Prima Facie continue their contemporary piano series with Hauntings from The North East by Janet Graham; a neglected composer who was regularly broadcast in the 80s and 90s. Composing in a unique style which fuses
atonal influences with lyrical and often folk derived melodies this music has as much impact now as it must have done when first heard. Supported by the Ambache Foundation for Women in Music and the RVW Trust this
uncompromising music and it’s reference to the economic wasteland of the North East is a tour de force of composition and pianistic virtuosity.
Pianist Aleksander Szram specialises in performing music of the 20th and 21st Centuries, and has released several albums of contemporary repertoire on the Prima Facie label, including the Piano Concerto by Daryl Runswick, Inner Landscapes (Douglas Finch), A Land so Luminous (Kenneth Hesketh), and the album Aztec Dances with the recorder player Jill Kemp. He has recorded for Nimbus with the flautist Wissam Boustany, and released three albums of solo piano music by Runswick with Dazzle Music. He has given premieres of works by Rzewski, Fujikura, Kittos, Gregson, Bedford, Gregory Rose, George King, Carl Witt, Houtaf Khoury and Yevhen Stankovych among others. He has performed in more than forty countries over six continents, and teaches piano, chamber music and academic studies at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, where he is a Senior Teaching Fellow.
Janet Graham was born near Consett, County Durham, in 1948. She studied Composition with James Iliff at the Royal Academy of Music (1966-71), where she was awarded several prizes for composition, and later studied with Elisabeth Lutyens.
During the 1970s and 80s she worked in London and Hertfordshire as a composer and piano teacher and many of her compositions were performed in London and elsewhere. Several pieces were broadcast on Radio 3 and radio stations abroad, and she was one of the composers selected for the BBC Young Composers’ Forum in 1978. In 1989, after working voluntarily for several years at a psychiatric hospital in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, she decided to focus on trying to help people in the community through music, and trained as a music therapist at the Nordoff Robbins Centre in London. After qualifying as a music therapist in 1990 Janet worked as a
therapist and course tutor for Nordoff Robbins and for the NHS in Hertfordshire before returning to County Durham in 2007 to establish some music therapy work in the North East. After retiring from music therapy in June 2013 she began composing again.