Music lovers sidestep supermarket ‘meal deals’ and sink their teeth into new music 


Over 300 people commission a new work by Jonathan Dove via imaginative ‘Tenner for a Tenor’ crowd-funding scheme

Investment pays dividends with premiere performances of The End by composer Jonathan Dove for tenor Mark Padmore and Britten Sinfonia

27 April – 2 May 2012

Norwich, Cambridge and London


In April 2011, the call went out to music lovers to unite

Over 300 people have so far responded to Britten Sinfonia’s invitation to turn down that extra pint (or two) in the pub, or romantic ‘meal deal’ at a well-known supermarket, and make an investment in a new piece of music. 

Now, thanks to donations via the orchestra’s “Tenner for a Tenor” campaign, Britten Sinfonia will give the world premiere of Jonathan Dove’s The End, written for tenor Mark Padmore and Britten Sinfonia as part of the orchestra’s award-winning ‘At Lunch’ series of concerts ** (Friday 27 April, Norwich; Tuesday 1 May, Cambridge; Wednesday 2 May, Wigmore Hall, London).

The recession friendly ‘Tenner for a Tenor” scheme, the brainchild of Britten Sinfonia board member John Stephens OBE, invited people to invest in a new piece of music and help create a musical legacy.  Every investor’s name has been recorded in perpetuity at the front of the score, and there’s been a chance to follow the work’s progress via social media and a dedicated website, where Jonathan Dove and Mark Padmore discuss the creative process. 

Many participants donated more than £10, and over 75% were completely new supporters of the orchestra.  Donations came from far and wide (including contributions from the USA, Mexico and Switzerland) and have included families, donations made as presents and in one case, in memory of a concert companion.

Jonathan Dove comments: “The great thing about this commissioning campaign is that it’s so democratic.  If enough people club together they have the power to do what was once the sole preserve of the very rich.  We all need to participate in keeping art alive and giving it new vitality and ‘tenner for a tenor’ does exactly this.” 

Mark Padmore says: “The repertoire for chamber ensemble -  in this case string quartet and oboe and flute – and single voice is surprisingly limited.  So, it’s particularly pleasing to be able to premiere this new work and all the more so that it has been enabled by so many, who through a small gesture are helping to renew and build our artistic heritage in a direct, tangible way.”

David Butcher, Chief Executive of Britten Sinfonia comments:  “This scheme proves that a little can go a long way and embraces the enthusiasm of music lovers by placing them at the heart of the creative process.  Whilst ‘The End’ is dedicated to the 300 or so people who helped commission it, it is of course a work to be enjoyed by everyone, both now and into the future. I would like to thank every one of our donors for taking the ‘long view’.”

The End is part of an-all English Britten Sinfonia at Lunch programme, which also includes Vaughan Williams’ Ten Blake Songs and Peter Warlock’s The Curlew.