William Howard Love Songs Project
Up to date information about William Howard's Love Song Project is now available on a new website
Sixteen Contemporary Love Songs for solo piano
Album released on 1 June 2018
Orchid Classics ORC100083 (2018)
Premiere recordings of love songs for solo piano by Nico Muhly, Judith Weir, Richard Reed Parry, Howard Skempton, Elena Kats-Chernin, Cheryl Frances-Hoad and others, all expressions of love of some kind. Full track list
Sixteen Love Songs for solo piano
Album released on 2 June 2016
Orchid Classics (ORC100056)
The pieces in this collection are all songs, some originally written for piano and others arranged. They are all expressions of love of some kind and thus share common ground with a huge body of folk and popular music. The sixteen love songs in this collection are all beautifully constructed examples of ‘art’ music, written throughout the nineteenth century or at the beginning of the twentieth by composers who had a great understanding of the expressive possibilities of the piano and the power to seduce the listener. Some of them have become massively well known through film scores or TV ads, or even become popular songs in an adapted form. The repertoire includes four Liszt song arrangements and original piano works by Dvořák, Suk, Fauré, Granados and others.
Love Song Composing Competition (2016)
Patron: Judith Weir CBE, Master of the Queen’s Music
The pieces on William Howard’s Album Sixteen Love Songs were all written between a hundred and two hundred years ago. What would their 21st century equivalents sound like? His competition aimed to encourage contemporary responses to the timeless and universal genre of the love song in the form of short piano pieces. It ran from June to October 2016 and received 526 entries from 61 countries. Entrants were divided into two categories – over-25 and under-25 and
were invited to write a ‘memorable, individual and truly contemporary piece’ for solo
piano that can be described as a love song. Pieces had to be of maximum four
minutes’ duration. The winning composer in each category received a cash prize
and a professional video recording of their piece. The winning pieces and two other
pieces in each category were premiered by William at a concert at Hoxton Hall,
London on Wednesday 26 April 2017. William Howard was joined on the judging
panel by Judith Weir, Piers Hellawell, Bernard Hughes and Howard Skempton.
Details of all prize winers can be found here
Listen the the winning piece in the Over-25 category here
Listen the the winning piece in the Under-25 category here
As well as setting up his competition, William Howard has also commissioned further Love Songs from leading composers from the UK and abroad, such as Judith Weir, Nico Muhly, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Arcade Fore's Richard Reed Parry and many more. Their brief was to write a piece for solo piano of 3-5 minutes’ duration that could be described as a love song. Through the timeless genre of the love song – one commonly associated with pop, folk and music from other cultures – it is hoped these new works will create a repertoire that draws in a wide audience for contemporary music and stimulates both awareness of the varied musical languages of living composers and discussion about their approaches to composition.
Fourteen new commissions were premiered by William Howard in 2016 and 2017.
Trailer video for Sixteen Love Songs album