Portrait of a City

Portrait of a City was commissioned by L’Orchestre d’Harmonie Municipal d’Annemasse (France) in celebration of their 150th anniversary and first performed there on 1st June 2002.

Although the composer set out to capture in music some of the essence of London, his hometown, the piece could describe almost any of the world’s great cities. The three movements each describe one of the many characteristics of this fascinating city.


Like all great cities, London is a busy place. It is home to people of many different races but has something for everyone. Skyline attempts to describe this many-faceted aspect of London – millions of people with different hopes and needs all make this amazing city their home.


London changes its character with the seasons. In spring it can be a beautiful place and in summer it throngs with visitors from all over the world. In Autumn it can be a surprisingly lonely place and this movement tries to conjure up the picture of one of its many great parks in an early morning October mist.


London’s West End is the home of its nightlife! Here you can find hundreds of restaurants, clubs, cinemas and theatres. During the day it is busy with shoppers but at night it comes alive with locals and tourists sampling some of the many delights this district has to offer. Downtown captures this exciting area in music.