Composer Chats - Michael Cryne

Composer Chats - Michael Cryne

Hi Mike! Thanks so much for taking the time to chat to us ahead of our premier of your piece, Frost Flower, at the Purcell Room on Friday 18th January 2019. Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Sure, I’m a British composer. I spent a long time working as a music director, composer and teacher in the theatre before turning to writing concert music about 7 years ago. I did my PhD at RHUL with Mark Bowden and Helen Grime, and I’ve been really lucky to have done some of the big orchestral development schemes with people like the LSO, LPO and RSNO. I love working with acoustic instruments as well as writing with electronics, and a lot of my work is influenced by the natural world, and the human relationship to it.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from us here at the Laefer Quartet! 2016 was an amazing year for the Laefer Quartet and we would like to say a massive thank you to all of our friends and fans for making it so!


Some highlights include:

  • Performing at the International Womens Day at the RCM.
  • Giving a Masterclass and recital at the University of Southampton.
  • Recording at the Abbey Road Institute.
  • Being selected as Park Lane Group Artists for the 2016/17 season.
  • Giving three world premieres as part of the fantastic Listenpony concert series.
  • Performing at the Abstract Expressionism exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts with another world premiere.
  • Numerous concerts up and down the country which we have been thrilled to give!

It's still early days but 2017 is shaping up to be an exciting year too: look out for our Park Lane Group concerts at St. John's Smith Square (featuring World Premieres by Giles Swayne and Charlotte Harding) and St. Margaret's Church, Westminster.

University of Southampton Masterclass: Part 2

We were invited by Dr Angela Space to give a recital and masterclass for her saxophone students at the University of Southampton which took place on Sunday 15th May. Every year Angela gathers together students, past and present, and invites a guest artist to give a class. Angela contacted our Baritone player, Stephen, himself a former student, to ask if the Laefer Quartet would be available to give the class and we were delighted to say yes!

After driving down from London we arrived at the Turner Sims Concert Hall where the event was being held and had a warm up and a spot of lunch. We began by giving a short recital where we performed the first two movements of Ravels' String Quartet in F Major and Theirry Escaich's Tango Virtuoso to showcase the variety of repertoire we play, as well as our love of transcriptions.

We then took it in turns to work with some of the students on pieces they have been preparing for their upcoming end of year recitals. Rusne worked with 3rd year Student, Wayne, on Barry Cockroft's Kuku going into depth on the technical aspects of the piece, including the tricky multiphonic section towards the end. Amy worked with another 3rd year student, Emily, on the third movement of the Dubois Concerto and emphasised the importance of a solid, consistent air-stream as the basis for all playing. Philip continued this theme whilst working on the Villos-Lobos Fantasia with 2nd year, Ali, demonstrating how a good air-stream, good articulation, and good finger faculty can all be practised with scale practice. 3rd year student Lawrence performed the Tansman Sonatine and Stephen discussed some of the challenges faced when playing transcriptions, and shared some thoughts on vibrato.

We were then treated to all four students playing as the Momentum Quartet, with an impressive performance of the fifth movement of Maslanka's Recitation Book, a fantastic piece with two opposing characters, one choral like and one fast and scalic, which all members of the Laefer Quartet suggested improvements for.

Afterwards we relaxed in the foyer of the Tuner Sims Concert Hall, ate pizza, and talked all things saxophone! We would like to thank Angela for inviting us, Karen for accompanying, and all the students for playing so well!

Park Lane Group 2016/17

It's with great pleasure that we can announce the Laefer Quartet have been selected as Park Lane Group Artists for the 2016/17 series. We will be performing a varied programme at St. John's Smith Square including two world premières by Charlotte Harding and Giles Swayne who we are very much looking forward to working with.

More details will follow nearer the time, watch this space!