Phaedra Ensemble: Gavin Bryars at 80, String Works

with special guest Laura Jurd

Saturday 2 December 2023

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Rail strikes are planned on the day of this performance, please allow extra time for your journey.

In celebration of Gavin Bryars turning 80 at the beginning of the year, Phaedra Ensemble have created a programme showcasing the depth and breadth of the influential Yorkshire-born composer’s work. 

Download programme

The concert opens with Bryars’ fourth string quartet and closes with one of his earliest works, 1971’s ‘1, 2, 1-2-3-4’, which asks its performers to recreate music they are listening to through a cassette player. 

That five-decade long sweep is filled out with two more Bryars compositions, including an unusually short take on the iconic ‘The Sinking of the Titanic’, inspired by story of the ship’s brass band playing on even as they were overcome by the Atlantic, as well as a rare performance of ‘A Man In A Room Gambling’, Bryars’ groundbreaking collaboration with the artist Juan Munoz.

Reflecting on his legacy, Phaedra Ensemble have commissioned British trumpet player and composer Laura Jurd (Lighting The Dark) to create a response to Bryars’ new string quartet which features her own improvisations, a tribute to Bryars’ time as a jazz bassist.  

The evening will begin with a conversation with Gavin Bryars. The programme will be accompanied by immersive multimedia creations by Phaedra Ensemble’s co-director, Jamie Hamilton. 

Supported by Arts Council England, PRSF and The Vaughan Williams Foundation.



Start time


Gavin Bryars String quartet No.4
Laura Jurd New Work for String Quartet + Improvised Trumpet  


Gavin Bryars ‘The Sinking of the Titanic’
Gavin Bryars and Juan Muñoz ‘A Man in a Room, Gambling’
Gavin Bryars ‘1, 2, 1-2-3-4’


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Phaedra Ensemble: Gavin Bryars at 80, String Works

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