Andrew Webb-Mitchell

The English Composer

  • "....his competence as an orchestrator is faultless, over-ridden by his genuine creative gifts. Imagine, if you will, a latter-day Tippett at the outset of his career: it is that good.”
    Matthew Robert-Walker
  • "In Songs of Awe and Wonder, Andrew Webb-Mitchell has created a stunning set of symphonic songs on a grand scale. The music is full of passion and heroism, with glorious harmony and beautiful textures...
  • ....The orchestration is beautifully detailed and the vocal writing creates a soaring line that carries the listener right through the vast canvas of the cycle."
    Tasmin Little OBE
  • "What a work it was! I could go on and on about its beauty, accessibility, anti-modern but still new and different, use of color throughout the ensemble, ...But most importantly... The little touch of magic....
  • ....(the) ability to craft a score that was so intense, thick, and full of rich and challenging parts for every individual instrument..
  • and, at the same time, one that the average patron with little musical background can embrace."
    Robert Trocina, Music Director, Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra
  • “Songs of Awe and Wonder is a beautiful, joyous and uplifting new work by a very accomplished composer....
  • ...Soaring vocal lines, sparkling orchestration and direct, vivid storytelling. A great new work.”
    Michael Price
  • "Andrew Webb Mitchell has produced a remarkable and important work in Songs of Awe and Wonder...
  • ...Dedicated to Gustav Mahler, this is passionate music on a grand scale – a modern day Song of the Earth."
    John Lenehan
  • "There is dream, daring and duende in the poetry of Songs of Awe and Wonder....
  • ...The core of these lyrics is their sheer, stark elegiac power reminding me of how I felt the first time I heard Rilke's Duino Elegies."
    David Morley


A Thoroughly English Affair in Tianjin, China

12th Oct 2012

Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra concluded their historic first tour of China yesterday with a triumphant performance at the Tianjin Grand Theatre, part of the theatre’s inaugural season.   For their last concert in China, the Hallé programmed works with a particularly English flavor: Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, Britten Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra and Elgar Symphony No.1. During the first half of the concert, the Hallé was joined by English soprano Elizabeth Bailey to perform the world premiere of an orchestral art song by English composer Andrew Webb-Mitchell, The Inspiration of Night.

The Hallé, of course, are no strangers to giving world premieres by English composers. In 1908, they gave the first performance of Elgar’s first symphony under Hans Richter and in 1953 the orchestra premiered Vaughan Williams Sinfonia Antartica. On this occasion, Webb-Mitchell’s art song was given star treatment by Sir Mark Elder, bringing out much of the song’s delicate orchestral contours before shaping the music into a breathtaking climax. Soprano Elizabeth Bailey was in equally fine form, soaring above the orchestral pyrotechnics with a bright and insightful reading of Joanna Boulter’s text.

The Hallé tour was sponsored by the Manchester Airports Group (MAG) and UK Trade and Investment, in a bid to promote business in the North West region. The concert at the Tianjin Grand Theatre was attended by the British Ambassador to China, Sebastian Wood.