About the Concert Series
The inaugural Ballylesson Concert Series will take place over 19-21 August '22 and will feature local musicians and graduates from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. During the Covid pandemic, Salwan received a Creative Individuals Recovery Programme grant from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland which allowed him to record and film a short musical that he'd written called Lolly (Little One, Life Loves You), which tells the story of an adult reconnecting with their inner child after a long period of absence. The short musical is scored for mezzo-soprano, piano, cello and clarinet and lasts around 12 minutes.
The filming of the musical took place at the end of March and the parts were performed by Salwan (piano), and his friends, Samantha Lewis (mezzo-soprano), Griff Wadkin (cello) and Will Hammond (clarinet), each of whom were recent graduates of the conservatoire. As funding for the project was received by ACNI, Salwan wanted to premiere the musical in Belfast, and this will happen on Saturday, 20th August, as part of the Music Graduates from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Concert. A selection of Salwan's other compositions will be performed at the concert, including the piano and cello piece, In Memoriam, which he wrote for the families of the Essex Lorry Tragedy. Griff will perform Haydn's Cello Concerto No. 1 and short recitals will be offered by Samantha and Will.
Yating Hu, a gifted Chinese mezzo-soprano, will perform a Vocal Recital of classical arts songs from around the world and Italian opera arias, accompanied by Lingling You, on Sunday 21st August at 2 p.m. Having completed her master's in Vocal Performance at the conservatoire in 2020, Yating has been studying for her Advanced Performance Diploma, and this recital, which will be recorded, will be the final project for Yating's course. Having visited Belfast twice before and following her debut performance in the city in March 2022, Yating is excited about the opportunity to offer her final recital for her APD course in Belfast.
Speaking about the concert series, Salwan writes:
Northern Ireland doesn't have a music conservatoire and so my hope in organising this concert series is that young aspiring musicians will get the chance to hear conservatoire graduates which may help inspire their own musical journey.