Preview: Lyons Birthday Concert, York Minster, June 28

Published in Music news and reviews

MUSIC by two of the 20th century's most theatrical composers, William Walton and Leonard Bernstein, will be performed by the University of York Choir and Symphony Orchestra in York Minster on Wednesday.

This concert, the last of the university's 2005-2006 concert series, is a special event to celebrate the 90th birthday of Jack Lyons, the founding benefactor of the university's music department.

He continues to bestow his support: Since providing the department with its first concert hall, Lyons has made contributions to the recently opened Music Research Centre and offered a full research scholarship for PhD students.

Conducted by Peter Seymour, Wednesday's 7.30pm programme opens with Walton's orchestral works Crown Imperial and Orb And Sceptre, written for the coronations in 1937 and 1952 respectively, before the choir joins the orchestra for Walton's dramatic oratorio Belshazzar's Feast and Bernstein's jazzinfused Chichester Psalms. Lyons knew both composers, and these pieces fuse his personal and musical connections with his support of young talent.

Bass-baritone Roderick Williams is the soloist for Belshazzar's Feast, and the choir will be joined by the choir of Westflische Wilhelms- Universitt in Mnster, who hosted the university's Chamber Choir in Germany earlier this year.

The university will welcome Lady Walton and other VIPs to this event with Jack Lyons.

Tickets: £7, students £3, under 16s free if accompanied by adult ticket holder; box office 01904 432439 or www.YorkConcerts.co.uk.

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