Butterworth On the Banks of Green Willow
Glière Harp Concerto in E flat major Op. 74 (Soloist Aisha Palmer)
Rautavaara Cantus Arcticus (Concerto for birds and orchestra)
Respighi The Birds (Gli Uccelli)
After months of being cooped up Enigma invites you to a musical celebration of freedom. We open with Butterworth’s beautiful lyrical idyll and homage to the beauty of the countryside: The Banks of Green Willow. We then showcase the ethereal harp with Glière’s glorious and luscious Harp Concerto featuring our soloist Aisha Palmer. After the interval we take flight first with the soaring Cantus Arcticus by Finnish composer Rautavaara taking us on a journey with migrating swans before Respighi’s The Birds brings us back full circle with his evocation of four different birds ending with the familiar sound of the countryside, the cuckoo.
Huw Boucher, who was due to perform with Enigma, has been selected to compete in the prestigious USA International Harp Competition (a triennial competition, this year featuring 48 harpists from 21 countries), which unfortunately clashes with our concert. This is a tremendous achievement for Huw and we wish him the very best of luck with the competition.
We are delighted that Aisha Palmer, another outstanding Welsh harpist and fellow student of the Royal Academy of Music, has accepted our invitation to play with us.
Aisha is a harpist whose Welsh heritage plays an important role in her performances, promoting compositions written by Welsh composers. Aisha has great enthusiasm and eagerness to broaden her musical skills showing her adaptability to perform a variety of styles.
Forthcoming highlights are performing two world premieres with the Andromeda Ensemble and performing with the Royal Academy Opera conducted by Ryan Wigglesworth. She recently performed the first concert premiere of Michael Finnissy’s Our Proximity to Gothic.
Aisha was the recipient of the Peter Simon Award for Harp which led to her becoming a Philanthropy Ambassador of the Academy. Demonstrating her reliability, communication skills and positive thinking enabling her to reach out to a wider audience.
Aisha is establishing herself internationally, winning the International Harp Competition “Walled Town”, Cittadella and receiving a Diploma in the Glowing Harp International Competition. A recent recognition of her talent was being presented with the Guinness Award from RAM.
A creative soloist Aisha also performs regularly in a variety of orchestras, these include National Youth Orchestra of Wales, Royal Academy Symphony Orchestra, Royal Academy Symphonic Brass, Gustav Mahler Orchestra and Thames Youth Orchestra. Working with conductors John Wilson, Ian Bousfield, Sian Edwards and Carlo Rizzi. She previously performed the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto with the Rhondda Symphony Orchestra.
Aisha has worked with renowned international harpists attending masterclasses from Isabelle Perrin, Anneleen Lenaerts, Gwyneth Wentink and Anne Sophie Bertrand.
Aisha is in her third year studying for her Bachelor of Music on a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music. Previously she attended the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and was presented with the Junior Conservatoire Principal Prize.
Full-time education £5
We kindly ask that you do not attend the concert if you have any COVID-19 symptoms.
Wearing face coverings is no longer a requirement. However, audience members are welcome to wear face masks if they wish to.
To help us provide a comfortable and enjoyable experience for everyone, please be mindful of others and their personal space when moving around the venue.
St. Christopher’s Church
Esher KT10 0AQ
We are extremely grateful to the RCSherriff Trust for providing generous financial support for this concert.