News & events

June 2024

Contemporary music poster

In my last issue I reported on the progress of the new CD featuring my 3rd Symphony recorded by John Wilson and the Sinfonia of London. Iím pleased to say that it is now being broadcast further afield. Although it isnít easy to track all of its exposure I have picked up that it is being broadcast quite frequently in the Netherlands, the U.S.A., Italy, Germany and even Australia. Interestingly, the Netherlands in particular, are happy to broadcast the whole work whereas in others including the U.K. it tends to be one movement Ė usually the 2nd tempo di waltz. I would be very grateful if followers felt they could write in to Classic FM and the BBC to request the piece.

The Academy of Great St. Maryís will be performing the 3rd Symphony on the 28th September as part of the Cambridge University Alumni Festival and I will be giving a pre-performance talk about the inspiration for the piece (composed during lockdown) Following on from this, I have been invited by the Waltham Forest Recorded Music Society to give a talk about Ďmy journeyí as a composer and conductor. It will also give me the opportunity to introduce the music by composers who have influenced me.

This, of course, will include my teacher, Lennox Berkeley and I am pleased to report that I was re-elected as chair of the Lennox Berkeley Society at their recent A.G.M.

Another result from the release of the CD, is that I have taken on a new mature composition student who already works in the commercial sector. He is keen to develop music for the concert hall and we have already had some interesting discussions. Please let me know if I can be of help!

I have almost finished my Nocturne for choir and Orchestra and I have illustrated the words of Blakeís poem To the Evening Star. Iím hoping that this will be ready to be premiered in December.

March 2024

I’m pleased to be able to report that the new Chandos CD featuring my 3rd symphony and works by Ravel and Berkeley has been very well received by listeners and critics alike. The CD has been reviewed by The Gramophone, Guardian, Sunday Times and the British Music Society and many others in the UK and worldwide. These have been overwhelmingly positive about the music and the brilliant playing of the Sinfonia of London under their conductor John Wilson.

The CD was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 three times including on Essential Classics. I also discovered that Movt 2 (tempo di waltz) was featured on Dutch Radio so I wouldnít be surprised if it has been broadcast more widely.

The album went straight to number 1 in the Specialist Classical Charts!

Chandos Records tweet

Since I last wrote in February, I have become a member of the British Music Society who are going to run my article Only the Notes You Need in their journal. CAM (the alumni magazine for Cambridge) are also featuring my years of study and there will also be an article published by Trinity Hall. I have also been invited to give a lecture at the Waltham Forest Music Society in March 2025.

I now have a Wikipedia page that has been set up by someone unknown (to whom Iím most grateful) and Iím pleased to say that it links me to my teacher, Lennox Berkeley. I now feature on his website as one of his students.

I have just started a new piece commissioned by the Stapleford Choral Society to celebrate their 40th year. I have conducted them for the last 15 years. Iím really pleased to have been asked to do this and I will be setting words by William Blake and employing a chamber orchestra.

Conducting continues to keep me busy too. On Saturday, 16th March the AGSM gave a wonderful performance of Shostakovich 5. The concert, in Great St. Maryís was very well attended and Iím pleased to report that audiences seem to be getting larger all the time and the orchestra has also had an influx of new players. The Stapleford Choral Society has also increased in size and I will be conducting them again on Saturday 23rd March. At our Christmas concert we gave a very successful performance of part 1 of Bachís Christmas Oratorio.

February 2024

Pounds Symphony No. 3 album cover

The new CD of my 3rd symphony was released on 2nd February (physical) and 9th February (streaming and download). It has had a favourable review by Classical Music Daily. The Tempo di Waltz (track 10 on the CD) was played on Essential Classics on BBC Radio 3 on the morning of the streaming release.

It has also been highlighted a great deal by other websites including You Tube, Spotify and other CD outlets across the globe. You can find the album through any of these links:

There are snippets available here and a single of the 4th movement of the ‘Tombeau De Couperin’ by Ravel. The other featured work is the Divertimento in Bb by my teacher, Lennox Berkeley.

I will be conducting several concerts this term including the 5th symphony by Shostakovich and Mozart’s ‘Coronation Mass’.

Since my last report in November, I have conducted two concerts over the Christmas period. The first one was with the Academy of Great St. Mary’s and featured the premiere of my 4th symphony. As way of introduction, I thought that it would be a good idea to publish below the programme note supplied by my wife, Dinah.

The symphony was very well received and before the performance, I gave a short talk to the audience about the way I approached its composition and providing some background about why I became a composer.

Wishing you all a happy new year.

Symphony no. 4 (variations)

Adam Pounds (b.1954)
  1. Molto Largo-allegro-Largo-tempo primo
  2. Largo
  3. Intermezzo-allegro moderato
  4. Lento-allegro-lento-allegro

Pounds’ fourth symphony was composed between December 2022 and March 2023 about a year after the third. It has the subtitle variations but these are not variations in the normal sense but rather that the whole of the symphony is derived from a single motif built on the notes G Bb A and D which is extended and developed throughout the work.

Like the third symphony, the fourth is more concerned with the music’s emotive impact rather than being programmatic and explores many musical techniques including fugal writing and rhythmic devices. The orchestra is fairly large unlike the third symphony which employs a classical sized orchestra with parts for timpani, two horns and two trumpets. The fourth employs 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, a tuba and an extended percussion section. There is also a part for the cor anglaise (featured in the slow movement)

The first movement opens with a sombre theme evoking a mysterious atmosphere with underlying unease. It is introduced by the cellos and basses and is soon taken up by the other strings punctuated by utterances from the woodwind that lead to a semi-climax before the introduction of a chorale-like figure in the brass. This figure is to reappear in movements two and four. After a return of the opening material, the second section starts with a driving allegro that fluctuates between 12/8, 9/8, 7/8 and 6/8. There is much use of cross-rhythm and the music is relentless in its impetus. The second subject is then introduced and is more lyrical in character. After much development, the slow music from the opening returns. The second allegro (tempo primo) introduces a scherzando figure based on fourths and employs solo winds and strings Ė this drives to the re-statement of the second subject. Following the recapitulation there is a triumphant coda which draws the movement to a close.

The second movement (largo) can be considered the emotional heart of the symphony. The main motif is introduced on a solo cor anglaise as a lonely figure accompanied by very light orchestration. There follows a strong harmonic figure in the strings which is full of pathos. This develops into a robust, almost Brucknerian figure by the whole orchestra before retiring to a section for solo cellos and violins. This is followed by the brass chorale drawn from the first movement. After a brief interlude, the Brucknerian figure returns but this time it is extended. As before, there is another solo section but this time featuring solo violin and flute. The chorale section then returns for the final time followed by an adagio which is strange and ethereal in nature. The movement ends with a quotation of the opening bars of the Engelkonzert from Hindemith’s ‘Mathis Der Maler’,Hindemith being one of the composers with whom Pounds has a strong empathy.

The Intermezzo owes a little to the ‘Presentando le coppie’found in Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra in that the wind instruments are presented in pairs and the movement has a scherzando feel about it. However, the light mood is later challenged when the music builds to a great climax in the brass and returns to a slow central section (agitato) that features canonic material and an extended soli passage for the first violins. The music then concludes with the allegro which builds to a final emphatic cadence.

Movement 4 (lento) builds on all the previous movements drawing them into a passionate and assertive finale to the symphony. It begins with what appears to be a ground bass and features a solo horn. There then follows a fanfare in the brass and a build up in tension which is released by the upper wind stating the main theme over a rapid bass line. After some development, the music reaches a short slow section (Lento) which returns to the brass chorale figure. The allegro is then resumed and the coda of the movement becomes more and more intense until the timpani imitates the brass fanfares and the music draws to an assertive conclusion.

Pounds' third symphony, composed at the height of the lockdown was recorded last year by John Wilson and the Sinfonia of London and is released in February 2024 on Chandos Records CHAN 5324.

Dinah Pounds

November 2023

Since the publication of The Wilson Effect in April this year events regarding the recording of my third symphony have moved on.

I have recently been sent the CD liner notes written by Prof. Mervyn Cooke (Nottingham University) who has a strong reputation for his musicology, articles and books. Prof. Cooke has produced a very interesting and lively read showing the connections between mentor and pupils which is very evident in the three recorded pieces. It is very well researched and worthy of attention.

I have also received the first audio edit of the new disc and it is a joy to listen to. I am particularly pleased with John Wilson’s interpretation of my work. Every phrase is considered and meaningful and in the slow movement (Elegy) in particular, John turns the music into pure poetry. I am very thankful for the great effort put into the project by all those concerned. I am sure that listeners will find the CD a very satisfying listen.

The official release date of the CD is the 2nd February 2024 with the digital release on the 9th February.

As well as the recording, I have continued composing and revising earlier work. In June, I conducted a performance of my London Cantata which had gone through a little revision. It was very well received by a capacity audience in Sawston (near Cambridge) where it was performed for the first time in July 2017.

My new fourth symphony was completed in April 2023 and I started rehearsing it with the Academy of Great St. Mary’s in September. It is in four movements and like the third symphony has a recurring motif, this time voiced in the brass. I have also reverted to the larger orchestra with a full brass section and percussion. The character of the piece is in turns introspective and energetic with a playful third movement that features the woodwind.

We will give the first performance of the 4th Symphony on Sunday 10th December (7.30pm) at Great St. Mary’s Church, Cambridge.

May 2022

Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra
Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra

Earlier in the month, I had the great pleasure of attending a performance of my Northern Picture given by the excellent Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Robert Guy.

The ’Phil played very well in a concert that also included a notable performance of The Sea by Frank Bridge. The Northern Picture was brilliantly played and very well received by audience and players alike and I have been invited back to collaborate further with the orchestra.

Conductor Robert Guy (left) with Adam Pounds
Conductor Robert Guy (left)
with Adam Pounds

The whole project came about as the principal horn, Bob Shaw, is a colleague who used to play for me in the Nelson Orchestra in Waltham Forest. I really enjoyed my visit to Huddersfield and I am grateful for the kind words and hospitality given by the orchestra.

Arrangements for the recording of my new work, the 3rd Symphony are developing at a pace. The recording will take place in November 2022 and will be recorded by John Wilson and the Sinfonia of London for Chandos Records. I am incredibly excited about this as the Sinfonia of London and John Wilson have a tremendous reputation for brilliant performances and in particular their beautiful and compelling string sound.

One of the other works on the disc will be the Divertimento in Bb by my teacher, Sir Lennox Berkeley. This is a fine work and you can read more about it in my article Strange Beauty that I wrote for the Lennox Berkeley Journal.

March 2022

It’s been a difficult time for us all but I’m pleased to report that I’ve continued to compose and I have produced a major work, my third symphony. In ‘Articles’ you will find a full description. It is yet to have its premiere but this will be programmed in due course. The piece is also scheduled to be recorded later this year by the Sinfonia of London under their conductor, John Wilson. This is an exciting prospect and I look forward to it. I am at present producing the orchestral parts – always an intense undertaking that takes me back to my B.B.C. days as a music copyist.

Before this, I have a performance in Huddersfield of my Northern Picture by the Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra. I’m really looking forward to this and it will take place on the 7th May at Huddersfield Town Hall. You can find details here.

The Lake District and in particular, the Castlerigg Stone Circle in Cumbria were the inspiration for this tone-poem. The ancient stone circle was the venue for religious ceremonies, festivals and trading. These images are represented at various stages in the ‘journey’ of the tone-poem.

In September, I had a performance of my ‘Interludes’ from Syn. In January my Violin Sonata was performed in Cambridge and on the 26th March, my Violin Concerto was performed by the Academy of Great St. Mary’s with David Richmond as soloist.

I will send more news as I get it and endeavour to keep my concert calendar up-to-date!

New CD Sonata released

January 2021

I realise that it has been some time since I last posted on my website and yet time seems to have slipped by very quickly. During the present pandemic it’s important to try to keep busy and as well as the opportunity to carry out some much needed D.I.Y., I have been working on any musical activity that is possible. I have continued to chair meetings of the Lennox Berkeley Society on ‘Zoom’ and we have managed to support several recording projects. Of course, the outlook for musicians at present is pretty bleak, especially for orchestras and even more so for choirs. I did manage to stage two orchestral rehearsals before the present lockdown with substantially reduced forces and these were welcome and successful.

Dinah and I have used the time to produce our second CD, ‘Sonata’. It is a collection of Baroque music with the addition of a work by C.P.E. Bach. We manged to record it in Cambridge just before lockdown and I have been sending out the CDs, which are available for purchase from the shop. It will also be available on line very soon.

John France has reviewed the disc for the MusicWeb International website.

I will post again soon and until then, keep safe and well.

CD Time released

June 2020

Time album cover

I hope all you are all keeping well during this pandemic.

I have taken this opportunity to put together a new compilation CD called Time which you can purchase via this website and soon to be released as a download. The recording features chamber music by myself and my teacher, Sir Lennox Berkeley.

Some of the tracks including my second string quartet and my arrangement of three pieces by Lennox Berkeley have been released before but new to the disc are my Sonatina for flute and piano, the Clarinet Quintet and Time for voice and chamber ensemble.

Chamber music is very likely to be the way forward out of lockdown before we see big orchestral concerts again so I thought that the release of this work would be very appropriate.

You can listen to a ‘taster’ of the CD on my YouTube channel. I also include the complete programme notes in the discography. I hope you enjoy it.

Although it can be difficult to focus during this period, I’ve managed to complete the composition of a flute sonata that has turned out well and I look forward to its premiere in due course.

Concerts are of course on hold at the moment but that hasn’t stopped me rehearsing with Dinah in readiness for concert performances of the flute and guitar repertoire and I have also taken up the oboe again and really enjoying the challenge of getting back to a decent standard.

Music is certainly a great comfort in these times.

Premiere performance of Symphony No. 2 and YouTube release

October 2019

The Academy of Great St. Mary's conducted by Adam Pounds poster

September was a very eventful month. The first performance of my second symphony took place at Great St. Mary’s Church, Cambridge to a capacity audience. I’m pleased to report that it went down very well with public and performers alike. The first movement represents the hustle-and-bustle of city life (I moved back into the city two years ago). You can watch the first movement being performed in the church.

The second movement is a ‘Nocturne’ but again alludes to city rather than a pastoral environment. This is followed by relentless ‘Tarantella’ and the finale is both celebratory and ‘driven’ in its style. I have plans to make a good recording of this new work together with my Sinfonietta which was an early attempt at symphonic style.

You can read a review of Symphony No. 2 by John France on his Land of Lost Content blog.

The whole of Symphony No. 2 has been recorded and released on my YouTube channel:

Chloe Hanslip starred as our concerto soloist in the third violin concerto by Mozart. She gave a beautiful performance and it was a real pleasure working with her. This was third time that Chloe had worked with us and there are plans for her to return in 2021.

Leading up to the concert, I was interviewed by Cambridge 105 radio and you can listen to the interview here.

As you can see, I have another concert on the 8 December. Dinah and I performed a lunchtime recital (flute and guitar) at St. Bride’s, Fleet Street on the 19th November.

January 2019

Symphony by Adam Pounds album cover

2018 was an eventful year. In September I recorded both my London Cantata and my first Symphony. The latter work was composed in 1985 and I have revised the work twice. The present version is now available on my latest disc and as a download from all the usual outlets.

I am now working on my second symphony and as I write, I can confirm that the first movement is complete. This is a very rhythmic movement full of driving motifs and opportunities for the different sections of the orchestra to excel. To this end, it contains little in the way of solos but concentrates on the families of instruments. However, the slow movement will feature a solo saxophone.

I’ve conducted a number of concerts during the year. The Stapleford Choral Society continues to develop and this term we will be performing Haydn’s Heiligemesse on Saturday 23rd March.

The Academy of Great St. Mary’s has also had an interesting and varied year. In September, we performed the Divertimento by Lennox Berkeley as part of our programme. This is an excellent piece in four movements and I have written an article about this work which is being published in the Lennox Berkeley Society Journal. It will then be available on my website.

My next concert with the Academy of Great St. Mary’s is on Saturday 16th February 2019 and will feature Beethoven’s second symphony and the ‘Pulcinella’ suite by Stravinsky.

Left quote Pounds’ essay is characterised by interest, excellent orchestration and traditional form. It is well-played on this recording by the Academy of Great St Mary’s conducted by the composer. Right quote

— John France, Musicweb International. You can read the full review of my latest disc on Music Web International.

London Cantata by Adam Pounds receives premiere in Cambridge

London Cantata poster

As a Londoner, I have always been fascinated by the city’s history and life and after the composition of his London Festival Overture for the Waltham Forest Arts Festival (commissioned by Greater London Arts), it was only a matter of time before I would set some London poetry to music. This piece was especially composed for the combined forces of the Academy of Great St. Mary’s and the Stapleford Choral Society. The work is scored for a standard symphony orchestra, S.A.T.B. choir and a baritone soloist.

The piece opens in celebratory mood setting the words of William Dunbar a 16th century poet and the music has traces of Walton’s influence in it. However, it isn’t long before the music turns to a more reflective mood and we hear the words of George Eliot’s In a London Drawing Room. This really explains the idea behind the work in that we scratch the polished veneer of the great city and we find a vast array of lifestyle, history opulence and poverty.

The solo baritone conveys the loneliness that can be experienced even in a crowded environment and he plays his part as the ghost in Shadwell Stairs by Wilfred Owen and also features in Upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth. Between the Wordsworth and the Owen I have inserted a short orchestral interlude. The theme of this is based on the famous Westminster Chimes. This is appropriate as the chimes although strongly associated with London were composed in 1793 for a new clock that was installed in Great St. Mary’s, Cambridge. The piece concludes with the words of the Amy Levy who was the first Jewish woman to study at Cambridge University.  Her evocative poem A March Day in London provides some beautiful descriptive lines.

This is a piece to be enjoyed by all but will probably have even deeper meaning for anyone who has lived in or loves our capital city. If you would like to come, tickets can be found on line at:

I was very busy in 2016 with a number of concerts and projects. In January, my violin sonata was performed in Cambridge by David Richmond and David Silkoff and well received. Following on from this, the Academy of Great St. Mary’s gave a performance that included Haydn’s ‘Drumroll’ symphony, Dvorak’s Czech suite and Bartok’s Romanian Dances. I was also busy at this time overseeing  the recording of Lennox Berkeley’s Stabat Mater at Aldeburgh. The disc is now available and well worth a listen. The main work in the AGSM concert in the summer was the fourth symphony by Brahms. The programme also included a performance of my Life Cycle. This was very exciting as the work employs a large percussion section.

Adam Pounds with ChloŽ Hanslip (centre) and David Richmond (right)
Adam Pounds with ChloŽ Hanslip (centre) and David Richmond (right)

Perhaps the highlight of 2016 was the opportunity for me to work with the international violinist ChloŽ Hanslip again. We were very pleased that she returned to give a stunning performance of Saint-Saen’s third violin concerto with David Richmond (leader). We were performing to a capacity audience in Great St. Mary’s and they were keen to show their appreciation. The orchestra also gave a lovely performance of the New World Symphony by Dvorak.

The Stapleford Choral Society are also making great progress. We have boosted our membership and found that concerts in Sawston near Cambridge have proved to be highly successful. In the last couple of months the choir was very busy rehearsing for Christmas and recording their first CD.

The audio extract here is of their performance of Angelus ad pastores ait by Andrea Gabrieli. We managed to sell 108 CDs very quickly!

I am very busy composing a work for choir, baritone soloist and orchestra at the moment. My London Cantata uses the words of famous poets including Owen, Blake, T.S.Eliot and Wordsworth. It is proving quite a task and I’m hoping that it will be ready for its first performance in the summer.

A great deal has happened since I last published my news. Most recently, I have been elected as chairman of the Lennox Berkeley Society. I am very pleased to take up this position and as a former student of Lennox it lets me give something back. Together with the committee we will continue to promote the music of this great English composer.

Adam Pounds with Petroc Trelawny (President of the Lennox Berkeley Society)
Adam Pounds with Petroc Trelawny (President of the Lennox Berkeley Society)

I will be involved in project managing a recording and concert performances of Berkeley’s Stabat Mater. The recording will take place in Aldeburgh with a performance at Blythburgh church followed by performances at the Cheltenham and Spitafields festivals. The performers will be the Marian Consort and the Berkeley Ensemble conducted by David Wordsworth.

I have also been busy conducting and performing as well as preparing my music for sale or hire. Back in December I conducted a performance of my Festival Overture together with Beethoven’s 5th symphony and the beautiful Masques et Bergamasques suite by Faure. I have revised the Festival Overture by developing the final section and re-scoring part of it. It is now available in two versions. One has reduced percussion but with the addition of a piano part.

Nicholas Daniel (soloist) with Adam Pounds and the Academy of Great St. Mary’s after the performance of the Strauss Oboe Concerto
Nicholas Daniel (soloist) with Adam Pounds and the Academy of Great St. Mary’s after the performance of the Strauss Oboe Concerto

In March, Dinah and I gave a recital at St. Bride’s church in London which was well received. Our programme was mainly Baroque on this occasion. The highlight in March was conducting a concert featuring the oboist Nicholas Daniel. Nicholas gave a beautiful performance of the Strauss Oboe Concerto and it was really interesting working with him. He was well supported by the Academy of Great St. Mary’s who played with focus and enthusiasm.

I’m looking forward to my next concert on the 6th June when I will be conducting one of my favourite works – the Fifth Symphony by Vaughan Williams. The programme will also include the Serenade for Strings by Elgar and Weber’s exciting Oberon overture. Closely following this, I will be conducting the German Requiem by Brahms with the Stapleford Choral Society.

Goldfield Ensemble perform premiere of Clarinet Quintet to capacity audience

September has been a very busy month. The first performance of my Clarinet Quintet was given by the Goldfield Ensemble at the Granary, Stapleford. The concert also included works by Milford, Finzi and Brahms. The Goldfields gave a great performance of my new work and I am pleased to say that it was greatly appreciated by a capacity audience. I hope to record the work in the future together with other pieces of my chamber music including the Sextet, the Wind Quintet and my Third String Quartet. In the meantime, you can hear two preview samples of the Clarinet Quintet here.

At the end of September, I conducted a performance of the fourth symphony by Bruckner. This is an amazing work and the Academy of Great St. Mary’s gave a powerful account of the work. The concert also included my Martyrdom of Latimer. This work was composed as a result of commission in 2009 and first performed in Ely Cathedral. It is a programmatic piece that focuses on the life and death of the cleric Hugh Latimer. This was also very well received and the work features on the CD Resurrection.

I have just conducted a fully staged performance of The Soldier’s Tale by Igor Stravinsky at the Stapleford Granary. This is a fascinating but difficult work but the performers rose to the occasion and it was a very enjoyable evening.

I am now looking forward to the Christmas period with several concerts taking place. I will be conducting the Stapleford Choral Society on the 1st November in a programme that includes music by Bruckner, Brahms and Schubert as well as the Foundling Hospital Anthem by Handel. On the 16th November I will be conducting a Baroque programme in Great St. Mary’s, Cambridge and this will be followed by a concert on the 7th December that will include Beethoven’s fifth symphony and my Festival Overture. My final concert before Christmas will be on the 20th December when I will be conducting excerpts from the Christmas Oratorio by Bach, music by Monteverdi and carols.

Academy of Great St. Mary’s and Chloe Hanslip give magnificent Brahms performance

The concerts that took place in December proved to be very successful and in particular, the orchestra of The Academy of Great St. Mary’s performed very well in The Variations on a theme by Haydn.

The highlight, however was in March when the orchestra performed to a capacity audience. The featured work was the Brahms violin concerto with Chloe Hanslip as soloist. Chloe performed magnificently bringing great maturity of style to the work. The orchestra supported her well and I received many positive comments in this respect from the public. Chloe has promised to return and I hope to perform the Barber violin concerto with her.

I was also fortunate to be able to interview Stephen Cleobury. Stephen is the Director of Music at King’s College Chapel, Cambridge. He gave some very interesting insights into the music of Lennox Berkeley and the use of technology. My article will be published in the 2014 Lennox Berkeley Society Journal and is also available here.

There are more dates on the concert calendar including performances of more contemporary pieces such as The Soldier’s Tale by Stravinsky and the Sinfonietta by Lennox Berkeley.

I also continue to give flute and guitar recitals with Dinah and after a successful performance at St. Bride’s, Fleet Street we will be returning there in March 2015.

My most recent composition is a Crucifixus and this will be performed on Good Friday at the University Church, Cambridge. I am presently working on a Clarinet Quintet that will be performed by the Goldfield Ensemble in September.

Lennox Berkeley's Five Short Pieces arranged for Flute & Guitar

Since I last reported, many events have taken place. Most recently, The Academy of Great St. Mary’s gave a wonderful performance of my Gaelic Triptych in September. I have updated the work and it was well-received. My new wind and piano sextet had its first performance in May and I now have plans to record this together with other chamber works for release in 2014.

Flute and Guitar recitals have become a regular feature of my work and we have another three planned for November and December.  In 2012, I arranged three movements from Lennox Berkeley’s Five Short Pieces for Piano op.4 and these have proved popular with audiences. You can hear them on this website or by visiting These pieces also feature on our new CD Entr’acte details of which can be found here.

I continue to be very busy with my conducting engagements with the Academy of Great St. Mary’s and the Stapleford Choral Society and as Christmas approaches the diary is looking very busy. Please look at my events (concert calendar) page for information.

During the year I have presented several courses on the history of music at the new arts centre at Bury Farm, Stapleford. The course Journeys In Music gave an overview of the development of music from the Baroque to the early twentieth century and the other one Music In Our Time concentrated on English music of the early twentieth century. Dinah and I will be giving a recital at Bury Farm on the 11th December. It is an interesting place and their website is worth a visit at:

2014 looks like being another busy year. As well as many other playing and composing engagements, I will be having the pleasure of conducting a performance of the Brahms violin concerto with international soloist Chloe Hanslip in Cambridge on the 22nd March.

Works by Bartok, Stravinsky and Rameau performed

A great deal has happened since my last news update. 2012 proved to be a very productive year and I am pleased to report that both the orchestra and choir that I conduct have both developed tremendously. Last March, I conducted a performance of the Concerto for Orchestra by Bartok and this went very well. Other 20th century works included the Pulcinella suite by Stravinsky. The choir gave an interesting concert in June that included a performance of extracts from Les Indes Galantes by Rameau as well as the Requiem by Faure.

In September, I was particularly pleased to be able to include a performance of my Violin Concerto with David Richmond as soloist. We dedicated the performance to the late Keith Gurry who was a good friend to both David and I. Keith was a long time member of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and I originally composed the concerto for him. During last year, I gave the piece a complete overhaul and there are plans to record it soon.

Compositions this year have included a new carol, Veni, redemptor gentium that was performed at Great St. Mary’s, Cambridge in December and I have just completed a Sextet for flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon and piano for the Berkeley Ensemble.

I have also started giving recitals with my wife Dinah, who is a flautist on a regular basis. We have given four in the last few months and three of these were in Cambridge. The last one, in December was in the church of St. Anne and St. Agnes in the city of London where we gave the first performance of Three Pieces for Flute and Guitar by Lennox Berkeley. I arranged these pieces from the Five Short Pieces for Piano Op.4. They worked well and we have recently recorded them.

Our new Flute and Guitar website is now online, and we have already planned a number of recitals this year.

Time premiere enthusiastically received

Thursday 14th July saw the premiere of my latest work Time, a set of three songs for baritone voice, flute, viola, piano and percussion. I must extend my gratitude to the performers who gave an excellent account of the work that was very enthusiastically received by the audience. It has been requested that there should be another performance before Christmas and this should happen in November. The song cycle has been recorded so it should be available before too long either as a download or CD or both.

My Norfolk Seascape for flute and chamber orchestra was also well-received and Dinah Pounds gave a compelling performance of the work in two concerts in Cambridge. This composition was 'lighter' in style (compared with Time) and has a strong melodic basis. It is also the first time that I have incorporated the harp into my scoring and I found that the combination with the flute together with a small orchestra (strings, solo wind, two horns and timps) just the right balance to 'paint' a picture of the Norfolk coastal landscape. This work has also been recorded.

I will be busy again in the next season when I will be conducting performances of the Concerto for Orchestra by Bartok and The Dream of Gerontius amongst many other works.

New CD Resurrection well received

Resurrection by Academy of Great St. Mary's, conducted by Adam Pounds and Samuel Hayes. Available from Cambridge Recordings

The new CD, Resurrection, has been well received and I am now planning a new recording of smaller-scale works that should be released next year. Please read the full review by John France.

I have two major concerts in June. On the 11th (7.30pm), I will be conducting the Academy of Great St. Mary's at the University Church, Cambridge in a performance of the Enigma Variations by Elgar and the programme will also include the first performance of Norfolk Seascape. This is a rhapsody for solo flute and orchestra. I composed the work for my wife Dinah who will be the soloist. Like most of my music, the piece is programmatic and the opening represents the coast at Thornham in its tranquility and timeless beauty. This is one of our favourite places.

There will be a second performance of the work on the 25th June at the Emmanuel United Reformed Church, Trumpington Street, Cambridge (7.30pm) when I will be conducting a concert that will include two choral pieces by Vaughan Williams - the Serenade To Music and Toward The Unknown Region. I do hope that you can come to one or both of the concerts.

I have just finished composing a piece for voice, flute, viola, piano and percussion. The composition is called Time and I have set the words of Blake, Shakespeare and Shelley. This will be performed on July 14th (7.30pm) in Michaelhouse, Trinity Street, Cambridge. The evening will also feature other music and poetry readings on the subject of time.

I am now busy planning for the new season when I will be conducting some great music including the Concerto for Orchestra by Bartok.

Lennox & Freda out now

Lennox & Freda by Tony Scotland book cover

Lennox & Freda, Tony Scotland's revealing new book about the lives of the composer Sir Lennox Berkeley – with whom Adam studied composition – and his wife Freda Bernstein, was published in November by Michael Russell. More than a biography, this is a portrait of an unconventional marriage and a record of Berkeley's generation and a vanished way of life. Drawing on his own original research, Tony Scotland presents fresh perspectives on the Oxford of Auden and Waugh; the Paris of Stravinsky, Diaghilev and Poulenc; Somerset Maugham's set on the French Riviera; Dylan Thomas, William Glock and Humphrey Searle during the Battle of Britain; Eddie Sackville-West, Tippett, Bliss and Boult at the BBC; and Britten and Pears at Aldeburgh. Find out more, and buy online, at

Academy of Great St. Mary’s concert

The concert given by the Academy of Great St. Mary’s on June 12th was very well received. The programme was varied and included the third performance of The Martyrdom of Latimer where the University Church proved a great venue for accommodating the two off-stage trumpet parts. The players were sited in the two galleries and the effect was exciting and stereophonic.

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The second half of the evening was taken up by a performance of Beethoven’s Eroica symphony. This massive work demands a great deal from the musicians and concentration and artistry were there throughout the performance. The orchestra was formed in 2007 and it has already developed tremendously, taking on some of the ‘trojan horses’ of the repertoire.

There is an exciting season ahead that will include performances of the fifth symphony of Shostakovich and Elgar’s Enigma Variations.

A CD Resurrection that features The Academy of Great St, Mary’s along with the GSM choir will be released soon, and it features my Martyrdom of Latimer and Life Cycle as well as works by Finzi, Elgar and Howells.

This short video clip (left) features The Academy of Great St. Mary’s performing the second movement from the Eroica by Beethoven.

Martyrdom of Latimer and Life Cycle to be released on CD

The Academy of Great St. Mary's
The Academy of Great St. Mary's

The second performance of The Martyrdom of Latimer took place on 20 March in Cambridge, including a performance of Brahms' German Requiem. During the previous few weeks the Academy of Great St. Mary's was involved in some very intensive recording sessions for their new recording Resurrection which will include the Martyrdom of Latimer, Life Cycle, pieces by Elgar and Lennox Berkeley and Lo, the Full Final Sacrifice by Finzi. The vocal works feature the choir of Great St. Mary's under the direction of Samuel Hayes.

• Read the further notes by John France on Land of Lost Content

• The new CD Resurrection is due for release on Cambridge Recordings in June

Martyrdom of Latimer premiere hailed great success

Ely Cathedral

The evening was marked with a first performance of a work especially written for the occasion: The Martyrdom of Latimer by Adam Pounds who was present in the audience. The warmth and enthusiasm the audience showed towards this piece was certainly warranted.

Adam Pounds & Steve Bingham
Adam Pounds & Steve Bingham

This profound work explored the excitement and darkness of death and spiritual revival. After the opening appealing melody was taken up in turn by the different sections of the orchestra, the toll of impending doom heralded the contrasting development of dramatic conflict, building up to an exciting climax with trumpets off-stage broadening the experience until the work's final thunderous drum call brought this fine composition to a memorable close.

Dr. R J Westwell PhD, MA TESOL, MA Ed, B Mus, BA Hons

What the audience said...

I was lucky enough to have a front-row seat to yesterday's concert which included your wonderful new piece, "The Martyrdom of Latimer". I thought it was really tremendous — both powerful and evocative, especially the ending and the trumpets in the gallery. So, as it's something I'd certainly like to hear again, I was wondering if there were plans to release a recording on CD?

Andrew Cohen

I had the profound pleasure of hearing this stunning composition on Saturday evening. I would dearly like to listen to it again (and again...). Have any plans been made to record it?

Yvonne Vallis