LEAMINGTON Music has been serious in marking the centenary of Leamington composer Robert Simpson
He first studied medicine but gave that up to be not only a composer, but an important producer working .for the BBC and writer on musical subjects and the composers he particularly championed, from Beethoven to Nielsen and Sibelius.
In 2011 a blue plaque was placed on the Rosefield Street house in Leamington where he was born on March 2, 1921.
On Friday October 29 the Marmen String Quartet will appear in the monthly Investec International String Quartets series at the Royal Pump Rooms and will play Simpson’s Quartet No 1, which dates from 1953 and which they played in the BBC Proms in London this August.
The Marmen Quartet has performed for Leamington Music before, when the Quartet gave a concert in the Unitarian Chapel in Warwick in May 2016. Since then, the Quartet has won major prizes in competitions in France and Canada.
Two days later, on Sunday October 31, the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Brass Band will be joined by the Shirley Band for a “Brass Explosion!”
It will take place at the Spa Centre – just 100 yards away from the house in which Simpson was born – and will feature his work Volcano, together with a programme including music by John Williams, another centenarian Malcolm Arnold, plus the world premiere of a work for two bands by Stephen Roberts.
Simpson was born to two dedicated members of the Salvation Army and his first musical experiences were learning the cornet and trumpet and he went on to write several outstanding works for brass band. He also wrote 11 symphonies, 15 string quartets and other chamber music.
Visit www.leamingtonmusic.org for full details.