Paul Burnell

22 Apr 2014
Interview with Andrew Collis - The Stanesby Players New Music Project
New commissions for recorder, viol and harpsichord.

Composer Paul Burnell interviews Recorder player Andrew Collis about the Stanesby Players New Music Project.

Andrew, what prompted you to commission pieces for recorder, harpsichord and viol?

Although there’s quite a bit of new music for solo recorder, there’s not much for our trio combination.  I wanted the pieces to be accessible for both professional and amateur players and to have some flexibility for the viol part to be played on violin or ‘cello.  I’m passionate about new music and after coming into an inheritance thought this would be a nice way to recognise the support I received from my parents.

What was the response from the composers that you approached?

There was a very positive response. Most of the composers have experience in writing for the instruments we play, and it will be really interesting to discover the different approaches– be that through jazz, multimedia, folk influences or anything else.

How have the other two members of the Stanesby Players – Ibi Aziz, viol; Akiko Imai, harpsichord – reacted to being on the receiving end of these new pieces?


Both have been enthusiastic.  They have a lot of experience with Early music, but are interested to work with living composers.  As with all of us performers there may be some initial worries about being taken out of our comfort zone but these are soon allayed.

How have your audiences reacted so far?

After the performance of your piece ‘In the Margins’ there was a lot of great feedback and appreciation of a ‘whole new sound world’.  The Stanesby Players usually like to include atypical pieces in concert, for example Bartok or Piazzolla, but within a comfort blanket of more usual Early music repertoire. In the same way, I’m sure that these newly-composed pieces will do the same job of throwing both new and old music into relief.


And what about the future Andrew?


Our next concert, featuring a new piece by Michael Mullen, will take place on 17 May in London. It is also anticipated that all the new pieces by yourself and Michael, together with those by Andy Meyers, Freddie Meyers, Charlie Barber, David Gordon and Andrew Challinger will be published.



Andrew Collis – tel:  07956658041 / email:  / web:

Paul Burnell – email:  / web:

Concert - 17 May 2014, 7pm.  St Matthews Church, 29 St Petersburgh Place, London W2 4LA

The Stanesby Players (Andrew Collis, recorders; Ibi Aziz, viol; Akiko Imai, harpsichord).



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