Symphony No. 1 My first symphony began its life during the spring of 2018 following a request from Kenneth Woods for a work for the English Symphony Orchestra’s 21st Century Symphony Project. The basic score was completed towards the end of the following year but continued to undergo quite a few changes almost until its recording in December 2021.
The symphony, which is dedicated to Kenneth Woods ‘for giving me hope’ is one of my largest-scale pieces. I am hugely grateful to Ken Woods and the ESO for their tremendous dedication, and to the generosity of the Steven R Gerber Trust in the USA for their sponsorship of this performance. © Adrian Williams
Chamber Concerto Portraits of Ned Kelly This remarkable work is one of two by Williams to grow from his friendship with the great Australian painter, Sidney Nolan. Nolan and Williams were neighbours in the Welsh Borders region that Williams has called home for most of the last forty years. Williams, a prolific pianist, was given the invitation to use the piano at The Rodd, Nolan’s house in northwest Herefordshire and now the home of the Sidney Nolan Trust. The Chamber Concerto is a musical response to Nolan’s most famous series of paintings, which depict scenes from the wild life of Australian bushranger, Ned Kelly, an outlaw, gang leader and convicted police-murderer who Rampaged across Australia in the years prior to his arrest and execution in 1880. © 2022 Kenneth Woods.
In 2016 Kenneth Woods and the English Symphony Orchestra launched their 21st Century Symphony Project, an ambitious multiyear effort to commission premiere and record nine new symphonies by leading composers, with the triumphant premiere of Philip Sawyers’ Third Symphony at St John’s Smith Square.
In 2018, the Project continued with the premiere of David Matthews’ Ninth Symphony, selected by The Spectator as one of the Top Ten Classical Events of the year. The most recent work in the series is Matthew Taylor’s Fifth Symphony hailed by ClassicalSource as "a masterpiece” at its 2019 Premiere.