Image: Spitalfields Festival premiere, 30 November 2012. Shoreditch Church. From L-R Anthony Burton, Michael Berkeley, Anthony Payne, Judith Serota, David DImbleby, Judith Weir, Stephen Johns, Tarik O’Regan, Melvyn Tan, David Titterington, Jonathan Dove, George Law (who supported the concert). (Photo by Patrick Kinworth)

Composers commissioned by Melvyn Tan to write technically challenging variations, premiered in 2015 by Melvyn in the Music in the Round tour:

Julian Grant Prelude no 9 in A flat (2014)
Aaron Holloway Nahum
Variation (2014)
Simon Rowland Jones
Variation on Bist du bei mir (2014)
Toby Young
Variation on Bist du bei mir (2015)

Other Variations for Judith …

Rolf Hind Zum Sterben, zu Ruh … (2016)
Commissioned by Spitalfields Music for Judith Serota, premiered at Spitalfields Festival by Melvyn Tan, Shoreditch Church, December 2016. Published by Ricordi.

Francis Pott Prelude (2012); Ricercar (2018)
Published by Composers Edition

Natalie Bleicher Deine schönen Hände (2012)

Rodney John Lister When Near (2013)

Laurence Rose Und zu meiner Ruh (2012)

Janet Davey Crystal Dreaming (2012)

Cheltenham Music Festival competition 2012:

Steven Doran – under 18 winner
Francis Pott – under 18 winner (Variation later published, see above)

Diana Burrell composer, Artistic Director Spitalfields Festival
Howard Friend Chester Music
Alan Rushbridger Editor of the Guardian
Judith Serota
Melvyn Tan

Judith Weir (Master of the Queen’s Music) blog post from 2016:

Spitalfields Festival is 40 years old this year, and a celebration of this feat was held with a piano recital by that charming and thoughtful musician, Melvyn Tan who, although we could hardly believe this, is himself celebrating a 60th anniversary. Many people who have served in various ways came along to the concert in St Leonard’s Church Shoreditch (the unofficial home of the festival in recent years.)

Image: photo by Suzanne Jansen

This photo (thank you to Suzanne Jansen) shows a group of former Artistic Directors in ‘herding cats’ mode before eventually someone managed to line us up in a row and shoot us (with a camera, of course). When I first saw this image, it suggested a scene from a Michael Tippett opera, full of strong, questing characters. And it reminded me how much friendship and stimulating musical talk has come my way through being involved in this small but dynamic organisation, working in an area of London which, not so long ago, was mostly unknown and downtrodden. I should perhaps create a pre-Christmas Quiz to indentify as many of these people as possible. But to save you the bother: from L to R, current executive director Elie Gussman; organist David Titterington; Anthony Burton, Michael Berkeley (that’s Lord Berkeley to you), Melvyn Tan, Anthony Payne, Diana Burrell. Then in the right-hand foreground, myself and Jonathan Dove; and typically invisible in the background, but making it all happen for twenty years, former executive director, Judith Serota, talking to current chair Maurice Biriotti. How many other musical organisations have put composers at the heart of their planning like this? Very few, I believe, and this trend is not reversing itself. But on this evening, exciting future Spitalfields plans were announced (including next year’s winter Festival to be curated by André de Ridder) suggesting that at least another decade is on the cards.

Reproduced with permission. View Judith Weir’s blog here