The Composer's Corner - Celebrate Gagarin's Journey Into Space With Nigel Clarke

Image of Yuri Gagarin

Composer Nigel Clark writes:

I rarely send circular emails but as 2011 is the 50th anniversary of the first ever first manned space flight I am making an exception. Yuri Gagarin's epic flight took place on 12 April 1961.

As you may know in 2004 I wrote a wind orchestra work entitled 'Gagarin' to celebrate this great human achievement. It was originally written and commissioned by Professor Matthew George and the University of St Paul in Minnesota and they made an excellent recording of it on their disc 'Road to the Stars'(Innova label available on Itunes). In addition Polyphonic have recorded the work with the Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra.

I was very excited to learn that 'Gagarin' was recently performed by the Volga Professional Wind Orchestra in Saratov, Russia. The concert was sponsored by the Russian Federal Space Agency in celebration of Gagarin's famous space mission and held as part of the cosmonaut's anniversary celebrations at the site of the Space Museum which bears his name. This year Felix Hauswirth and the Baden-Wurttemberg Wind Orchestra will also perform `Gagarin'during their 2011 concert season in Germany and on their Italian tour this summer as part of the Gagarin celebrations. 'Gagarin' is published by Studio Music Company (see my website for details). I can also arrange for a recording to be sent to you if you have not heard the work.

For any space enthusiasts amongst you more information about 'Gagarin' can be found on my website at

Kind regards,