Works > El Prestidigitador

El Prestidigitador

Written in:
3 clarinets (1=Eb and Bb, 2=Bb, 3+A and bass), 2 percussionists (1=marimba, crotales, temple blocks, triangle, cymbal and tam-tam; 2= tom-toms, wood block, triangle,2 tam-tam and cymbal)
Commisioned by

Commissioned for a choreography by Ingegerd Lonroth, funded by the Arts Council of Great Britain in 1988.


Premiered in 1988 at the Place in London at the Dance Umbrella Festival by Nick Hayes, Sarah Lee and Leslie Applebee, clarinets, Roy Sinclair and Julyan Poole, percussion Graham Treacher, conductor.

Programme Note

El Prestidigitador was inspired by the poetic prose Nijinsky by Giorgos Seferis.

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As the text  makes reference to the dancer’s life and choreography, the music is based on a combination of octatonic scales, which are often found in Stravinsky’s music. However the piece is original and it doesn’t quote or makes reference to any of the scores that Nijinsky danced to.

The work was choreography by Ingegerd Lonroth taking some inspiration in Nijinski’s unique and innovative concepts of dance.

I envisaged this piece to be able to be performed as a concert version as well.