Archive for March 2, 2017

St David’s Day at St David’s Hall

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , on March 2, 2017 by telescoper

Just a quick post to mention that I celebrated St David’s Day yesterday by going, appropriately enough, to St David’s Hall in Cardiff for a special concert by the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales with soloists Rebecca Evans (soprano), Joshua Mills (tenor) and the very youthful Charlie Lovell-Jones (violin). The scheduled conductor, Gareth Jones, was indisposed so his place was taken by Adrian Partington (the Artistic Director of the BBC National Chorus of Wales).

The programme was entirely Welsh in origin and had a strong emphasis on vocal music, including many pieces I had never heard before, including songs by: Meirion Williams, Dilys Elwyn Edwards, R.S. Hughes, Idris Lewis, Joseph Parry, Evan Thomas Davies, Haydn Morris and, of course, Ivor Novello. There were also some instrumental pieces, including a cracking performance by 17-year old Charlie Lovell-Jones, of the Allegro movement from Sarakiz by Karl Jenkins.

The concert ended with a singalong, led by the chorus and soloists, of traditional Welsh favourites such as Sosban Fach, Calon Lân, Myfanwy and Cwm Rhonnda either side of a rare foray into the English language for We’ll Keep A Welcome In The Hillsides.  I was surprised to discover that Calon Lân is only a little over a hundred years old. I thought it was much older than that, but it’s still a lovely song (or hymn, really, as that’s what it is).

And of course no St David’s Day celebration would be complete without a rousing rendition of the Welsh National Anthem  Hen Wlad fy Nhadau (Land of my Fathers). Here’s a photograph of the closing scene. Note that the two vocal soloists had changed into Welsh Rugby Union shirts for the singalong part!

Here’s a picture of the closing stages, courtesy of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales twitter account.


Four of us from the Cardiff University School of Physics & Astronomy attended the concert and we’re all in the picture. Bonus points if you can identify us!

Doris vs Robert Grosseteste

Posted in Books, Talks and Reviews, The Universe and Stuff on March 2, 2017 by telescoper

Here’s a repost of the blog of the School of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Lincoln about my (storm-delayed) talk there last week, complete with photographs!

Maths & Physics News

Poseidon has definitely sent storm Doris to  prevent establishing a new tradition in Lincoln – annual public lectures in Cosmology/Astrophysics. However, his efforts were in vain: in a truly heroic 9 hours trip, combining multiple trains and a taxi, our inaugural speaker Professor Peter Coles arrived from Cardiff to the waiting audience in Lincoln. Straight out of the car he delivered a most fascinating 1st Annual Robert Grosseteste Lecture in Astrophysics/Cosmology. The lecture series is named after a medieval bishop of Lincoln, Robert Grosseteste. Peter took us on a time journey of the formation of the Universe and the history of our knowledge about it from the medieval times to the modern research on the large web structures. His talk sparkled some questions, and you can see his slides in this link.

Thank you, Peter!

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