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Lost Anthony Burgess composition to receive rare performance after 60 years

01 Nov 2012

To The Fallen: Remembrance Concert on Sunday 11 November (3pm) at Imperial War Museum North, Main Exhibition Space.

Free entry – donations welcome

An important piece of music which was thought lost for more than 60 years - written by A Clockwork Orange author and internationally acclaimed composer Anthony Burgess - will receive its first major public performance in a special concert at IWM North, part of Imperial War Museums, in Manchester this Remembrance Sunday.

The composition, Sonata for Cello and Piano in G Minor, is dedicated ‘For The Dead’ of the Second World War and was written when Burgess was on active service in Gibraltar in 1945. It disappeared for more than 65 years before being discovered again in 2011. The sonata is considered an important discovery to the understanding of Burgess’ musical career, as his time in Gibraltar during the Second World War was a significant period in his musical life.

Very little of the music Burgess wrote while abroad has survived. The sonata is his earliest surviving complete piece. After the Second World War, he left the sonata with friends for safekeeping but it was not seen again until it was discovered in boxes retrieved from Burgess' house in Italy by the International Anthony Burgess Foundation.

Burgess, who died in 1993 aged 76, was a novelist, composer, poet, playwright, linguist, translator and critic. As well as writing 60 books including novels, non-fiction, journalism and memoir, he composed more than 150 musical works which are only now beginning to receive critical acclaim.

He left Manchester in 1940 to serve in the Second World War, where he played the piano in a regimental dance band and composed music.

The event is in conjunction with the International Anthony Burgess Foundation and leading contemporary ensemble Psappha. It will also include readings of poetry by Burgess, as well as by famous poets of the First World War period, including Siegfried Sassoon and Rupert Brooke.

More information

  • Imperial War Museum
  • or 
  • twitter @I_W_M #IWMNorth
  • to connect with the International Anthony Burgess Foundation on twitter, follow @misterenderby