Debbie Bridge Soprano
Canadian-born, Debbie was educated at the University of British Columbia, where she won scholarships for further study in Salzburg under Kirsten Meyer and in Germany under Sena Jurinac. Currently living in Brighton, Debbie has sung the roles Maria, (West Side Story), Despina, (Così fan tutte), Fraskita (Carmen), Lady Billows, (Albert Herring), Susannah (The Marriage of Figaro), Virtue and Valletto (The Coronation of Poppea), Musetta (La Bohème), Casilda (The Gondoliers) and Rosalinda (Die Fledermaus). She’s also sung with the D’Oyly Carte in their production of ‘HMS Pinafore’, including both the recording (under the label of TER Records) and tour to the US. Debbie has done a wide variety of recordings for various composers’ works, in particular classical crossover.
Debbie’s performing career allows her to work all over the world. She has been privileged to perform at the Weiner Saal in Salzburg during the world famous Festival season. She has worked in the West End of London at the Savoy Theatre and the Royal Festival Hall. She’s even sung for Prince Andrew and at Prince Charles’ Garden Party
Her concert work has been extensive and wide reaching as well. Some of her more recent work has been with ‘More or Lesque’ a burlesque cabaret show which has performed at Volupte and Tristan Bates Theatres in London.
Debbie’s relationship with New Music Brighton started with her passion for supporting contemporary new works in the classical genre, which led her to get involved with NMB concerts. In 2008 she approached them with the idea of putting a CD together to help these works have a more solid voice, rather than just a one-off hearing at a concert. Also, as an off shoot of her work with NMB, Debbie produced and hosted a radio show with Radio Reverb, called ‘The New Classics’, which was devoted to contemporary British classical composers’.
Debbie has just finished a 2-year acting course with the Impulse Theatre Company and just finished a run of ‘Top Girls’, where she played Isabella Bird, Mrs Kidd and Joyce.
Adam Swayne Piano
Pianist and composer Adam Swayne studied at the University of Manchester and the RNCM before completing his doctorate as a Fulbright Scholar in the USA. His principal teachers were Ursula Oppens, John Gough and John Casken. Alongside first class degrees he has been awarded several prizes for performance and the Sir Thomas Beecham Medal for all-round achievement in music.
He now combines his performing and composing work with lecturing at the University of Chichester and teaching at the Royal Academy of Music. He has received commissions for compositions funded by the Scottish Arts Council, Hope Scott Trust and Arts Council England through the National Lottery. His work has been featured in festivals and on BBC Television, and he has also performed at the BBC Proms and at London’s Purcell Room, St Martin in-the-Fields and St James’ Piccadilly. The Times described him as ‘a pianist of formidable technique and high intelligence’ and the Evening Standard as ‘an ideal blend of panache and subtlety’. www.adamswayne.com
Anne Hodgson Flute
Anne Hodgson is based in East Sussex and combines performing with teaching and adjudicating. She has a keen interest in new music, and big flutes, having given performances of works by NMB composers on a variety of concert, alto and bass flutes over the years. Anne also plays bass flute with Sussex Flutes quintet, performing new and original music for flute quintet, as well as giving regular day workshops for students and teachers. She is a trustee of the British Flute society.
Steve Dummer Clarinet
Steve was a pupil of the late, great clarinetist Jack Brymer. He is the founder and director of Talkestra and works as a conductor, clarinetist and educator around the country and abroad.
He has given world premieres of music written for him by Peter Copley, Alison Kay and Patrick Harrex and also first British performances of music by Gerald Busby, Matthew Hindson and Derek Bermel.
His varied career has recently included being a member of Juan Martin’s Flamenco Band, a founder member of the zany jazz band Itchy Feet, musical director for the National Youth Music Theatre’s recent West End run of Fiddler on the Roof, conductor of Horsham Symphony Orchestra, adjudicator of the Young Musician of the Gulf and Hong Kong Schools Music Festival and chairman of Arundel Music.
Adam Bushell Percussion
Adam Bushell is an eclectic percussionist who is equally at home in the world of classical music, traditional English folk music and experimental improvisation. Amongst his many projects, he is founder of and percussionist with the Tacet Ensemble, 1/3 of the idiosyncratic folk trio Duck Soup and improvises regularly as part of the quartet ViV. Over the years he has worked with musicians including Chris Wood, Peter Wiegold, Michael Finnissy, Steve Beresford and Herbie Flowers.
Patrick Harrex was born in London in 1946. He studied Music and Education at York University, during which time he won first prize in the 1968 BBC Composers’ Competition. A French Government Scholarship enabled him to attend Messiaen’s composition class at the Paris Conservatoire and to study privately with the composer and conductor Gilbert Amy. His music has received many live and broadcast performances in the UK and abroad by eminent artists including Jane Manning, Noelle Barker, Mary Thomas, Andrew Sparling, Michael Finnissy, Rolf Hind, Nicolas Hodges, the Pierrot Players and the Nash Ensemble. He has also been commercially recorded in the UK, Canada and Luxembourg, where he was awarded 2nd prize in the international composition competition “Luxembourg 2003”. He is co-founder (with Claudia Molitor) of Brighton & Hove’s annual Soundwaves Festival.
Sydney Vale (16.1.1931 – 3.10.2008) was born in London, lived the early part of his life in Brussels and Paris and finally settled in England in 1945. His full-time musical education only began in 1959, when he attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama studying composition (with Robert Barclay-Wilson and Alfred Nieman), piano and conducting. He later went on to Morley College where he studied with Jeremy Dale Roberts and Harrison Birtwistle.
Although he had a busy and exacting ‘other career’ as Financial Officer with the Western European Union (being bilingual in French and English was a huge asset in that post), he wrote an impressive amount of music, with works ranging from solo piano pieces to a two act opera. His Sinfonia for string orchestra, written in 1977, was finally premiered in Lewes two weeks after his death. (adapted from an obituary by Frank Bayford)
Peta Crompton was born in Harrow in 1942. She studied at the Royal College of Music, and later took composition lessons with Jeremy Dale Roberts. Her large compositional output includes works for her own instrument- the cello- alongside works for larger ensembles including string orchestra.
Ric Graebner’s recent compositions include many for electronic and mixed media, variously incorporating dance, images and film. He has been internationally broadcast and performed by ensembles such as Lontano, the Arditti Quartet, Quatuor Elysée, etc He also performs as pianist and conductor. www.ricgraebner.co.uk
Kevin Allen’s instrumental works consist of a Sonata for Viola and Piano, Intermezzo for lute or clavichord, a Sonata for Oboe and Piano and a short piece for guitar. He describes himself as “a reasonable pianist and permanently struggling lutenist”. He says: “Composing is an intensely personal, largely hidden and all-too-rare activity, overshadowed and overwhelmed by involvement in public life, whether, as in my past career, as a British Council officer, or, more recently, as a local politician.”
Michael Stephenson is not classically trained and is largely self-taught. Since joining New Music Brighton in 2001, he has had over 25 pieces premiered. Last year there were 2 performances of his Six Minute Miniatures by Talkestra, and The First Quartet was premiered by the Regency String Quartet. There was also a moving 2-piano performance by Adam Swayne and Terence Allbright of his Great War Songs which had been premiered in 2009 by the Myriad Ensemble. Hopefully in 2011 there will be a premiere of 5 short movements for string quartet and a performance of his string orchestra arrangement of the Great War Songs piece.
Phil’s catalogue includes chamber music as well as large scale works for orchestra, including a three movement cello concerto (The Song Lines), Fantasia for Strings on Breton Folk Melodies, Sinfonia Concertante for Small Orchestra and several works for music theatre.
He was commissioned to write the first music theatre piece for the opening of The Hawth Theatre, Crawley in Sussex in 1986. “Gulliver” (libretto by Thelma Hedley) was a two act musical based on Gulliver’s Travels and was produced as a community arts project.
Phil has written other music theatre works the incidental music for a production of The Trojan Women and, in complete contrast, a one act opera The Pardoner’s Tale (libretto by William Gilbert) which was another community arts project and was performed in association with The Herstmonceux Medieval Fair and Michelham Priory. The medieval influences were continued in the two act opera The Bayeux Tapestry as well as The Murals at Albi while ancient Greek sources formed the material for the piano duo Chronophagos (premiered by Adam Swayne and Terence Albright in 2010).
Phil Baker was born in Brighton. He became a composition student of Edmund Rubbra.