News Archive (2019)

O Sing Aloud! – St Cecilia’s Day Concert

Saturday 23rd November 2019

at 7.30 pm at St Martin’s Church, Worcester

Presented by the Worcester Cathedral Chamber Choir

Conducted by Stephen Shellard, accompanied by Christopher Allsop (organ and piano) with violinist Shulah Oliver and reader Gabrielle Bullock 

An evening of music and readings in celebration of St Cecilia’s Day, including choral works by  Faure, Hunt, King, Purcell, as well as Ian Venables’ anthem, ‘O Sing Aloud To God’


For advanced tickets please go to:

Three Choirs Festival, Gloucester 26th July – 3rd August

Gloucester Three Choirs Festival

Ian Venables was one of the featured composers at this year’s Three Choirs Festival which was held in Gloucester. His music was heard in three concerts during the week one of which included the premiere of a new song, What Then? – a setting of a poem by W.B Yeats, written for the baritone Roderick Williams. Writing in the Church Times, Roderic Dunnett wrote, “…The Three Choirs Festival is patently one of the supreme events in the English musical calendar. In 2019, it is generally well-nigh faultless. The full week fields a flood of events throughout the day. English song plays a significant part…”

James Gilchirst and Anna Tilbrook

Dunnett’s review continued, “…James Gilchrist launched in with an accomplished and meaningful performance of Songs of Eternity and Sorrow a profound four-part Housman cycle by Ian Venables, beautifully wrought, emotionally probing…” James Gilchrist was accompnied in this performance by the Carducci String Quartet and pianist, Anna Tilbrook

Carducci String Quartet

Reviewing the concert for ‘Seen and Heard’ John Quinn wrote, “…Oh who is that young sinner?’ concerns a man who is being punished simply on account of the colour of his hair. The tempo is quicker here and the music biting. Gilchrist was searing in his delivery and the strong, irregular accents in the accompaniment emphasised the bitterness in Housman’s words. The first three songs had been very impressive but Venables saves his best for last. ‘Because I liked you better’ is a poem in which the poet enjoins the person he loves to forget him … The music is slow, tender and regretful, though never maudlin…. James Gilchrist sang the song with a plangent intensity that was entirely appropriate and I loved the poignant and very subdued instrumental ending. These are fine songs which received terrific advocacy today…”

The opening chamber concert of the festival was given the by distinguished violinist Madeleine Mitchell accompanied by the award winning pianist, Clare Hammond. Their English music themed recital included a ravishing performance of the composer’s early Three Pieces Op.11.  Their programme also featured the premiere of Robert Saxton’s Suite written especially for Madeleine Mitchell.

Ian Venables,Madeleine Mitchell, Robert Saxton, Clare Hammond

Certainly one of the highlight of the week was an English Song recital given by the acclaimed baritone Roderick Williams and pianist Susie Allan. The first half of their programme consisted of songs by contemporary composers including the premiere of Ian Venables’s recent song What Then?

Roderick Williams, Susie Allan

Writing for Midland Music Reviews Christopher Morley wrote, “…premiered in this group was Ian Venables’ What then?, a chilling setting of W.B. Yeats’ thought-provoking questioning poem. Brilliantly structured, with an inexorably trudging piano-part and a gripping refrain at the end of each verse, it ends with a huge final reiteration of the question. What then? Huge applause for Venables, the featured composers assembled here, and not least for Roderick Williams and Susie Allan.

In a review for Seen and Heard John Quinn wrote “…Ian Venables’ What then? is the last in a set of Eight Songs for Baritone and Piano, Op 41. Venables’ setting of this Yeats poem is slow and solemn – the low piano part is suggestive of a slow march. This questioning, powerful refection builds to a powerful closing climax. It’s a fine song…”

‘The Song of the Severn’ – Performance

11th May, Ivor Gurney Hall, King’s School, Gloucester

Performed by Andrew Randall (baritone), Eric McElroy (piano) and the Carducci String Quartet 


The Ivor Gurney and Arthur Bliss Societies present a programme of music that will feature the 2nd UK performance of the composer’s chamber song cycle, The Song of the Severn.

This work was commisisoned by the Malvern Concert Club for their 2013 concert season and it was given it premiere at the Malvern Theatres by Roderic Williams, Tom Poster and the Carducci String Quartet.



It was later recorded for Signum Records. Click Here for details


CLICK below for an audio extract of On Malvern Hill


Requiem Op.48 – London Premiere

“a contemplative work of profound beauty”

Holy Trintiy Church, Slaoane St, London

The composer’s Requiem was given its London premiere on the 2nd July by the award winning choral group, Evoke conduced by Victoria Ely. A  clearly delighted composer recieved rapturous applause and a standing ovation from an enthusiatic audience.

Victoria Ely and Ian Venables

The reviewer Robert Hugill described the Requiem as “a contemplative work of profound beauty” and a “significant contemporary Requiem” 

For the full review please CLICK here











Archery Promotions’ latest publicity brochure showcases Ian Venables’s CD recordings

Please click here to purchase CD recordings.