Texas Tech University

Texas Tech School of Music Hosts Royal College of Music Violinist

Benjamin Robinette

November 9, 2017


Madeleine Mitchell will perform a recital entirely of British music.

Madeleine Mitchell
Madeleine Mitchell

The Texas Tech University School of Music will host a guest artist recital featuring world-renowned British violinist Madeleine Mitchell at 2 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 12) in Hemmle Recital Hall. School of Music professor of violin John Gilbert will join her for two pieces during the program, and she will be accompanied by School of Music collaborative pianist Becca Zeisler.

Mitchell has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in some 50 countries. She has performed in concertos with major orchestras and festivals like the BBC Proms. She has an acclaimed discography, particularly of British music, with many well-known composers writing works for her. She was a Fulbright/ITT Fellow to the Eastman School of Music and to the Juilliard School and frequently gives master classes worldwide.

Mitchell will present a program of British music spanning a century, including two works from her new album "Violin Muse." The first work is a set of violin duos by Judith Weir, master of the Queen's Music, entitled "Atlantic Drift," which celebrates the flow of traditional music between the United Kingdom and the United States. Each duo is dedicated to an American friend of the composer.

The second work is a short piece that sounds like a Welsh hymn, gifted to Mitchell by Michael Nyman for the opening of her Red Violin Festival in Cardiff, Wales, under Lord Menuhin's patronage. Nyman is best known for his music to "The Piano" and many art films by Peter Greenaway.

Mitchell's program also will commemorate Veterans Day with two romantic works composed in 1917 during World War I: John Ireland's second violin sonata and Herbert Howells' "Luchinushka."

Frank Bridge, teacher of Benjamin Britten and patronized by Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, wrote a number of "salon pieces" for violin and piano in the early 1900s. The virtuosic unpublished "Morceau Caracteristique" was lost for a century before Mitchell discovered the manuscript in 2007 at the Royal College of Music (RCM), where she is a professor. She recorded Bridge's rediscovered piece along with other short pieces.

The program concludes with "Nocturne" by Rebecca Clarke, who studied with Ralph Vaughan Williams at the RCM. This work was written in 1906 but only discovered in a box of papers in 2002 years after the composer's death in the United States. 

The concert is free and open to the public. In addition to her performance, Mitchell will present a string masterclass at 12:30 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 11) and a research presentation on her work with the Technology Enhanced Learning of Musical Instruments (TELMI) project at 7 p.m. Friday (Nov. 10), both in the School of Music's Choir Hall (Room 010).

Find Texas Tech news, experts and story ideas at Texas Tech Today Media Resources or follow us on Twitter.