Composer Of The Month - Kenneth Hesketh

Image of Kenneth Hesketh

Kenneth Hesketh

Premieres Of Danceries (Set 2)


9th April 2011,Birmingham Symphonic Winds, Keith Allen, conductor, CBSO Centre, Birmingham


16th April 2011, Lambeth Wind Orchestra, John Holland, conductor, All Saints Church, West Dulwich, London

New York

17th April 2011, Birmingham Symphonic Winds, Keith Allen, conductor, Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, New York, USA


30th April 2011, Philharmonic Winds, Timothy Reynish, conductor, Esplanade Concert Hall, Singapore

Some time ago I wrote enthusiastically of Kenneth Hesketh:

Kenneth Hesketh has emerged during this decade as one of the most exciting new talents in the wind world. Many of you will know Danceries and the bright and breezy Masque and his Dances for Diaghilev, a wonderful swirling score of impressionistic colourings.

In my account of British Wind Music 1981 - 2011 I wrote with a little more detail:

Kenneth Hesketh at first wrote under a pseudonym, preferring to keep his wind music and his "serious" music separate. His Masque (2001 Faber) is an energetic overture, full of good tunes and exciting scoring, while an earlier work, Danseries, (2000 Faber) is a four-movement work derived from Playford's Dancing Masters Tunes of the 17th century. Diaghilev Dances (2003 Faber) is a wonderful homage to the impressionistic ballets of the early 20th century, early Stravinsky, Debussy and Ravel, marvellously scored with great solo parts especially for subsidiary woodwind instruments. His Clouds of Unknowing (2004, Schotts) was premiered by the Royal College of Music in 2005; it is a marvellously scored work, with demanding parts for tuned percussion, piano, celeste and harp, a rich soundworld unique in the wind ensemble medium. Three other works emerged during 2004, all published by Faber; Internal Ride was commissioned by the University of St. Thomas, Whirligigg and a Flute Concerto; Vranjanka was premiered by the Guildhall School of Music and Drama at the RNCM 2005 Conference. A brooding incisive introduction leads into an exciting Balkan Dance mainly in 7/8, with rewarding parts for everyone, as in all of his music. His most recent work is A Gilded Theatre (2008) commissioned by the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain, a return to the post-impressionist style of Diaghilev Dances, and a wonderfully scored tribute to the world of 18th Century France.