Ronald Corp

Conductor & Composer

2011_012011 – Ronald Corp: 60th Birthday Year!

Classic FM

During a particularly harsh winter, on 4 January, 2011 at 7.00pm, Classic FM presented a Full Works programme to celebrate Ron’s Birthday, hosted by Jane Jones.  The pieces played were mainly from his European Light Music Classics disc, also from the British Light Music Classics series and his Prokofiev CD.  Download the full programme pdf transcript.

Full Programme  PDF Transcript Download



The premiere of Dhammapada at Village Underground in Shoreditch in February marked the launch of the CD in a transfiguring atmosphere of candles and fairylights courtesy of Vignette Productions; Apsara performed the work again in June in a programme of complementary pieces by Holst, Rubbra and Alwyn at St. Martin-in-the-Fields; a third performance took place by The London Chorus on 10 November at St. Alban’s, Holborn – a first outing for the full chorus version.  CD  Excerpts  Video  Score  Reviews  Press Release

String Quartets No. 1 ‘The Bustard’ and No. 2

In March, Naxos released their Maggini Quartet recording of the String Quartets Nos. 1 and 2 coupled with the satirical song-cycle, Country Matters, for tenor (Mark Wilde) and string trio.  Ron describes the latter as ‘variously poignant and riotously outrageous’, while the Quartets fuse post-minimalist devices with the English pastoral tradition and share substantial, expressive slow movements and scherzos in fast, motoric triple-time.  Critics have singled out for comment the slow movement of No. 1 (mesto semplice), admiring its evocation of a nocturnal Salisbury Plain, its elements of folksong and its alternation of fraught, troubled episodes with generous outpourings of ‘restorative’ melody.  CD  More Info (No.1)  More Info (No. 2)  Scores  Reviews

2011_03Overseas Choral Tours

On the choral front, there was a substantial tour with The London Chorus to South Africa in March-April (Vivaldi’s Gloria, Fauré’s Requiem, Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony), and another with Highgate Choral Society to Budapest in May for a main concert of Handel, Parry, Liszt, Dyson and Byrd.

Forever Child

With spring well afoot, the memorial cycle Forever Child (‘Seven Songs of Childhood’) was sung by The National Youth Choir and NYCGB Junior Choirs under Mike Brewer in Birmingham Symphony Hall in April.  CD  Excerpts  Score  Reviews


2011_04Missa San Marco

The simple and affecting Missa San Marco, originally written for Highgate Choral Society to perform at St. Mark’s, Venice in 2003, was programmed as part of Eucharist at the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music by the Choir of Her Majesty’s Savoy Chapel in May.  CD   Excerpts   Score  Concert Archive

The Ice Mountain

During the same Festival, the children’s opera, The Ice Mounain, received its third performance by the New London Children’s Choir, and this tied in with the release of the CD on Naxos.  Says Ronald Corp: ‘The tale is a haunting one and very poignant, and I was drawn by the mystical element in the story…’  CD   Excerpts   Score   Concert Archive

2011_05String Quartet No.3

The summer saw the première of  his new String Quartet No. 3 played by the Wihan Quartet on 23 June as part of the Proms at St. Jude’s in Hampstead Garden Suburb.  In just three movements, ‘lighter in texture and mood’ than Quartets 1 and 2, and with a Scherzo embedded in an unashamedly tuneful slow movement, the Quartet concluded with a witty and jokey finale which prompted loud and prolonged applause.  CD  Excerpts  Score  Concert Archive

And All the Trumpets Sounded

Ron’s first major choral work, written in 1988, was recorded in June by The London Chorus with members of Highgate Choral Society and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.  ‘My piece focuses on war, the dead and the trumpets of the last judgement.’  It was released on the Dutton Epoch label in late 2011, coupled with music by Michael Hurd.  CD  Excerpts  Score  Reviews

Live on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune

Ronald Corp discussed his life and work live on Radio 3’s In Tune with Sean Rafferty on Thursday 7 July.  Mark Stone (baritone) and Sholto Kynoch (piano) performed Sleep, The Owl and the Pussycat and The Irish Pig live on air – all available on The Songs of Ronald Corp CD.  Excerpts (Sleep)  Video  Score (Sleep)  Other Song Scores  Reviews

‘St. Peter Port’ from Guernsey Postcards was also played, with Ron conducting the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.   CD  Excerpts  Score  Reviews  Photo

2011_part02_02The Wayfarer (in homage to Mahler)

On Saturday 9 July, 2011 Ronald Corp celebrated his birthday at the Royal Festival Hall with performances of two substantial choral works, And All the Trumpets Sounded and the première of The Wayfarer (In homage to Mahler), plus Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana.  The event was organised by Highgate Choral Society who joined forces with the London Chorus and New London Children’s Choir to drench the stage with their myriad of brightly-coloured  shirts and blouses and blazon forth the festive atmosphere.  He conducted the New London Orchestra before an enthusiastic audience and standing ovations.  See photo, left.

In a pre-concert event he was interviewed on the RFH stage by Richard Morrison when he discussed his early musical influences, how he became a conductor, and how the darker aspects of Mahler’s sensibility are rather at odds with his own essentially optimistic outlook.  Score  Concert Archive


2011_part02_03The Music of Whitman

On Sunday 24 July, Mark Stone gave the first live performance of the song-cycle, The Music of Whitman, with Stephen Barlow, piano, at the Tardebigge English Song Festival in Worcestershire, following very favourable reviews of the CD recording.  CD  Excerpts  Score  Concert Archive  Reviews

Never weather-beaten Sail

Moving into the autumn, Ronald Corp made a setting of Thomas Campion’s poem Never weather-beaten Sail as an Advent anthem which was directed by Michael Cayton at St. John’s Wood Church on 3 September.  This was also recorded by Apsara for release on CD in 2012.  CD  ExcerpScore

Ambapali’s Song

Cantamus Girls’ Choir gave ‘Ambapali’s Song’ a second public performance on 1 October at St. John’s, Smith Square.  The piece is, in fact, an arrangement of the second section of a longer work, Songs of the Elder Sisters, based on ancient texts from the time of the Buddha.  Scored for mezzo-soprano, alto flute, clarinet and viola, the entire cycle was subsequently recorded in 2012.  Excerpt  Score

The Music of Browning

The cycle of five songs, The Music of Browning, had its première by Robert Presley (baritone) and Andrew Robinson (piano) on 16 October as part of a programme entitled ‘A Robert Browning Songbook’ at the Little Venice Music Festival.  Score  Concert Archive

Laudate Dominum

A new commission from the Musicians Benevolent Fund, the anthem Laudate Dominum, was performed at the St. Cecilia Service in Westminster Cathedral on 23 November by the massed choirs of Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral and St. Paul’s Cathedral under the direction of  Martin Baker.  Excerpt  Score  Concert Archive

See 60th Birthday Concert details in Archive

Read ‘A Life-long Composer’

List of Works and Sales Pages

In the autumn-winter of 2011, several more Christmas carol originals or arrangements by Ronald Corp were published by this website.  By that time, the list comprised:

All My Heart this Night Rejoices
Carol of the Nativity
Go, tell it on the Mountain (SATB)
Go, tell it on the Mountain (SA)
The Huron Carol
I Sing of a Maiden
Never weather-beaten Sail (Advent anthem)
O My Dear Heart
Our Blessed Lady’s Lullaby
People, Look East! (Advent carol)
Silent Night
The Wexford Carol
We Wish You a Merry Christmas