To mark 100 years since the birth of Harpurhey’s most famous son, MIF presented a special concert celebrating his words and music. Anthony Burgess may be best known as the writer of A Clockwork Orange, but he was also a prolific composer, writing more than 250 works in a multitude of styles.

For MIF17, acclaimed composer Raymond Yiu set text from six Burgess poems into The World Was Once All Miracle, a major symphonic song cycle given its world premiere by brilliant baritone Roderick Williams and the BBC Philharmonic. The concert also featured the first European performance of Burgess’s own Symphony in C, along with a work by a composer whose music has influenced Yiu, Burgess and every other symphonist of the last two centuries: Beethoven’s Symphony No.8.

‘Sung with his usual beauty of tone and immaculate attention to detail by baritone Roderick Williams’ The Guardian

‘It has some juicy orchestration and, conducting, Michael Francis brought glitter and bombast to its swelling climaxes and whimsical interludes… There’s wonderful ingenuity to Yiu’s writing’ The Times

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Commissioned and produced by Manchester International Festival, the International Anthony Burgess Foundation and the BBC Philharmonic.

Photo: Raymond Yiu in London, UK, February 2017
© Donald Christie

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