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PRESS RELEASE: World Premieres of ‘For an Unknown Soldier’

The London Mozart Players and The Portsmouth Grammar School collaborate to commission major new cantata from Jonathan Dove to commemorate WWI

• World Première performances in Portsmouth and Croydon in November 2014
• Over 300 children from Portsmouth Grammar School and Croydon primary schools involved in the first performances
• Featuring renowned choral conductor Nicholas Cleobury and outstanding young tenor Nicholas Sharratt.

The London Mozart Players and The Portsmouth Grammar School will present the World Première performances of a major new co-commission from Jonathan Dove on 9 November 2014 in Portsmouth Cathedral and 14 November in Fairfield Halls Croydon. For an Unknown Soldier is a setting for tenor solo, children’s choir, adult chorus and chamber orchestra of nine poems about the First World War. Opening with a setting of Wilfred Owen’s portentous ‘1914’, the work offers a moving meditation on the tragedy of war with poems by Mary Gabrielle Collins, Helen Dircks and Ivor Gurney among others.

The LMP is delighted to continue what has become an annual collaboration with Portsmouth Grammar School, which has in recent years seen the commissioning of important new work from composers such as Roxanna Panufnik and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.

James Priory, Headmaster of Portsmouth Grammar School comments:
“We are thrilled to be giving young musicians from Portsmouth and Croydon the opportunity to work with a living composer and to be involved in creating a major new musical work inspired by Remembrance. I cannot think of a better way for young people to engage creatively in the centenary of the Great War.”

Viv Davies, Managing Director of the London Mozart Players comments:
“We are really excited to be collaborating with the Portsmouth Grammar School and Jonathan Dove on such a significant and important project. The preparation for the events in November has brought together diverse individuals and groups in a unified and common purpose. We have no doubt that the première performances of the cantata will be profound and moving occasions that will express, in a wonderfully creative way, the essence, spirit and deep significance of remembrance. We are looking forward to it immensely.”