• Lucy Farrimond

The Anvil: Manchester International Festival

Updated: Sep 9, 2019

On Sunday 7th July, I performed in the world premiere of 'The Anvil' by Emily Howard as part of the Manchester International Festival 2019.

Composer: Emily Howard

Conductor: Ben Gernon

Soloists: Kate Royal / Christopher Purves

BBC Philharmonic

BBC Singers

Hallé Choir

Hallé Youth Choir

Hallé Ancoats Community Choir

'The Anvil: An Elegy for Peterloo' - commissioned by the Manchester International Festival 2019 - commemorates the Peterloo Massacre of 16th August 1819, a key moment in British democratic history during which peaceful protests resulted in terror and bloodshed.


Emily Howard

Emily Howard is a British composer from Liverpool, UK and currently a Senior Lecturer in Composition at the Royal Northern College of Music. I feel Howard's innovative writing captured the tragic event of Peterloo perfectly - a particular favourite moment of the piece for me being the singing of text from 'The Anvil Grid' creating the effect of the surge of a crowd of protestors- and from the review below, it is clear her musical vision resonated to the audience.

Review: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/times2/the-anvil-review-a-peterloo-elegy-in-which-you-can-feel-the-shackles-77nwbvk5r

Musical Forces

It was wonderful to be able to join The Hallé's family of choirs for this event and to perform once again in the magnificent Bridgewater Hall - a venue which will always hold a special place in my heart due to previous performances in the venue as a member of Chetham's School of Music. The BBC Philharmonic played outstandingly under the baton of Principal Guest Conductor, Ben Gernon. I look forward to performing Haydn's 'The Creation' with the BBC Philharmonic and Chief Conductor Omer Meir Wellber on the 29th July at the BBC Proms 2019.

Manchester International Festival

The Manchester International Festival - now in its twelfth year - showcases annually that Manchester is a northern hub, home to culturistic performing and visual arts. This has been my first experience with Manchester International Festival, and I hope to participate in the festival again in future years.

For more information on MIF events, follow the link: https://mif.co.uk

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