York music alumni direct portrait concert for Nicola LeFanu

Posted on 19 March 2018

Nicola's music was performed as part of Octandre's 'Way Out East' series

On Sunday 4 March, York music alumni Jon Hargreaves and Christian Mason directed Octandre, a ‘cutting-edge’ chamber ensemble of young professional musicians, in a concert celebrating the works of Emeritus Professor Nicola LeFanu. The concert appeared as the first in Octandre’s ‘Way Out East’ series, which aims to explore otherness and ritual from a new perspective.

The programme featured two extended chamber works: The Same Day Dawns (1974) for soprano and ensemble (featuring York alumni Sarah Dacey), and Deva (1979) for cello and ensemble, as well as Songs Without Words (2005) for clarinet and string trio, and David Lumsdaine’s Blue Upon Blue (1992) for solo cello. Octandre were also joined by the Ligeti Quartet, founded by York alumni, who played Nicola’s second string quartet (1996) and an excerpt from String Quartet No. 6 (1950) by Dame Elizabeth Maconchy – Nicola’s mother. The concert, held at the Print Room in Notting Hill Gate, was very well attended, and the performances were outstanding.

Nicola also spoke to Jon Hargreaves about her influences, being a female composer, and her journey to becoming an established British composer with over 100 works.