"A Garland for Linda"Celebrates in Music The Life of Linda McCartney with Original Works by Nine British Composers Including Sir Paul McCartney To Be Released April 25 on EMI Classics NEW YORK, April 5 /PRNewswire/ -- On April 25, EMI Classics releases A Garland For Linda, an album of original works by nine living British composers and Ralph Vaughan Williams. The recording celebrates in music the life of the late Linda McCartney, while introducing and supporting The Garland Appeal, a new international charity dedicated to fighting cancer through music.
A benefit dinner in support of The Garland Appeal will take place at The Supper Club in New York on April 27th with a special musical guests The Loma Mar Quartet. The U.S. concert premiere of "A Garland for Linda" is scheduled for June 3 at New York's Riverside Church, featuring The Riverside Festival Singers conducted by Helen Cha-Pyo and Demari McGill on Flute and Pitnary Shin on cello. The performance will be broadcast live on National Public Radio's Performance Today series.
The inspiration for "A Garland for Linda" was A Garland for the Queen, in which ten leading British composers contributed new works for a musical celebration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Vaughan Williams composed "Silence and Music" for the original tribute, and this work opens the world premiere recording of A Garland for Linda.
The successful world premiere of "A Garland For Linda" took place at the Charterhouse School in England in July 1999, in a concert at which all nine living composers were present. The performance officially launched The Garland Appeal, which aims to raise $2 million in the U.S. alone and to see A Garland for Linda performed at least 200 times world-wide during the next three years.
The composers who contributed to "A Garland for Linda" are: Sir Paul McCartney, Sir John Tavener, John Rutter, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, Roxanna Panufnik, Michael Berkeley, Judith Bingham, David Matthews and Giles Swayne. Performing these choral compositions on the recording are the Joyful Company of Singers, conducted by Peter Broadbent, with flutist Philippa Davies and cellist Robert Cohen.
Sir Paul McCartney writes in the CD booklet, "What happened to Linda happens to many others. We must do all we can to fight cancer. For this reason, I welcome the opportunity, through my music, to raise funds for research to help eradicate breast and liver cancer. I am touched by the musical tributes from the other composers and I am deeply grateful to the performers and organizers of A Garland For Linda. Music does have an extraordinary power to move people and to provide a source of hope. I pray that, through A Garland For Linda, The Garland Appeal can achieve its worthwhile goals to the benefit of music, musicians and cancer sufferers everywhere."
Linda McCartney, who married the former Beatle, Paul McCartney, in 1969, was a celebrated photographer, animal rights campaigner, cookbook author and musician. Her photographs chronicled the musical revolution of the 1960's and 70's; they have been exhibited in 70 cities around the world and have helped to promote the aims of various causes including Greenpeace, Great Ormond Street Hospital and the anti-fur lobby Lynx.
In 1989 Linda began to promote the vegetarian lifestyle that she and Paul had long embraced; she wrote cookbooks and launched a range of ready-made meat-free meals. As a musician, Linda performed alongside her husband on a number of albums and on numerous world tours. In the last months of her life, she and Paul completed recordings of songs she had written herself. Despite Linda's many professional credits, she considered her greatest achievement to be her four children: Heather, Mary, Stella and James. Linda McCartney died of cancer in 1998.
The U.K. launch of "A Garland For Linda" successfully took place on January 27th, at St Andrew's Church in Holborn, London, where a special concert featured all the works on the new album, and was attended by Sir Paul McCartney and several of the other composers.
EMI Classics is donating a royalty from the initial CD release to The Garland Appeal.
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