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Saturday 26 March 2022, 1pm, Howden Minster

Free admission with retiring donations

Booking recommended

Sadie Harrison  Portraits from the place of the yew-trees

(a Yorkshire-themed world premiere - read more)

Schubert  Sonata in A minor  D784

Duncan Honeybourne enjoys a colourful and diverse career as a pianist and in music education. Commended by International Piano magazine for his "glittering performances", he is best known for his interpretations of 20th and 21st century British piano music.


Following concerto debuts in 1998 at Symphony Hall, Birmingham and the National Concert Hall, Dublin, he made recital debuts in London, Dublin, Paris, and at international festivals in Belgium and Switzerland. His 2012 debut recital disc was described by Gramophone magazine as “not to be missed by all lovers of English music”, whilst BBC Music Magazine reported: “There are gorgeous things here. Hard to imagine better performances.”


Honeybourne has toured extensively in the UK, Ireland and Europe as solo and lecture recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician, appearing at many major venues and leading festivals. His solo performances have been frequently broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and more than 20 networks worldwide, including Irish, French, Swiss, Austrian, Belgian, Dutch, Finnish, Portuguese and German Radio, ABC (Australia) and Radio New Zealand. Premieres of over 70 solo works written for him have included John Joubert's Third Piano Sonata, John Casken's Tempus Plangendi and Cecilia McDowall's Notes from Abroad, plus the Andrew Downes Piano Concerto at Birmingham Town Hall.


Duncan has also revived many forgotten scores by composers of earlier generations, and was invited by the BBC to give the world premiere of two rediscovered piano preludes by English romantic composer Susan Spain-Dunk in a recital broadcast live on Radio 3 from St. David's Hall, Cardiff. Duncan's recordings have been awarded 5 stars in Musical Opinion and International Piano and featured as MusicWeb International Recording of the Year, CD of the Week on FMR Radio in South Africa and Recommended CD on Austrian Radio.

'The heroic Duncan Honeybourne' - Musical Opinion (2017)


Listen to Duncan Honeybourne perform Italian Dance by Christopher Headington

This concert is supported by:

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Portraits from the place of the yew-trees

Portraits from the place of the yew-trees invites its listeners on a musical journey through ancient and modern Yorkshire. The yew tree theme is heard throughout the piece as the walker travels from one town to the next, encountering the people and places upon which the work’s Portraits are based. The work is dedicated to Duncan Honeybourne with much affection.


The movements are entitled:

  • The Yew Trees Yorkshire Path

  • Sir George Cayley: weight, lift, drag, thrust, gravity (engineer, inventor, and aviator: Scarborough)

  • Blue Man-i-th’-Moss & Auld Wife’s Trod (prehistoric monuments: North York Moors)

  • Aelred of Rievaulx (Cistercian abbot)

  • Frederick Delius: The Last Cuckoo (composer: Bradford)

  • Mary Bateman the Yorkshire Witch: Her Lullaby (murderess: Asenby)

  • Flint Willy the Shirtless (archaeological forger: Sleights)

  • Amy Johnson: The Lone Girl Flyer (aviator: Kingston upon Hull)

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About Portraits

Sadie Harrison, composer

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Sadie Harrison, born in Australia, now resident in Dorset, is a composer known particularly for the socio-political aspects of her music-making with works challenging stereotypes of marginalised peoples, celebrating their creativity and individuality with powerful expressions of musical solidarity. Supported by Arts Council England and PRSF Women in Music & Composers Fund grants, she has been Composer-in-Residence with Cuatro Puntos (USA) and Kunstler Bei Wu Sculpturepark (Germany), and Composer-in-Association with the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, her symphonic work Sapida-Dam-Nau premiered by their Women’s Orchestra at the 2017 World Economic Forum. Sadie is currently working on two exciting projects. Pasture&Storm (PRSF & ACE funded) with virtuoso left hand pianist Nicholas McCarthy will create eight new works for disabled pianists, from solos to a chamber concerto. Collaborating with Alex Wilson, Sadie has also been commissioned to write a 30 minute work for the FSKelly Project, celebrating the life and music of Australian composer and Olympic rower Frederick Septimus Kelly to be premiered in Southwark Cathedral in late 2021 (supported by RVW and the Ambache Charitable Foundation). Sadie’s music is published by UYMP, Recital Music and ABRSM.

Her website is


Sadie says: ‘I am so excited to be part of this special concert at Howden Minster with my fabulous friend and supporter, pianist Duncan Honeybourne. I have always considered Yorkshire to be my musical second home (my composition teachers Nicola Lefanu and David Lumsdaine reside in York and and my works are published by York-based UYMP). As a former archaeologist, I have really enjoyed researching about some of the extraordinary characters born in the county from the thirteenth-twentieth centuries and as a professional gardener, I have relished the chance to compose music that celebrates Yorkshire’s ancient yew-trees. The characters of the piece - amongst them, Sir George Cayley, Aelred of Rievaulx, Frederick Delius and Mary Bateman, the Yorkshire Witch - appear amongst the yews, the symbol of eternal nature, outlasting us all. Having heard so many wonderful compliments about Howdenshire Music's new piano, I can’t wait to hear Duncan bring my Yorkshire-homage to life.'

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