16–17 January 2024

Contemplating Morty

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No Longer Available

Contemplating Morty
‘.…soft because softness is compelling…..’ (Cornelius Cardew)

A retrospective of the music for piano and strings by the hugely influential composer Morton Feldman. His quiet, intimate, and luminous compositions weave sounds inspired by both his relationships with visual arts and obsession with Persian tapestries.

Violinist Darragh Morgan has spent the past 25 years experimenting in his performance approach to these compositions; vibrato free and using a baroque bow, creating a unique sensitivity of touch and a lightness to Feldman’s dynamic timbres.

‘The actual performance has a fascinating tension…when it’s over you’re not changed, exactly, but you’re a slightly different person just the same.’ – The Wire


Darragh Morgan / violin
Mary Dullea / piano

Spring of Chosroes (1977)
Projection 4 (1951)
Vertical Thoughts 2 (1963)
For Aaron Copland (1981)
Palais de Mari (1986)

- break -

For John Cage (1982)


Darragh Morgan / violin
Nic Pendlebury / viola
Tim Gill / cello
Mary Dullea / piano

Piano, violin, viola, cello (1987)

Darragh Morgan

Irish violinist Darragh Morgan has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician at The Wigmore Hall, Aldeburgh Festival, Maerzmusik Berlin, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, BBC Proms, Osterfestival Tirol, Bang on a Can Marathon New York, National Sawdust, Philips Collection Washington DC, Beijing Modern Music Festivala and Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre. He has performed concertos with National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Ulster Orchestra, Johannesburg Philharmonic, Istanbul Symphony and European Union Chamber Orchestra.

Darragh has been invited as Concertmaster with London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Modern, Les Siecles, The Philharmonia and Aurora Orchestra. He has recorded 50+ albums many of which have received Diaspon D'or and Gramophone Awards. Darragh has collaborated with as diverse composers as Scanner and Mira Calix, to Gerald Barry, Donnacha Dennehy and Michael Finnissy. He is violinist in the renowned Fidelio Trio and a former member of The Smith Quartet. Darragh plays an 1848 violin by Giuseppe Rocca.


Tim Gill

Tim Gill studied at Cambridge University, reading music (and meeting his future wife and eminent cellist Joely Koos), the Royal Academy of Music and the Banff Centre in Canada.In 1988 he was selected to play at the South Bank as part of the Park Lane Group concert series and has since enjoyed a lifelong commitment to contemporary music.

In 2001, he became Principal cellist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and two years later was made principal with the London Sinfonietta, drawing critical acclaim for his solo performances of music by Stravinsky, Xenakis and Maxwell Davies.

In 2011 he enjoyed a brief spell as principal with English National Opera, before returning the next year to the RPO. He now freelances in London, focussing on his solo and chamber music commitments while retaining his association with the London Sinfonietta.

He has appeared throughout the world as a soloist, most recently at the BBC Proms and at London’s Kings Place “Cello Unwrapped” series.

Tim plays on a cello by Francesco Ruggeri, dated 1695.

Mary Dullea

As soloist and chamber musician, Irish pianist Mary Dullea leads a diverse performance career internationally. Her frequent broadcasts include BBC Radio 3, Radio 4, RTHK, RTÉ Lyric FM, WQXR, Radio New Zealand and Sky Arts, Irish, French, Austrian and Italian television. Concerto appearances include RTÉ Concert Orchestra, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and KZN Philharmonic Orchestra. Of her multiple CD releases, recent collaborations include premiere recordings of Philip Glass for Orange Mountain Music and, on Divine Art Métier, solo piano music from Iran by composers Amir Mahyar Tafreshipour and Hormoz Farhat.

Mary’s expansive repertoire covers the standard piano literature as well as an ever-increasing amount of 20th- and 21st- century compositions, many of which are dedicated to her. Her piano trio, Fidelio Trio, are passionate advocates for piano trio repertoire around the world. They were shortlisted for the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards Ensemble Prize and have been Gramophone Magazine Editor’s Choice for their recordings. The trio have appeared at prestigious venues around the globe including Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre, Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room Southbank Centre, Casa da Musica Porto, Morrison Artist Series San Francisco, Andy Warhol Museum Pittsburgh, National Centre for Performing Arts Mumbai, Beijing Modern Music Festival, National Concert Hall Dublin, Kilkenny Arts Festival, Brighton Festival, Cheltenham Festival and Gümüşlük International Classical Music Festival. They have collaborated with actor Adrian Dunbar, writer Alexander McCall-Smith and poet Sinead Morrissey. Constantly commissioning new works, composers that the Trio have worked closely with include Johannes Maria Staud, Donnacha Dennehy, Joe Cutler, Judith Weir, Piers Hellawell, Ann Cleare and Charles Wuorinen, to name but a few.

Mary was the curator of Soundings (an annual UK/Austrian collaborative music festival) at the Austrian Cultural Forum London from 2008 to 2016. She has served on the jury of ‘Schubert und die Musik der Moderne’ International Chamber Music Competition in Graz, Austria. In 2014 she founded 'Chamber Music on Valentia' an annual chamber music festival in Co. Kerry, Ireland, with the aim of bringing chamber music performances of international standing, innovative programming and outreach and engagement programmes to this unique place.

Mary was on the piano faculty of Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama for 9 years. She previously held the position of Director of Performance at University of Sheffield and since 2015 she has held this position at Royal Holloway, University of London where she is also Reader in Music.

Nic Pendlebury

Nic is Head of the String Department at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance where he leads one of the most vibrant string departments in Europe. Embracing a student cohort from around the world his staff includes many of the countries leading musicians. As well as his educational and managerial responsibilities he conducts several of the conservatoire orchestras and ensembles including Trinity Laban’s String Ensemble. With them, he has given performances both nationally and internationally including the Ljubliana Festival, Italy’s Emilia Romana Festival, Conciertos de las Velas in Peraza Spain and at the Dartington International Summer School. The group has also participated in collaborative projects with Chetham’s School of Music, Wells Cathedral School, and the Yehudi Menuhin School. They have performed with many renown soloists including oboist Nick Daniel, clarinetists Dimitri Ashkenazy and Darko Brlek, pianists William Howard and Helen Reed, violist Rivka Golani, organist David Titterington and jazz saxophonist Julian Arguelles with whom they recorded the critically acclaimed album As Above So Below.

Nic is also the founder and violist of the internationally acclaimed Smith Quartet renowned for their performance of new music and prize winners of the Prudential Award for the Arts. Now into their third decade, they have collaborated with many of the worlds leading musicians including John Adams, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, David Tannenbaum, Andy Sheppard, Django Bates the rock group Pulp and dance companies Siobhan Davies and Shobana Jeyasingh. They regularly perform in many of the worlds most prestigious festivals and leading concert halls. The Smith Quartet record for Signum Classics their first three albums receiving worldwide acclaim. As a violist and a conductor, he has worked with many of London’s leading orchestras including London Mozart Players, English Chamber Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, English Sinfonia, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra. The more observant viewer may also have seen Nic playing the part of a ghost in Anthony Minghella’s film Truly, Madly, Deeply.