Keith Amos (b. 1939)
The Steadfast Tin Soldier
Born in 1939, Keith Amos graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 1960. He spent the early part of his career in the world of commercial music, composing, arranging, orchestrating and conducting music of all types for and with all sorts of performers. Then in the 1970s he gradually concentrated on the composition of serious music. He spent a considerable period specialising in wind music, during which time he conducted and composed for his own group; one which grew from a chamber ensemble to a full concert band. This is reflected in his compositions, which include music for every combination of wind and brass instruments, in addition to string chamber music and symphonic works. In 1992, he wrote The Steadfast Tin Soldier - originally for narrator and piano. The story was adapted by Richard Baker from the well-known fairy-tale by Hans Christian Andersen. This was first performed by Richard Baker and pianist Nicola Meecham at the Danish Embassy on 1st December, 1993. The first performance of the orchestral version was given by Yan Pascal Tortelier and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, again with Richard Baker, on 19th December 1993. This premiere was recorded, and broadcast by BBC Radio on Boxing Day, just a week later. Since then, the work has achieved considerable success, with many performances, and further versions have been arranged for school orchestra and wind band. We are delighted to be giving the first performance of The Steadfast Tin Soldier in Nottingham tonight.