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String trio Ensemble Epomeo returning to the Two Rivers Festival for first concert of 2013

Lorna Hughes of Wirral News

THE Two Rivers Festival begins its 2013 series of concerts on Friday, February 8 with a newly-commissioned work.

Captain Samuels Speaks To The Sea tells the story of American sea-captain Samuel Samuels, who sailed the transatlantic shipping lanes in the mid-19th Century.

His ship Dreadnought held the record for the fastest crossing ever made between New York and Liverpool by a three-masted clipper.

The concert is a setting of an original text by Peter Davison composed by Philadelphia-based Melissa Dunphy.

It will be performed by string trio, Ensemble Epomeo, who have received critical praise for their imaginative approach, attention to detail and passionate performances.

The music is based on traditional sea shanties, and the audience will have a chance to hear original tunes sung by close-harmony group BarLine before the main performance.

The work was premiered in October last year at the Custom House Maritime Museum in Newburyport, USA.
Peter Davison, the festival’s artistic director, said: "This will be a unique event. Melissa Dunphy’s piece received a standing ovation at its premiere performance and many were moved to tears.

"It is a marvellous way to celebrate the maritime history of this part of the world and its connections with the USA."

The Ensemble will also perform with pianist Clare Hammond, a former Young Musician of the Year finalist, in a programme which includes works by Mahler, Beethoven and Andrew Keeling.

The concert is the first in a series of four for 2013. For more information visit

The concert gets underway at 7.30pm on Friday, February 8.
It will be performed at Bushell Hall, Birkenhead School, Beresford Road, Prenton.
Tickets for the night will cost £15 or half price for under 16s.
For more information about the evening telephone 651 3095.

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