Boosey & Hawkes Welcomes Armatrading to its Catalog

Boosey & Hawkes, a Concord company, is delighted to welcome Joan Armatrading’s Symphony No.1 for orchestra to its catalogue. The Southbank Centre has announced that the work will receive its world premiere at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London on 24 November 2023, performed by the acclaimed Chineke! Orchestra. Armatrading’s 30-minute Symphony No.1, composed in 2022 for classical symphony orchestra, will be available for further performances from Boosey & Hawkes.

Concord has a long-standing relationship with Joan Armatrading, publishing key albums including Show Some Emotion (1977), To The Limit (1978), Me Myself I (1980), Walk Under Ladders (1981) as well as tracks including Love And Affection from her 1976 self-titled LP.

One of Britain’s great singer songwriters, Joan Armatrading celebrated her 50th year in music in 2022. Not content with resting on her undoubted successes, she has now pivoted to a new role as classical composer.

Joan Armatrading CBE says, "I have always known that I would write a classical piece at some point in my life. One day, I was in my studio and out of the blue I decided that this was the day.”   

“I started with the melodic second movement - it felt to me like writing a song - and then the other three movements followed in 2022. All in all, to write the complete symphony took roughly five months. It has no theme as such but aims to be uplifting.”

“As usual I stayed in the way of composing that I have done when I write pop songs. I'm just myself. I didn't write the symphony thinking I would like it to be like anyone but Joan."

Janis Susskind OBE, Managing Director of Boosey & Hawkes, comments: “What a wonderful surprise when Joan Armatrading arrived in our offices clutching a score and Midi recording of her new symphony. Having been a longstanding fan of this living legend, I was delighted to learn that Joan's musical orbit now encompasses full symphony orchestra. We look forward to spreading the word far and wide and to many more performances following the Chineke! premiere.”

Chi-chi Nwanoku CBE, Chineke! Orchestra founder,says: "The Chineke! Orchestra are thrilled to be performing the world premiere of Joan Armatrading's first symphony at the Southbank Centre. Armatrading's pioneering spirit and ability to break boundaries has been a source of inspiration for generations of music lovers and musicians, and it’s an honour to bring her latest composition to life on stage. This symphony is a stunning display of her creativity and skill, and we can’t wait for audiences to experience its unique blend of classical and contemporary influences."

Further information on Symphony No.1Tickets for the world premiere