Symphony No.5 scored for flute orchestra
Commissioned by Margaret Lowe, with funds from the Awards for All programme. Premiered by the Birmingham Flute Ensemble, conducted by Carol Kniebusch-Noe, at the Birmingham Flute Day at Birmingham Conservatoire on March 17th 2002, with financial assistance provided by the Brannen-Cooper Fund. The American premiere was given on 18th August 2002 at the Convention of the USA National Flute Association in Washington DC by the US National Flute Association Professional Flute Choir, conducted by Carol Kniebusch Noe. Numerous subsequent performances have taken place, for example two performances at the 2002 Stratford International Flute Festival - in the Guild Chapel, Stratford upon Avon and in St Edmund’s Church Shipston-on-Stour - conducted by Jenny Brooks; at Grand Rapids, West Michigan (fall 2002 and spring 2003), and the 2nd movement at Jeanne Baxtresser’s International Masterclass in Pittsburgh PA (June 2003), by the West Michigan Flute Association conducted by Darlene Dugan; in the Rowe Recital Hall of UNC Charlotte, by the UNC Charlotte Flute Choir, directed by Mark Thomas, in April 2003 and in Evanston Illinois by the Northwest University Flute Orchestra in March 2007. The National Flute Orchestra of Mexico, conducted by Jenny Brooks, performed the symphony at the Xochipilli Concert Hall in the Escuela National de Musica, Mexico City in April 2004. Excerpts from the symphony, conducted by Jenny Brooks, were performed at the first National Flute Choir Day in the Adrian Boult Hall Birmingham (November 2005), and the whole work was performed by the USA National Flute Association High School Flute Choir, conducted by Jenny Brooks, at the USA National Flute Convention in Albuquerque in August 2007.
´... the daring idea to compose a work for large-scale flute orchestra... the talented forces of a special ten-voice ensemble, some 30 strong, assembled to premiere Andrew Downes Fifth Symphony. Commissioned to crown Birmingham Flute Commission’s Flute Day.., this substantial piece is immediately attractive, often minimalist in its rhythmic patterning and had the visual delight of featuring two contrabass flutes´ - THE BIRMINGHAM POST
´... Andrew Downes’ voice is very much his own. We must be grateful to him for a major contribution to the flute ensemble repertoire.´ Kenneth Bell PAN MAGAZINE
´... Andrew Downes again demonstrates his deep appreciation for the instrument.´ Chris Wilson PAN MAGAZINE
´... We were all sent our parts ahead of time... there was no way we could have known how glorious this piece would be ... Putting it all together in that first rehearsal was unforgettable!´ Sharyn Byer THE (USA) FLUTIST QUARTERLY