Music & Conversation: The Podcast of English Composer Andrew Downes

Episode 25: Tony Bridgewater

January 29, 2021

Paula Downes interviews Tony Bridgewater: composer, pianist, conductor, teacher and family friend. He met Andrew Downes at the Birmingham School of Music (now Royal Birmingham Conservatoire) in the late 70s for advice on studying at Cambridge and composition. He met Anna Downes at a concert, after which he employed her as Head of Instrumental Studies at Old Swinford Hospital School, where he was Director of Music. They have since given many recitals together, performing works by both Andrew and Tony, and have been joined by soprano Paula Downes, for whom Tony has written 2 song cycles which are featured on this podcast: The Other Side of the Mirror and Snowflakes. On one occasion they were also joined by violist Cynthia Downes for the premieres of 2 song cycles by Andrew Downes. Tony talks about how his compositions have since been influenced by the music of Andrew Downes.

Works by Andrew Downes featured on this podcast include Celtic Rhapsody for Soprano and Symphony Orchestra with piano reduction by Paula Downes, song cycles The Door of Winter and Four Songs of Bluebeard's Wife, with poetry by living poets Bernard Davis and Julie Boden, and his Violin Sonata.

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