Gavin Higgins was born in Gloucestershire in 1983. He entered Chetham’s School of Music as a French horn player and jointly studied horn with Peter Francombe and composition with the present writer at the Royal Northern College of Music from 2001 to 2005, continuing his studies at master’s level with Kenneth Hesketh at the Royal College of Music from 2007 – 9. In 2008 he was shortlisted for a British Composer Award in the Wind Band or Brass Band category for A Forest Symphony and is currently a Music Fellow to the Rambert Dance Company.
A hazy and veiled sound world dominates the first movement. An extremely slow waltz is interrupted by a spiky piano motif that eventually leads into a faster paced second movement. Mechanical and rhythmic, this movement builds to a screaming climax before rather abruptly moving back to the smoky, non-distinct world of the opening. In the final movement a blanket of sustained string harmonics underpin delicate prepared piano ornamentation. After a final low flourish the slow waltz from the opening reappears, moving up through the entire range of the piano until finally fading away. Gavin Higgins
For piano trio, The Ruins of Detroit was commissioned by the Fidelio Trio. The first performance was given by the Fidelio Trio at the Pitville Pump Room as part of the Cheltenham Festival, 5 July 2014. This work was funded by the Britten-Pears Foundation and is dedicated to the Fidelio Trio.
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