Programme notes

I have written programme notes for a range of contemporary and 20th-century pieces, and I’m always interested in writing more – it’s one of my favourite forms of writing, trying to crystallise the background, form and content of a piece in a way that is both approachable and interesting. And often for an audience who haven’t heard the music before!

A full list of the pieces I have written notes for appears below. Many of these are available for reprint or adaptation; please contact me if you are interested in using any for your concert.

Aa, Michel van der 

  • Clarinet Concerto, ‘Hysteresis’
  • Up-close

Adams, John

  • Chamber Symphony
  • Doctor Atomic Symphony

Andriessen, Louis

  • Hoketus
  • De Staat
  • Tapdance

Antheil, George

  • Symphony no.5, ‘Joyous’

Bacewicz, Grażyna

  • Concerto for Strings

Bartók, Béla

  • Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta
  • Three Village Scenes

Birtwistle, Harrison

  • The Axe Manual

Boulez, Pierre

  • Le marteau sans maître

Brennan, Patrick

  • new work for Piano Circus and Juice

Bryars, Gavin

  • String Quartet no.2

Carpenter, John Alden

  • Krazy Kat

Clyne, Anna

  • Secret Garden
  • The Seamstress

Crane, Laurence

  • Guitar Prelude

Cutler, Joe

  • Guitar Music

Davies, Tansy

  • neon

Debussy, Claude

  • Études

Dessner, Bryce

  • Tenebre

Dillon, James

  • La navette

Eötvös, Peter

  • Derwischtanz
  • IMA
  • Levitation
  • Paris-Dakar
  • Psalm 151
  • Psychokosmos
  • Sonata per sei
  • Violin Concerto, ‘DoReMi’
  • zeroPoints

Fitkin, Graham

  • LogLine, and Loud

Glass, Philip

  • Four Movements for Two Pianos
  • Mad Rush
  • Music in Twelve Parts
  • String Quartet no.1
  • String Quartet no.2, ‘Company’
  • String Quartet no.3, ‘Mishima’
  • String Quartet no.4, ‘Buczak’
  • String Quartet no.5
  • Symphony no.3

Jackson, Gabriel

  • Fantasy with Anniversary Chorale

Johnston, Ben

  • String Quartet no.4

Karikis, Mikhail

  • 102 Years Out Of Synch

Kurtág, György

  • … concertante …
  • Hipartita
  • Játékok

Lang, David

  • world to come

Larcher, Thomas

  • Double Concerto
  • Violin Concerto

Ligeti, György

  • Chamber Concerto
  • Concerto Romanesc
  • Double Concerto
  • Ejszka-Reggel
  • Piano Études
  • Hamburg Concerto
  • Lontano
  • Lux aeterna
  • Melodien
  • String Quartet no.1 ‘Métamorphoses nocturnes’
  • String Quartet no.2

Lutosławski, Witold

  • Bukoliki
  • Dance Preludes
  • Epitaph
  • Fanfare for CUBE
  • Grave. Metamorphoses
  • Mini Overture
  • Partita
  • String Quartet
  • Subito
  • Symphony no.3
  • Two Studies

Maric, Dave

  • Trilogy

Martland, Steve

  • Horses of Instruction
  • Starry Night

Mazzoli, Missy

  • Violent, Violent Sea

Messiaen, Olivier

  • Cantéyodjayâ
  • Île de feu I and II

Metcalfe, John

  • Three Pieces
  • Fairlight

Molitor, Claudia

  • zuhanden

Monk, Meredith

  • Three Heavens and Hells
  • Volcano Songs


  • Various works

Muhly, Nico

  • Cello Concerto
  • Diacritical Marks

Nancarrow, Conlon

  • String Quartet no.1
  • String Quartet no.3

Nancarrow, Conlon (arr. Paul Usher)

  • Player Piano Study no.33 for string quartet

Oliveros, Pauline

  • The Witness

Pallett, Owen

  • Violin Concerto

Parsons, Michael

  • Air and Variation

Pärt, Arvo

  • Fratres
  • Silouans Song
  • Tabula rasa

Penderecki, Krzysztof

  • Concerto grosso


  • Viderunt omnes

Prokofiev, Sergey

  • Peter and the Wolf

Reich, Steve

  • Clapping Music
  • Come Out
  • Different Trains
  • Mallet Quartet
  • Music for 18 Musicians
  • Music for Pieces of Wood
  • Pendulum Music
  • Quartet
  • Sextet

Richter, Max

  • Infra 8
  • Take these broken wings

Roussel, Albert

  • String Quartet in D, op.45

Schnittke, Alfred

  • Concerto Grosso no.1

Sheng, Bright

  • Violin Concerto, ‘Let Fly’

Souleyman, Omar (arr. Jacob Garchik)

  • I’ll Prevent the Hunters From Hunting You for string quartet

Stevens, Sufjan (arr. various)

  • Run Rabbit Run

Stockhausen, Karlheinz

  • Gesang der Jünglinge
  • Kontakte

Szymanowski, Karol

  • Mazurkas, op.50
  • String Quartet no.1

Takemitsu, Tōru

  • Rain Coming
  • Requiem

Talbot, Joby

  • Utopia, Dead Space, Polarisation

Tüür, Erkki-Sven

  • Show (Action Passion Illusion)

Varèse, Edgard

  • Octandre

Volans, Kevin

  • String Quartet no.2, ‘Hunting: Gathering’

Webern, Anton

  • Passacaglia

Weill, Kurt

  • Three Songs (‘Le grand Lustucru’, ‘Surabaya Johnny’, ‘Ballad of Sexual Slavery’)

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