As a teenager, I played viola in the London Schools Symphony Orchestra. It was the highlight of my musical and social life, and, as it turned out, it was a fantastic education for a composer. One of the most exciting things we did was to tour the USA in 1976, playing eighteen concerts in three weeks. Our conductor on the tour was Simon Rattle, who was then not much older than the players. He made us late for one rehearsal by insisting we all had one more go on the Matterhorn Ride in Disneyland.
These experiences were in my mind when conductor Peter Ash asked me for an overture which the LSSO could perform on tour in Japan in 2003. Run to the Edge is a celebration of the adventure of playing in an orchestra, and all the other adventures that can lead to.
Commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Society for the London Schools Symphony Orchestra
First performance: 23rd July 2003, London Schools Symphony Orchestra, Peter Ash (conductor), Shizouka, Japan.