Debut Sounds: Introducing Young Composer Robert Peate

With Debut Sounds: Dérive fast approaching, get to know the last of our LPO Young Composers Robert Peate to find out a bit about his latest piece, and how he feels about having it played in its first live performance on Monday 4 July.


YC main page BANNER

What was it like to hear your piece with live musicians for the first time?

Robert (pictured left): I always feel a particular mix of excitement and anxiety when listening to the first run through of a new piece. On this occasion I was extremely impressed, especially considering the speed and activity of most of the music. Straightaway I had a sense that my piece was in safe hands, and for the parts that I felt needed improving I was able to clearly see what I had misjudged and what just needed a bit of polish in performance. The comments from the Orchestra were all very useful, and the positive nodding and 'mmm'ing after the first run through was very gratifying. I was also in awe of Vesselin Gellev who played through the solo part pretty much flawlessly and was very positive about it after only seeing it for a couple of weeks!

Tell me about your piece.

Robert: There are scales, a chord, things go up and things go down ... Or to be a bit more detailed: The first 2 or 3 bars present a gestural idea from which the rest of the concerto is based. On the whole, I tried to create a balance between spontaneity and design: presenting a somewhat improvisatory feel whilst maintaining as tight an inner harmonic and thematic language throughout as I could. I imagined the role of the solo violin to be one of an individual finding their way through the world around them; exploring, aspiring, responding, integrating, struggling, asserting, failing, transcending etc. It’s full of life, but not specifically ‘about’ anything.

Is there anything in particular you’d like the audience to feel or think when they hear your piece?

Robert: Not really. There are extra-musical ideas that helped me write the piece, and there are many things that I suspect an audience might think of when listening, but in calling it ‘Violin Concerto’ I want to avoid implying anything too specific, and would prefer if the audience simply listen and take it as it is.

What are you most excited about the premiere performance?

Robert: Hearing what will hopefully be the most polished performance of my piece which, judging by the workshop in January should be pretty ideal!

Could you sum up why people should come to this performance?

Robert: Music of our time, performed extremely well.

What advice would you give to any aspiring young composers?

Robert: Keep working and pursue what really excites you!


You can hear Robert’s Violin Concerto at Debut Sounds: Dérive on Monday 4 July. To find out more about the performance, make sure to visit our event page.