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Edvard Armas Järnefelt 

Photo: Armas Järnefelt Society

With acknowledgement to Armas Järnefelt Society & Finnish Music Information Centre for the use of this photo.

Born   on   August   14th,   1869   at   Viipuri   in  Finland,  but taking  Swedish

nationality  in  1910,   Järnefelt studied piano (with Busoni) and composition at

the  Helsinki Music Institute,   before further studies in   Berlin and at the  Paris

Conservatoire (with Massenet).

He  is  remembered mainly as a conductor of opera,    holding various posts in

Sweden and Finland with guest appearances throughout Europe.    He was also

an authoritative interpreter of Sibelius,   his brother-in-law,  whose music would

frustratingly   overshadow   Järnefelt's   creative   spark.   Wagner was a major

influence on much of his output, which includes solo songs, choral, orchestral,

piano and film music.    He died on June 23rd,  1958  in Stockholm,  Sweden.

Edward McGuire

Born in Glasgow,   he studied with James Iliff  at the Royal Academy of  Music and

with the Swedish composer Ingvar Lidholm, in Stockholm.  His works are regularly

broadcast   and   commissions   have   come   from  the  BBC  Scottish  Symphony

Orchestra,  the  Edinburgh International Festival,  the  St. Magnus  Festival and the

New Music Group of Scotland;  much has been recorded.   In recent years, he has

produced several large-scale works to critical acclaim:  the ballet score   Peter Pan,

A Glasgow Symphony, a chamber opera The Loving of  Etain and various concerti.

A featured composer at the  Park Lane Series,  Purcell Room,   International Viola

Congress  and  Bath International Guitar Festival,  he performs with, and writes for,

the traditional folk music group Whistlebinkies.

He was the winner of the first British Composers' Awards (wind/brass section) in

December 2003 with his composition Kaleidoscope Fanfare.

For more information about Edward McGuire, click here

Darius Milhaud

Born  in  Aix-en-Provence,  France,   he  studied at  the  Paris  Conservatoire  with

Widor, d'Indy and Dukas. As Attaché at the French Legation in Brazil, he returned

to Paris in 1919 to become a member of  'Les Six',  the group of French composers

who were notorious  for  their advanced and often  shocking  musical  ideas.     He

settled in California in 1940.     His  output,  influenced by a varied  career spent in

many parts of the world,  includes  operas,  ballets,  symphonies,  other  orchestral

works, concerti, chamber, vocal, choral, theatre, film and piano music.

Sasho Mladenov

'An Easy Piece For Winds'   is a light-hearted work written for the amusement of

both audience and players alike.

For information about Sasho Mladenov, click here

John Reeman

He studied composition and flute at Hull University. In 1995, he won the Gregynog

Composers' Award,  in 2000,  his  When the Wind Blows, for violin and piano, was

selected for performance and recording in the UK and Eire Composition Platform,

and in 2002 he won the  International  Kodaly  Institute's  Composers' Competition

with  Scena  for string quartet.        His wide range of numerous works is regularly

performed throughout the UK and overseas;  many have been recorded,  including

Symphony for Strings  by the  Opus 20 Ensemble.     He is currently working on a

number of commissions and teaches the flute.

Charles Camille Saint-Saëns 

He was born in Paris on October 9th, 1835. His father, a civil servant, died a few months later leaving him in the care of his mother and her aunt. These two women dedicated themselves to his upbringing and were careful to avoid any exploitation of his talent. His preliminary musical education (at the piano), undertaken by his great aunt, began when he was 2½ and he first began composing, aged 4. On the occasion of his debut as a 10 year old pianist in Paris, he offered to play any of Beethoven's Sonatas from memory as an encore.

From 1848, he studied composition and organ at the Paris Conservatoire where he met Bizet, a fellow student. After winning the 1851 Premier Prix for organ, he held important posts as organist at various churches in Paris and also taught piano at the Niedermeyer School, where Fauré was one of his pupils. His compositions exceed 300 and include operas, concertos, chamber music, orchestral, instrumental and choral works. It seems that composing was a pleasant pastime for him and he was capable of orchestrating for hours and conversing with friends at the same time.

He was also a writer of plays, poetry, reviews, essays on botany, a book on philosophy and even lectured on astronomy. In later life, he travelled widely to North and South America Europe, Africa and Asia playing mainly his piano concertos and conducting his orchestral works. He died in Algiers on December 16th, 1921.

For more information about Camille Saint-Saëns, click here