Martin Read was a composer and educator who taught for 30 years in Alton, Hampshire before his untimely death in 2012. A wide rage of people have been profoundly influenced by Martin’s outgoing, democratic approach to music. Having myself had friendly contact with Martin in the past I was honoured to become a patron of the Foundation established in his name.
MRF runs a scheme for young people between the ages of 14-19, giving them the chance to start at the beginning with composing, funding lessons, having early writings played by professionals in an entirely supportive environment, followed by performances in MRF’s yearly Festival; and for the first time this year, a London showcase as part of the also completely admirable Borough New Music Series. In which six MRF ‘graduates’ received elegant performances from clarinet+piano duo Chris Goodman and Jonathan Beatty.
All six young composers spoke with real gratitude for the low-key early support they had received from MRF, and I’ll end by quoting one of them, Catherine Upfold: “Despite not currently studying music (I am in my final year at the University of Bath studying chemistry) I firmly believe that musical education enabled me to gain confidence and creative thinking that has benefited me enormously in both my degree and my personal development. Composition will always be an important creative outlet for me”. And so say all of us !
Pictured: Armistice themed display in St George the Martyr, Southwark, home of Borough New Music