College chapel choir at the moment) and my main instrumental study is piano — I’ll be giving a recital as part of the Music Tripos at the Faculty on 26 of April, playing Boulez, Bartók and Ligeti.”