Suki Webster is an actress and improviser her TV and radio credits include: The New Adventures of Robin Hood (Warner Brothers, US TV), Giles Wemmbley-Hogg Goes To Glastonbury (BBC2) and Baby Father (BBC2). She also co-wrote and was Assistant Director on Paul Merton’s Birth of Hollywood (BBC2). Just A Minute (R4.) Valentines Day (R4). Suki has toured the world with Paul Merton’s Impro Chums and is regular guest with The Comedy Store Players.
Luke Sorba is an actor, comedian and writer who founded pioneering improvised comedy company, Spontaneous Combustion. He has performed live all over Europe and in Australia, Canada, USA, Lebanon, South Africa, Thailand and Barbados. For Radio 4 he hosted the panel game, You Asked For It, and wrote and performed in the sitcoms, The World as we Know It and Losers. On BBC1 he featured in four seasons of Confessions. two of Monster TV as well as Richard Hammond’s Secret Service. Most recently he completed a run of Unavailable for Comment with Marcus Brigstocke and a run of Impro shows starring Ross Noble.
2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of one of the great works of children’s literature, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll. This year’s Winter Concert is Wonderland, a brand new project created by pianist Ashley Wass and violinist Matthew Trusler which both celebrates this anniversary and raises money for the Lenny Trusler Children’s Foundation, a charitable trust dedicated to providing relief from suffering and illness for very sick babies and children.
In a concert designed to appeal to all ages, an introduction and linking narrative to the book’s twelve enchanting chapters has been specially written by Louis de Bernières and will be performed by actor Suki Webster. Trusler and Wass will be playing short musical portraits commissioned from and donated by thirteen leading composers including Carl Davis, Stephen Hough, Howard Blake, Mark-Anthony Turnage and Roxanna Panufnik. (See below for the full list). To accompany the performance, new images commissioned from illustrator Emily Carew Woodard will be projected alongside some of the original drawings by John Tenniel.
"I’m especially excited that with this project we’ll be creating an entirely new suite of music; a work of art which will not only provide pleasure for young people, but will also directly raise money for very young children and babies who have been given a bad start in their lives.” Matthew Trusler.
"This is a hugely exciting project and we are thrilled to have so many wonderful composers involved; that it’s all in aid of a truly wonderful cause makes it very special indeed.” Ashley Wass
The composers for Wonderland
Preface - All in the Golden Afternoon
Sally Beamish - one of the UK’s most successful composers, with numerous commissions from leading orchestras and soloists, and an RPS Award in 2011.
Chapter 1: Down the Rabbit Hole
Roxanna Panufnik - one of the UK’s most popular composers. Three Paths to Peace, commissioned by the World Orchestra for Peace and conducted by Gergiev, received its BBC Proms premiere this summer.
Chapter 2: The Pool of Tears
Mark-Anthony Turnage - one of the most admired and widely-performed composers of his generation. He has held residencies at the CBSO, BBC SO, ENO, London Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Chapter 3: A Caucus Race and a Long Tale
Stuart MacRae - former Composer-in-Association with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Scottish Opera’s production of his Ghost Patrol recently won the South Bank Sky Arts Award for Opera.
Chapter 4: The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill
Poul Ruders - Prolific Danish composer, has received commissions from New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Royal Danish Opera. Described by the New York Times as a ‘prodigiously skilled and daringly imaginative craftsman”.
Chapter 5: Advice from a Caterpillar
Howard Blake - English composer whose career has spanned over 50 years and produced more than 650 works. Blake's most successful work is his soundtrack for Channel 4’s 1982 film The Snowman including the song "Walking in the Air".
Chapter 6: Pig and Pepper
Carl Davis - conductor and composer whose writing credits include scores for Pride and Prejuice, The World at War, Upstairs Downstairs and The French Lieutenant?s Woman.
Chapter 7: A Mad Tea Party
Stephen Hough - award-winning pianist, composer, painter and writer, who regularly appears with major orchestras around the globe. His own works often appear in his recital programmes.
Chapter 8: The Queen’s Croquet Ground
Richard Dubugnon - Swiss-born composer with commissions from the likes of The Concertgebouw Orchestra, LA Philharmonic, Verbier, Gewandhaus Leipzig and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.
Chapter 9: The Mock Turtle’s Story
Ilya Gringolts - “One of the most inspirational violinists today” (FT). Winner of the Paganini Competition and former BBC New Generation Artist, his own music has featured on the record label BIS.
Chapter 10: The Lobster Quadrille
Colin Matthews - former Associate Composer with the LSO and Halle and founder of NMC Recordings. His music has been commissioned and performed by most of the world?s great orchestras.
Chapter 11: Who Stole the Tarts?
Gwilym Simcock - multi-award-winning pianist and composer whose music often blurs the boundaries of classical and jazz. He was the first jazz musician to be chosen as a BBC.
Chapter 12: Alice’s Evidence
Augusta Read Thomas - former Composer-in Residence at the Chicago SO. Her music has been performed and recorded by the likes of Knussen, Boulez, Baremboim, Rostropovich, Ozawa and Maazel.