The Symphonies of William Boyce: Absolute Gems of the English Baroque

By Antonio Cabrero

William Boyce (1710-1779), a choirboy at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, grew to become organist of the Oxford Chapel and by 1755 had become Master of the King’s Music, the highest post for a musician in England.

Concert
International Symphony Orchestra
Sat, Aug 29, 7pm
Teatro Ángela Peralta

His eight symphonies were published because of the growth of musical societies and public orchestral concerts. Then somewhere in the second half of the 18th century, the public’s attention shifted to the emerging giants Haydn and Mozart and the classical style.

Boyce’s symphonies had to wait a hundred years to be rediscovered by conductor Constant Lambert in 1930, returning Boyce to his rightful place as one of the most important composers of 18th-century England. His eight symphonies have been considered ever since absolute gems of the period, full of good tunes, extremely well crafted, and delightfully unassuming.

The first symphony to be premiered in San Miguel by the International Symphony Ensemble will mark the beginning of yet another revival of Boyce’s symphonies; we are planning a complete cycle of the eight symphonies over a three-year period.

Symphony number one was originally entitled Ode to the New Year (1756) shortly after his Majesty’s birthday. The poem Hail, Hail, Auspicious Day was read by laureate poet Coller Ciber for that glorious historic event.

The concert evening will also feature the beautiful Flute Concerto in G by Mozart, performed by Chilean Flutist Beatrice Ovalle, who studied with Philip Pierlot at the Conservatoire Nationale in France. The second part of the concert will present us with Schubert’s fifth symphony.

 

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