*OH MISTRESS MINE op.627 (September 2011)

A Shakespeare song from Twelfth Night
Published by: Highbridge Music
Commissioned by: Bill Alexander
Instrumentation: Medium voice and string orchestra

[Key to Abbreviations]
Note on Lyrics: Shakespeare (Twelfth Night)
Duration: 2 mins
First Performance: Richard Edgar Wilson and the Orchestra of the Swan conducted by David Curtis 16th May 2014 Stratford Art House

Sheet Music Available
Piano / Vocal score for sale


Bill Alexander was a distinguished producer of Shakespeare’s plays at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford in the eighties where he first met Howard Blake, later becoming the director of his stage show of ‘The Snowman’ which originated in The Birmingham Repertory Theatre where Bill had become director. In 2011 Bill was working on a 'Twelfth Night' student production at LAMDA and asked Howard if he would write a new version of ‘O mistress mine’. For some reason it was not used and a first performance was given in a concert version for tenor and string orchestra in Stratford celebrating the Bard’s 450th birthday in 2014.


16th May 2014 Featured composer Howard Blake, The Orchestra of the Swan, conductor David Curtis, Shakespeare Songs, Richard Edgar wilson (tenor), Civic Hall, Stratford-upon-Avon BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 3,

Spring Sounds International
Music Festival 2014

Celebrating Shakespeare in words and music

With featured composer Howard Blake – Composer of The Snowman

Sunday 20 April – 8:10am BBC Radio 4

Wednesday 23 April  – 3:30pm BBC Radio 3

Friday 16 May, Friday 23 May, Friday 30 May and Friday 6 June

Civic Hall, Stratford-upon-Avon

2014 marks the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth and to commemorate the occasion Orchestra of the Swan will be celebrating music inspired by his words.

Howard Blake, composer of ‘The Snowman’, is our featured composer and we will be performing his Shakespeare Songs, Harp variations on a theme composed for Henry V and the premiere of Midsummer Night's Dream, Suite for orchestra - a new work specially created from music composed for the RSC's feature film directed by Adrian Noble.

The Lark Ascending and Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis by Vaughan Williams will also feature in this year’s programme as will new works by Huw Watkins, Roxanna Panufnik, Guto Puw and Roger Steptoe.

Click here to view events.


Spring Sounds History

The inaugural Spring Sounds took place in May 2008 with Tasmin Little at the helm as Artistic Director. The ethos behind the festival is to feature the work of established and developing composers alongside the great classics of the classical canon and to showcase and broaden Stratford-upon-Avon’s musical offering.

Taking place every May composers and artists featured thus far include Roxanna Panufnik, Joe Cutler, Phil Dukes, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Paul Watkins, Martin Roscoe, the Smetana Piano Trio, Param Vir and Viv McLean.

The festival has also made full use of a variety of venues Stratford offers from the orchestra’s home base of the Civic Hall through to the elegant Georgian Town Hall and the beautiful Peter Adams designed Compton Verney art gallery just outside of Stratford. Compton Verney has also hosted the festival’s family events with young participants and gallery visitors creating graphic scores and being treated to impromptu performances around the grounds from Orchestra of the Swan’s musicians

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