Dawn Light performed by the First Light Ensemble


06:15-07:00 Sunlight Stage
Sunday 19 June

Our very own First Light Ensemble is back for 2022 to play a selection of beautiful classical music pieces to lift the soul as part of our dawn programme. Directed by the international soloist, Harriet Mackenzie, this performance will include a World Premiere of a new piece, Dawn Light, by Christopher Gunning which is the first movement of a new violin concerto which he has composed for Harriet.  Enjoy the early morning vibes of the beach and relax to classic sounds of Vivaldi, Piazzolla and Massanet.


Dawn Light was written for  Harriet Mackenzie and for the First Light Festival in Lowestoft by renowned film composer Christopher Gunning. This performance – at the 2022 First Light in Lowestoft Festival – will be the world premiere. This piece is the first movement of a larger work ‘Violin Concerto no. 2’; the other movements will be premiered at the Salisbury International Festival 2022 and the Jersey Liberation International Festival 2022.

Dawn Light is evocative of the hope and expectation of a new day. Sometimes turbulent, sometimes hopeful with the light streaming in, Christopher’s work is inspired by the moments of first light by the sea and the constant changes that brings. As Christopher writes: “It is strongly influenced by sea sounds, mostly what one may hear when standing near the water’s edge, with the wind in your hair. Although mostly gentle, occasionally the music becomes more turbulent or even strident – which of us has never experienced the force of waves when the wind becomes stronger and veers towards a storm? Perhaps, this is why the sea, in all its moods, has so often been a source of inspiration to composers through the centuries.

In this performance, Harriet will be accompanied by the First Light Ensemble of string players on the main stage, fittingly, as part of a set of beautiful classical music at Dawn on Sunday 19th June. Harriet has performed in the world’s most concert halls across five continents including Concertgebouw, Budapest Marble Hall and Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre and is very much looking forward to giving the first performance of this piece at the unique event on the beach in Suffolk, where she will also be appearing with the Kosmos Ensemble. This new concerto follows her highly acclaimed recording of Christopher’s Violin Concerto Number 1 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

About Christopher Gunning
Cristopher Gunning is an award-winning composer and conductor who is well known for writing the themes for TV programmes and films such as Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Porterhouse Blue, La Vie En Rose and Cold Lazarus.  He has won 4 BAFTAs and 3 Ivor Novello Awards and has been presented with a Gold Badge Award by the British Academy of Composers, Songwriters and Authors.  Christopher writes, orchestrates and conducts his own music and has worked with the London Symphony Orchestra, Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Concert Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic.  For the past few years, Christopher has devoted much of his time composing music for the concert hall and has completed concertos for flute, oboe, clarinet, guitar, saxophone and piano, as well as 7 symphonies for large orchestra.  He wrote his first Violin Concerto for Harriet Mackenzie and she recorded it with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on the Signum Classics Label.  Christopher is a Trustee of the PRS Members Fund.


Click here for the full Sunlight Stage line up



Performances on the Sunlight Stage are viewable from the beach, trackway and Jubilee parade. Please note this is public access and not a managed viewing area. Seating is not provided.

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