“Butt’s account of Britten’s poignant cello suites falls absurdly easily on the ear. Technically perfect and commanding of the closest attention, this is a debut to enhance any label” – The Independent on Sunday (UK)
We end our 2015 / 2016 Santa Rita Concerts series with a solo performance from an undisputed master of the classical solo cello repertoire, William Butt. Butt will perform the first of Johann Sebastian Bach’s sublime six suites for solo cello – perhaps one of the most iconic pieces of music from the Baroque period – alongside Benjamin Britten’s third solo cello suite from 1971, an Autumnal, Bach-inspired and exquisitely introspective work from the last years of the composer’s life.
Resonance between older and newer music is a recurring theme in Ergodos curations; the way in which Bach and Britten’s works speak to each other across two centuries is extraordinary and illuminating. In his careful, detailed, yet ever-soulful interpretations of these works, William Butt brings us deep into the abstract fabric of the music, allowing each moment to have its own significance.
William Butt was born in London. His musical career started early, as a chorister in St. Georges Chapel, Windsor. Later he studied at the Royal Northern College of Music with Moray Welsh, and after winning awards and scholarships such as the Royal Society of Arts, Martin Trust and first prize in the Muriel Taylor competition, he furthered his studies with Antonio Lysy in Montreal. He now enjoys a busy career as soloist, chamber musician and is professor of cello at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin. On the concert platform he has performed extensively throughout Ireland, the UK, Europe and the Far East. His performances have been broadcast on BBC radio 3 (in recital as well as concerti with the Ulster Orchestra), BBC radio Ulster, BBC world service, national television in China, CBC (Canada) and RTÉ radio and television. His recordings of the solo cello suites of Benjamin Britten and J.S. Bach on the Warner Classics label have been widely lauded.
The Santa Rita Concerts provide a unique, deeply immersive audience experience. Each evening begin at 7pm with a Santa Rita wine reception, and a pre-concert interview with the evening’s musicians. The performances take place at 8pm in the museum’s beautifully resonant downstairs gallery. The space is candlelit and the atmosphere highly intimate – a concentrated ritual shared by performer and audience.
The Santa Rita Concerts are curated by Ergodos, a Dublin-based record label and production company run by composers Benedict Schlepper-Connolly and Garrett Sholdice. The programme features a distinctive and diverse mix of soloists, ensembles, singer-songwriters and sound artists. Full details can be found here, and a discounted season ticket may be purchased online here.