Classical success for North Walsham composer

A musical maestro has become one of only a handful of people across the globe to have his work included in the repertoire of an internationally acclaimed orchestra.

And although Martyn Craft is delighted with the recognition his specially written piece has received from the London Schubert Players, he admitted he does not like hearing his work performed in front of an audience.

The 53-year-old from North Walsham, who has been composing from the age of seven, said: 'I don't like going to performances. I guess it's because it's rather like taking your clothes off in public.

'Even though I certainly don't talk about what the piece is about I guess it's certainly got a lot of me (in it), and I guess you feel quite exposed - afterwards is fine!'

Mr Craft, who describes his music as contemporary classical, was one of scores of people all over the world who submitted a piece to the Schubert Players.

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The orchestra has been running a two year project - kick started by a grant from the European Cultural Fund - inviting composers of any age or nationality to write and send them short works based on specific instrumental combinations.

Mr Craft entered the category for piano, solo viola and string quintet as he thought it sounded 'quite interesting' and spent around four months composing his piece, 'Fall' - so named so the audience could come up with their own interpretation.

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'I don't like giving titles because it's a hostage to fortune so I called it fall because it's got more than one connotation,' he added.

The 12 minute work, which joins just three others in his category to be successfully picked by the Players, will have its world premiere during a performance at London's Royal Academy of Music next month, and then feature on a CD of the orchestra's work.

Mr Craft, who used to play in a folk rock band, added: 'I'm pretty chuffed about it.'

Anda Anastasescu, chair and artistic director of the Players, said Fall was the 'most modern' of all the pieces submitted and provided a challenge for the orchestra.

'It's full of spontaneity, which we like.' she added.

Former viola player Mr Craft, who has a full time job working with adults with learning disabilities, is now hoping Fall may bring him further success as he said he would love to compose full time.

'It's what I would be if I had the chance, it's more than a hobby,' he added.

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