As part of Classic FM’s 25th anniversary celebrations, The Sixteen and Harry Christophers present the world premiere performances of Marco Galvani’s On Christmas Morn, co-commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Society and Classic FM.

Forming a key part of the choir’s 2017 Christmas programme Glory to the Christ Child, touring to nine locations across the UK, the work is a setting of lines from Anne Brontë’s poem Music on Christmas Morning. The piece is an expression of joy, reflecting the excitement and wonder of the season found in the text, and creates the sense of waking up to distant music on that day.

The programme also features a festive collection of music from the 16th century right up to the present day. The Sixteen and Harry Christophers continue their exploration of Poulenc’s work with his joyful Quatre motets pour le temps de Noël, an uplifting celebration of the events of the Christmas story, and revisit his solemn and reflective Un soir de neige, one of the highlights of The Choral Pilgrimage 2017 programme. Other highlights include John Joubert’s There is no rose; Lassus’ La nuit froide et sombre; Kim Porter’s Christmas Eve; Palestrina’s O magnum mysterium; and Bob Chilcott’s Pilgrim Jesus.

Marco Galvani is a young composer based in London, studying with David Sawer. He studied for three years with Emily Howard at the Junior Royal Northern College of Music, and subsequently with Professor Robert Saxton at the University of Oxford. Marco’s choral and instrumental works have been performed throughout the UK, Europe, and North America.

Marco’s compositions have been commissioned, performed, and recorded by a variety of choirs. In 2015, Marco was awarded the Schellhorn Prize for Choral Composition for his piece Ecce Quam Bonum. His music has subsequently been performed by Blossom Street, Icosa Chamber Choir, and the choir of Salisbury Cathedral. Marco’s commission Tantum Ergo was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 from the Edington Festival, and features on ‘Cloths of Heaven’, the debut album of Sansara Chamber Choir. Tantum Ergo has been published by Edition Peters, alongside Ubi Caritas, Memorare, and Eden is that old-fashioned house. Et Vidi Angelum was recorded by The Queen's College Chapel Choir as part of their CD, ‘A New Heaven’.

Exploring a variety of instrumental combinations, Marco has received a number of commissions for ensembles and orchestras. His work for the Oxford University String Ensemble, After the Rain, was performed in Christ Church Cathedral in 2015, and subsequent instrumental works include Unearthed, commissioned by Oxford’s Consortium Novum, as well as Pro/Contra for solo piano, composed for the pianist Matthew Schellhorn. Marco’s recent works have been performed by CHROMA, as well as a number of solo instrumentalists. In 2016 his first Chamber Opera, Rothschild's Violin, was performed by New Chamber Opera, leading David Threasher from Gramophone to describe Marco as ‘a compositional voice of genuine promise’.


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