Piano Concerto – Martin Suckling – Shortlisted for Large Scale Work sponsored by PRS for Music

February 24, 2017 in safnm2017 by mwhiteside

Martin Suckling

  1. How did the piece come about?

I am the Scottish chamber orchestra’s associate composer so I’ve been writing quite a lot of music for them over the past several years.  Robin Ticciati called me up about two years ago to say ‘Martin I’d like a big piece from you, maybe a piano concerto for Tom Poster’. That was over two years ago now and I’ve tried to figure out what a piano concerto could be. I eventually wrote this piece for them.


What is the most exciting or challenging aspect of writing for full orchestra?

One of the big challenges with writing this piece was, how do you write a contemporary concerto for this Mozartian orchestra?  It’s one of these genres that’s had an unbroken tradition for more than a hundred years…how can you find your own space within it? It’s terribly exciting, obviously, to write for players like Tom Poster and the SCO but to find your own creative space within that very traditional world was one of the big challenges for me writing this piece.


What other projects do you have on the go at the moment?

The piece I’m really looking forward to writing over the next 18 months is again for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and is part of their Armistice 2018 commemorations. It’s going to involve people from all over Scotland sending in recordings of bells from their local communities, which I’m going to use to make an electronic tapestry for the SCO to play a song over. We are going to use that basic material with the electronics to do lots of education and creative projects where people will be able to write their own pieces based on this material.


What other pieces have you seen this year that you found exciting and will stand the test of time?

I don’t get to a great many concerts because I have two very young children but one concert I did get to was Stuart MacRae’s The Devil Inside when it came to Manchester and I found that thrilling. I was also really delighted to hear Helen’s orchestral pieces broadcast on the radio from the proms. They have been two of the highlights of the pieces I’ve heard over the last year.


What is the piece that you would most like to write?

It would be quite exciting to be involved in the first concert on the moon. I’m not sure of how you would deal with the logistics of it, but if we are going to set up a base there, that would be an interesting project to be involved in.