Ideas, once shared, cannot be destroyed.

This symphony tells the story of an idea. Appearing out of nowhere, this idea is seized upon, elaborated, pulled every which way, and celebrated. Night falls; a nightmare disturbs pleasant rest. But the idea resurfaces, and with it, the disturbing vision is banished. A new day; a bucolic, Arcadian festival: innocent fun – over which hangs the shadow of the nightmare. It is made manifest. Fear and terror ensue. But against suppression, against wanton destruction, and despite the depredations of power and even time itself, that old idea remains, unchanged, at the last.

Ideas cannot be destroyed
Ideas cannot be destroyed

I wrote this Symphony for the Enescu Festival, where it will receive its first performances in September 2021 with the Timisoara Banatul Philharmonic conducted by Rumon Gamba, in both Timisoara (2021 European City of Culture) and Bucharest.

2020-2021 Covid Pandemic

The work was composed during the 2020-2021 Covid pandemic and lockdown. Working on such a large project, adding a little every day, sustained me through the many months of lockdown and depressing daily news. While the piece is not intended as a direct commentary on this time, nonetheless my strong feelings and emotions experienced during this period in history must inevitably be bound up in the piece: the curtailment of freedom, the seemingly unstoppable spread of the disease, the deaths, the false dawns - and for me, acutely, the loss of live music, especially singing. It is therefore perhaps natural for the listener to project their own feelings about that terrible year onto the music, and if so I hope that within the music, they will to find reassurance, meaning, and answers to their private questions about this time.


The symphony is in four movements of roughly equal duration, of which the second ("Nocturne") and third ("Rustick") have titles.


45 minutes


picc, 2fl, 2ob, 2cl, 2bsn, cbsn; 4hn, 3tpt, 2tbn, btbn, tuba; timp; 2perc; strings


The Enescu Festival

First performance

9th September 2021, Timisoara, with the Timisoara Banatul Philharmonic and Rumon Gamba

Request a score / parts

If you would like to see a score and/or require a set of parts for this music, please contact me.