The Viola Commissioning Circle
Viola Commissioning Circle

Lockdown Commissions Various Composers

A number of short pieces for unaccompanied viola were commissioned to respond to the exceptional circumstances of the Covid-19 epidemic. 

The following composers agreed to participate:

  • Huw Watkins
  • Garth Knox
  • Esa-Pekka Salonen
  • Cassandra Miller
  • Martyn Brabbins
  • William Marsey
  • Erkki-Sven Tüür
  • Héloïse Werner
  • Olli Mustonen
  • Thomas Larcher

Commissioned by The Viola Commissioning Circle with five commissions generously supported by Nicholas and Judith Goodison

Each piece was filmed at a different location and then released on social media:

Lockdown Commission #1 'Power' by Huw Watkins was filmed on the roof of St John's Smith Square and released on Instagram and YouTube on 5 June 2020

Lockdown Commission #2 'Quartet for One' by Garth Knox was filmed in the Royal Festival Hall and released on Instagram and YouTube on 26 June 2020

Lockdown Commission #3 'Objets Trouvés' by Esa-Pekka Salonen was filmed in the Queen's Hall, Edinburgh and was released on the EIF website on 8 August 2020 and subsequently on Lawrence Power's Instagram and YouTube channels

Lockdown Commission #4 'Daylonging, Slacktide' by Cassandra Miller was filmed in and around Snape Maltrings and was released on Instagram and YouTube on 6 August 2020

Lockdown Commission #5 'Matchless Space' by Martyn Brabbins was filmed in the London Coliseum and was released on Instagram and YouTube on 1 November 2020

Lockdown Commission #6 'This Poor Room' by William Marsey was filmed at Lawrence Power's home in London and was released on Instagram and YouTube on 25 December 2020

Lockdown Commission #7 'Locked in C' by Erkki-Sven Tüür was filmed in the Wigmore Hall and was released on Instagram and YouTube on 13 April 2021

Lockdown Commission #8 'mixed phrases' by Héloïse Werner was filmed at The Asylum, Peckham and was released on Instagram and YouTube on 31 July 2021

Lockdown Commission #9 'Eroico' by Olli Mustonen was filmed at the Padstow Boatyard and was released on Instagram and Youtube on 30 September 2023

The Lockdown Commissions were nominated for a Southbank Sky Arts Award in 2020. 

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During lockdown, viola player Lawrence Power commissioned ten short pieces, all to be filmed in venues currently vacated as a result of the Coronavirus crisis. Aside from being creatively fascinating, the films have also proved a poignant exploration of the relationship between an artist - necessarily performing solo - and a location more usually encountered as place of shared musical experience.

Gramophone Magazine