Aberdeen student's work to be 'performed for peace' around the world

Aberdeen student's work to be 'performed for peace' around the world

A composition by a University of Aberdeen music student will be played around the world as part of an initiative to celebrate peace.

Today, September 21, marks The International Day of Peace and Anthony White, who is currently in the second year of a Bachelor of Music Degree (Hons), has been announced as one of three finalists whose work will feature in the iPlay4Peace International Concert on 10th November 2019.

#iPlay4Peace is a global initiative to create a new and lasting form of Remembrance for the First World War. It began in 2018, the centenary year of the end of the conflict, and saw musicians around the world join together to play new music dedicated to peace on Armistice Day with an anchor concert held in Edinburgh

The project is the brainchild of University of Aberdeen lecturer Neil McLennan and Scottish fiddler Thoren Ferguson and utilises new online interactive technology supported by Edinburgh Napier University to enable musicians to perform in real time together, wherever they are based.

In 2018 Ferguson created a brand new piece of music to encompass the Armistice and our reflections upon one peace when conflict still exists around the world.

Mr McLennan said that for 2019 – an important centenary of the Peace with the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles – they wanted to open up the opportunity to compose music from within the growing global community of musicians.

In June they launched a call for scores and the winning entries have now been selected by a panel of judges.

Anthony’s orchestral composition, named ‘Battling for Peace’ has been selected alongside work by Aberdeenshire-based fiddler Paul Anderson and a choral composition from London-based musician and composer Clare Paddi Salters.

Anthony, who grew up in Oxford and is a former chorister at Worcester College and past pupil of Christ Church Cathedral School, said he was inspired to write his work after performing as a musician in last year’s iPlay4Peace initiative.

He said: “I was privileged to have been invited to perform in Aberdeen as part of #iPlay4Peace in mid 2018. It quickly became clear to me that this is a remarkable project and I really was keen to get involved. It was an invaluable way not only to meet many talented and like-minded performers, but to come together with people from around the world to use music as a vessel of peace and collaborate in amongst times of struggle.

“To be given the opportunity of a commission of this kind is a real honour and I’m delighted that my work will be performed across the globe as well as at the anchor concert at Edinburgh Napier University on Armistice Sunday.”

For Anthony the work represents his largest undertaking as a composer. Battling for Peace is a composition for symphony orchestra which is comprised of three movements depicting the acts of war, resolution and peace: The Spoils of War, Reconciliation and Peace.

Battling for Peace is currently being reworked into different arrangements making sure that it is available for groups and ensembles to join the performance.

“It is a lot of additional work to fit around my studies,” Anthony added, “But music is my passion and opportunities of this kind do not come along very often.

“I am a keen advocate for the outreach of music and giving the opportunity for young children and youths alike in schools to take up an instrument, to perform and enjoy the rewards and happiness that music brings.

“Seeing what people sacrificed in the name of war and the challenges ongoing around the world really inspired me to write a piece on a large scale, and to tell a story through music using programmatic techniques.”

Organiser Mr McLennan said: “Anthony’s work was outstanding and it was clear to the judging panel that as well as being exceptionally talented, he has a deep commitment and understanding of the aims of #iPlay4Peace.

“I am looking forward to hearing his work performed by Edinburgh Chamber Orchestra in November as well as by our growing global community of musicians.”