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A Yorkshire-themed world premiere at Howden

Sadie Harrison - Portraits from the Place of the Yew Trees

We are thrilled to announce that the world premiere of this work will be performed by pianist Duncan Honeybourne on Saturday 9 October 2021 at Howden Minster, as part of Howdenshire Music Project's Piano Day.

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Portraits from the Place of the Yew Trees invites its listeners on a musical journey through ancient and modern Yorkshire. The yew tree theme is heard throughout the piece as the walker travels from one town to the next, encountering the people and places upon which the work’s Portraits are based. The work is dedicated to Duncan Honeybourne with much affection.


The movements are entitled:

  • The Yew Trees Yorkshire Path

  • Sir George Cayley: weight, lift, drag, thrust, gravity (engineer, inventor, and aviator: Scarborough)

  • Blue Man-i-th’-Moss & Auld Wife’s Trod (prehistoric monuments: North York Moors)

  • Aelred of Rievaulx (Cisterian abbot)

  • Frederick Delius: The Last Cuckoo (composer: Bradford)

  • Mary Bateman The Yorkshire Witch: Her Lullaby (murderess: Asenby)

  • Flint Willy the Shirtless (archaeological forger: Sleights)

  • Amy Johnson: The Lone Girl Flyer (aviator: Kingston upon Hull)


Sadie Harrison, born in Australia, now resident in Dorset, is a composer known particularly for the socio-political aspects of her music-making with works challenging stereotypes of marginalised peoples, celebrating their creativity and individuality with powerful expressions of musical solidarity. Supported by Arts Council England and PRSF Women in Music & Composers Fund grants, she has been Composer-in-Residence with Cuatro Puntos (USA) and Kunstler Bei Wu Sculpturepark (Germany), and Composer-in-Association with the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, her symphonic work Sapida-Dam-Nau premiered by their Women’s Orchestra at the 2017 World Economic Forum.


Sadie is currently working on two exciting projects. Pasture&Storm (PRSF & ACE funded) with virtuoso left hand pianist Nicholas McCarthy will create 8 new works for disabled pianists, from solos to a chamber concerto. Collaborating with Alex Wilson, Sadie has also been commissioned to write a 30 minute work for the  FSKelly Project, celebrating the life and music of Australian composer and Olympic rower Frederick Septimus Kelly to be premiered in Southwark Cathedral in late 2021 (supported by RVW and the Ambache Charitable Foundation). Sadie’s music is published by UYMP, Recital Music and ABRSM.


Her website is


Sadie says: "I am so excited to be part of the Howdenshire Music Project's Piano Day at Howden Minster with my fabulous friend and supporter, pianist Duncan Honeybourne. I have always considered Yorkshire to be my musical second home (my composition teachers Nicola Lefanu and David Lumsdaine reside in York and and my works are published by York-based UYMP).


"As a former archaeologist, I have really enjoyed researching about some of the extraordinary characters born in the county from the thirteenth-twentieth centuries and as a professional gardener, I have relished the chance to compose music that celebrates Yorkshire’s ancient yew-trees. The characters of the piece - amongst them, Sir. George Cayley, Aeldred of Rievaulx, Frederick Delius and Mary Bateman, the Yorkshire Witch - appear amongst the yews, the symbol of eternal nature, outlasting us all. Having heard so many wonderful compliments about the Project’s new piano, I can’t wait to hear Duncan bring my Yorkshire-homage to life."