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World Premiere of John Casken's Madonna of Silence

Feb. 01, 2019

World Premiere of John Casken's <em>Madonna of Silence</em>

On February 28, the Hallé Orchestra, led by Jamie Phillips, perform the world premiere of John Casken's Madonna of Silence at The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. Casken's new work was composed for the Hallé's principal trombonist, Katy Jones. John Casken describes his work:

"Madonna of Silence is far from the quiet piece implied by the title. Indeed, it reflects the inner turbulence of Michelangelo’s extraordinary drawing 'Madonna del Silenzio' on which the work is based. Michelangelo’s drawing has informed every aspect of my new work, which I have decided not to call it a trombone concerto, but a drama for trombone and orchestra. The trombone takes on many roles: at the start it represents the quiet, inner voice of the Madonna as she gazes in contemplation at the child, later singing a hymn and, towards the end of the work, lamentations. Both soloist and orchestra are equally engaged in the unfolding drama of a scene brimming with unease and premonitions."

(John Casken and Katy Jones on 'The Madonna of Silence') 

To learn more about John Casken, visit

John Casken
Madonna of Silence (2017-2018)
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