Red Priest for the British Open
June 10 2011

This will be the sixth work by Professor Wilby set for an 'Open' Test piece, following acclaimed commissions including Paganini Variations, Dove Descending and Vienna Nights in 2006.

Red Priest was commissioned by Black Dyke and was played by the Band at the 2010 European Championships. The piece will therefore be making its UK contest debut on September 3rd at Birmingham Symphony Hall .

Philip Wilby describes the piece as 'A Concerto after Vivaldi with spacial separations' and  it includes four solo percussion parts. The origins of the title are that during his lifetime, Antonio Vivaldi was  known as the ' Red Priest ' thanks to his youthful ordination and his flaming red hair. The son of a violinist at St Marks, he is always remembered for his productivity and astonishing energy. The present composition is inspired by his enormous output of Concerto Grossi using soloists in groups. Listeners will recognise quotations from, amongst others, 'The Four Seasons' , Vivaldi's most popular work today  - and his well known 'Gloria'.

Professor Wilby, himself a violinist of quality, invokes the spirit of Vivaldi, and asks that the work should be played  ' with a mixture of accuracy and abandoned virtuosity '.

Full band sets & study scores for ' Red Priest ' are now available to buy here in the 'brass band' section of our online catalogue.