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Matthew Hindson’s A Comedy of Errors Premieres in Sarasota

Apr. 22, 2022

A brand-new ballet score from Australian composer Matthew Hindson was premiered on March 25-27 by The Sarasota Ballet, who commissioned the piece. Choreography is by Sir David Bintley and the piece is conducted by Paul Murphy – both longstanding collaborators with Hindson. The designs are by Dick Bird.

A Comedy of Errors, after Shakespeare’s comedy, is Hindson’s third ballet score, and his first evening-length dance score; it is in two parts and runs for 95 minutes. It is also his first narrative ballet. His previous dance works: Symphony No 2: E=mc² (2009) and Faster (2011) were both abstract in character and choreographed by Sir David Bintley. They toured extensively, receiving performances across the UK, Australia, and Japan.

It is not Hindson’s first encounter with William Shakespeare as a source of musical inspiration  – 2016’s Scenes from Romeo and Juliet for saxophone quartet evoked the tale of the star-crossed lovers. In A Comedy of Errors, Hindson relished the musical challenge of “telling one of Shakespeare’s stories without any words”, as well as writing the music for a rave scene at the end of Act I (“I always enjoy referring to that sort of thing”, Hindson adds). Audiences can look out for some musical jokes, too: Hindson has borrowed some moments from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and altered them to comic ends.

Hindson said of the commission: “It’s really something quite special to be writing a piece for Sarasota Ballet for their 20th birthday. That level of commitment from a company is quite touching – I’ve been really proud to be involved.”

A Comedy of Errors has also received outstanding critical acclaim. Stone Meredith of The Ballet Herald said: "Musically, the active, complex score leveraged comedic tones from all instruments, most obviously the brass section." He continued, "Often, it was hard to separate the choreography from the music, due, no doubt, to the genuine relationship between Sir David Bintley and Hindson."  Carrie Seidman of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune praised Hindson's "...diverse, eclectic score" and said, "The world's newest story ballet is a fun, funny, foible-filled and fantastic romp that erases all thoughts of war and despots, plague and politics, and replaces them with a sumptuous feast for the senses and sunny solace for the soul."

To learn more about Matthew Hindson, visit:

Matthew Hindson
A Comedy of Errors (2022)
ballet for orchestra
2(2.pic+afl).2( tbn).btbn.1-timp(with piccolo timp)-2perc:sml hi-hat/drum kit/med hi-hat/cowbell/tamb/congas/tom-t/BD/xyl/vib/tgl/glsp/shaker/SD/wdbl/vibraslap/cabasa/bongos/sleigh bells/cyms/guiro/whip/agogo (or high cowbells)/police whistle/cast(or wdbl)/flexatone-pno-str