Announcing our first Commercial Album!

‘Around the World in 80 Minutes’: a global musical odyssey in partnership with Orchid Classics

We are proud to announce that our first-ever fully commercial recording, entitled ‘Around the World in 80 Minutes’, is now available!

Spanning over two years, the recording sessions unfolded amid the bustling schedule of the School, culminating in a remarkable collection featuring our gifted pupils. Guided by a roster of world-class artists and led by producer Andrew Keener, the album presents a broad repertoire, drawing inspiration from the diverse backgrounds of the pupils. Commencing in England with Elgar’s Chanson de Matin, the album takes the listener across Europe, via Spain with the fiery Spanish dance of Sarasate’s Navarra, and France, showcased by Debussy’s Danse Sacrée and Danse Profane. The odyssey continues across central Europe, featuring Bartok’s Romanian Folk Dances, Tabakova’s Pirin, which takes inspiration from Bulgarian folk music, and through Armenia with Babajanian’s Elegy in Memory of Khachaturian, arranged for piano and strings by pupil Sasha Parker. The musical journey extends to Asia with a showcase of virtuosic string playing in Huang Haihuai’s galloping composition Horse Race, arranged and conducted by pupil Tom Yang. Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe’s Little Suite captures blends of Western classical and Aboriginal music, providing a heartfelt ode to the Australian landscape.

Crossing continents to Africa, Fela Sowande’s Akinla from the African Suite delivers a cheerful culmination of diverse musical influences. The Americas come to life through Andrés Martín’s depiction of an Argentinian market, Darius Milhaud’s Brasileira’ from Scaramouche, Leo Brouwer’s kaleidoscopic portrayal of Cuba, Florence Price’s rhythmic Juba, and George Gershwin’s evocative Three Preludes. It concludes in Ireland with an imaginative arrangement of Londonderry Air by pupil Mika Petrovic, fully capturing the international essence of the school.

The carefully curated programme showcases arrangements by staff and pupils, representing both the School’s orchestral achievements and its chamber music programmes. Several pupils display their talent across different instruments.

Ashley Wass, Director of Music, said: “This project exemplifies the School’s dedication to providing exciting opportunities for its pupils to help them reach their full potential. I am so proud of what they have achieved, and the experience will stay with them for a lifetime.”

Together with Orchid Classics, we invite listeners to join our remarkably talented pupils as they traverse the globe, transcending boundaries, and celebrating the universal language of music.

The album is available to stream or purchase here:

Copies of the album can also be purchased at the Menuhin Hall during concert evenings.

25 Mar 2024