Richard Ayres (1965)
No.38 (Three Small Pieces for String Quartet)
- Commissioned by the Fonds van de Scheppende Toonkunst = The Dutch Fund of the Creation of Dutch music-.

No.38 (Three Small Pieces for String Quartet) was written for the Mondriaan Quartet in 2003. The first piece is called ‘Tanase's Eyes’ and was inspired by a haunting, faded black and white photograph of the legendary Romanian folk singer Maria Tanase. Born in 1913, Tanase achieved mythical status in Romania both during her lifetime and after her death in 1963; her dramatic style of performance reflected perfectly the cosmopolitan culture of 30s and 40s Bucharest.

Piece number two is untitled but is in a repetitive 11/16 time signature and the third piece has the hopefully self explanatory title of ‘Countess Eva von Spendu (on a horse) gallops through the forest (pausing four times to contemplate natural splendour)’.

Text: Richard Ayres

Richard Ayres - biography
Richard Ayres was born in Cornwall in 1965. He studied composition at Huddersfield polytechnic before moving to the Netherlands in 1989 to study at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, where he now teaches composition.

From 1990 onwards, Richard Ayres has worked as composer receiving performances and commissions from amongst others, the ASKO Ensemble, the Schönberg Ensemble, the Ives Ensemble, Orkest de Volharding, Maarten Altena Ensemble, The Netherlands Ballet Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Apartment House, London Sinfonietta, Klangforum Wien, MusikFabrik and Continuum (Canada) as well as writing for ensembles with more unusual instrumentations, formed for specific projects. In 2003 he received the Mattijs Vermeulen Prize, the highest award for composition in the Netherlands.