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Evelyn Glennie asked the composer for a work for 'percussion and orchestra' in 1991. On considering this Howard suddenly realised that the ranges of a modern concert marimba and the cello were virtually identical and set about arranging 'Diversions' for a proposed tour by Evelyn and The East of England Orchestra. However when Martin Kingsbury of Faber Music announced the completion of this work Evelyn said it was not what she had in mind- she wanted a work for lots of different percussion instruments- and the performances were cancelled.
Four years later Howard created a version for piano and marimba (see opus 439a)and performed it with Heather Corbett at the Royal College of Music 27 10 1995 as a result of which he later orchestrated it, finally achieving a recorded first performance in 2003
|27th February 2010||A concert given by the Kelvin Ensemble at Glasgow University will contain two works by Howard Blake. The main concert starting at 7.30 wil feature the 'Diversions for marimba and orchestra' played by the brilliant Heather Corbett, principal percussionist of the BBC Scottish Orchestra alongside Prokofiev's 5th Symphony and a work of John Adams. However as 'pre-concert' event the composer will introduce a third performance of his 'Spieltrieb' quartet performed by the Edinburgh Quartet., Glasgow University|