Baritone Roderick Williams

World Premiere of Howard Skempton’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner in a BCMG programme inspired by English poetry


A full press release and associated images can be downloaded using the links in the right column.

Friday 4 December at 8pm, CBSO Centre, Birmingham
Saturday 5 December at 7.30pm, Wigmore Hall, London

  • Dominic Muldowney conducts his own song settings of poetry by Edward Thomas, Auden, Betjeman and Shakespeare, and the world premiere of a new setting of AE Housman’s Smooth between sea and land
  • Baritone Roderick Williams featured soloist in every work

Howard Skempton’s new setting of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s 1798 briny, poetic masterpiece The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, receives its world premiere on Friday 4 December, CBSO Centre, Birmingham; Saturday 5 December, Wigmore Hall, London, as part of a programme that draws inspiration from evocative, quintessentially English poetry.

Baritone Roderick Williams joins Birmingham Contemporary Music Group in Skempton’s retelling of Coleridge’s epic maritime morality tale, and in eight songs by Dominic Muldowney, settings of poetry by Auden, Shakespeare, Betjeman and Edward Thomas, and the premiere of a new setting of AE Housman’s beach-side meditation on the transitory nature of life, Smooth between sea and land.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, for baritone and small ensemble, will be Howard Skempton’s longest work to date. He comments: “Thanks to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the task of setting ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ has made unusual demands. The narrative thrust of the poem suggested a pace of delivery beyond the comfort zone of a well-­‐established technique. Composing is always an adventure, and I have occasionally imagined myself alongside the Mariner – in the same boat! Writing the piece has been sometimes a “breeze”, and sometimes not!’

Further press information from:
Sophie Cohen on 020 7428 9850 / 07711 551 787 /

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