Trombonist Helen Vollam and the BBC Symphony Orchestra premiere The Book of Miracles at the London Barbican, 13th February.
Image from the sixteenth-century manuscript
Gavin Higgins’s new trombone concerto, commissioned by the BBC, is inspired by The Book of Miracles, a recently discovered sixteenth-century German manuscript. The book's 167 surviving sheets depict in vivid detail miraculous signs, natural catastrophes and Christian myths. Bookended with depictions of biblical events – including stories from the Old Testament and the Book of Revelation – and overflowing with striking images of comets, fantastical beasts, miracles, celestial apparitions and other astronomical events, the manuscript is both an exceptional and unique work of Renaissance art and a comprehensive record of natural and supernatural phenomena from antiquity to the middle of the sixteenth century.
From these images, Higgins has drawn inspiration for the four movements of his concerto:
III Eclipse (cadenza)
In the final stages of a PhD in composition at Royal Holloway, Gavin Higgins is already an established British composer. In 2010 he was appointed Rambert Dance Company’s Inaugural Music Fellow, and among many other high profile commissions his Der Aufstand was part of the 2012 BBC Proms, a 'boldly imaginative response' (The Times) to the riots of 2011.
For more information or to book your tickets for the concert, please click here.