Debut Sounds: Meet our soloists - Henry Baldwin

Read our chat with LPO percussionist Henry Baldwin, as he prepares to perform as one of two soloists in the world premiere of LPO Young Composer Katarzyna Krzewińska’s beneath the surface at Debut Sounds: Dérive on Monday 4 July.



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How has it been to work with the Young Composers?

Henry: It is always very exciting to work with young composers writing for percussion. Unlike other instruments, each percussion concerto / solo has its own collection of instruments (often unique). The positioning of the instruments determines what is possible. We often have to try lots of different set ups before we can start working properly on the piece properly, and the score often has to be adapted as well. This all makes it much more challenging for a composer to write for the instrument. Kasia has done a brilliant job of working out what is possible on the instruments available to her, combining them in interesting and challenging ways.

What’s the most exciting/nerve-wracking thing about being the soloist in a world premiere performance?

As a percussionist, I am not used to being the focus of everyone’s attention. Our job is usually to underpin the orchestra and also to create interesting colours. I did perform a percussion quartet concerto in 2014 and found it a fun and exhilarating experience. It was great to combine with the other soloists to make a really overwhelming sound. beneath the surface is also written for more than one percussionist and I am lucky to be joined by our extremely talented Foyle Future First percussionist, Jude.

What has Magnus Lindberg been like to work with as a conductor?

I have always been a huge fan for Magnus's work; to work with him in this different capacity is very exciting.

Is there anything you’d say to someone who might be new to contemporary classical music and perhaps considering giving it a try on 4 July?

Well firstly, definitely give it a try, as listening to contemporary music can be a hugely immersive and rewarding experience. I think that it will be a very accessible concert. There will be so much variation that there is bound to be something for everyone, and it will be very interesting to see all the extended techniques on display on all the different instruments. Also, who knows you may get to hear the next Magnus Lindberg before they are famous...


You can hear Henry perform in beneath the surface by Katarzyna Krzewińska at Debut Sounds: Dérive on Monday 4 July. To find out more about the performance, make sure to visit our event page.