Martin Rutherford – 50 years of musical excellence

 |May 4, 2017
Martin Rutherford with The Actors Studio Chorus & Orchestra during the performance of “The Music of Martin Rutherford” at PenangPac in Straits Quay, Tanjung Tokong at George Town … photo Doris Lim.

Martin Rutherford celebrated his 50 years of music during a concert in George Town recently.

The music of composer Martin Rutherford at the concert in Straits Quay, Tanjung Tokong was enjoyed by fans of all ages.

The concert held at Performing Arts Centre of Penang (Penangpac), featured Rutherford’s compositions and arrangements produced between 1961 and 2011.

The English maestro helms The Actors Studio Chorus and Orchestra, and conducted the performance.

Rutherford, a veteran music teacher of 47 years made Penang his home after his retirement in 2008.

Prior to that Rutherford taught music full-time in Newcastle – Upon – Tyne, Edinburgh for years before moving to Melbourne, Australia.

In between teaching and conducting, Rutherford’s hobbies are composing and arranging.

To his delight, he has managed to persuade the schools he taught in and the amateur groups to play the pieces.

The joy of experiencing his music by conducting the performances is evident for the composer, the musicians and the choir.

“While it is not unusual for a visual artist to hold a solo exhibition of his or her works, it is rare that a composer presents a concert similar to an exhibition of his life’s works,” said Rutherford.

Watching the performance it is clear that Rutherford’s ability is constructing carefully and working with the abilities of the performers so they shine together as an orchestra and a community choir.

“I am delighted that Penangpac has included me in its programme this year. The rehearsals have gone well and hearing my pieces at the concert is a delight,” Rutherford added.

The highlight of the evening’s performance was The Concertino for solo clarinet and horn played by local musicians Chee Hui Hui and Ong Yong Hang respectively.

Music lovers were entertained by The Five English Songs for a four-part chorus and orchestra.

The audience was equally thrilled and enjoyed well-known melodies of The Five Malaysian Folksongs.

The songs are Enjit Enjit Semut (The Biting Ants), Katak Lompat (The Leaping Frog), Dayung Sampan (Sampan Rowing), Chan Mali Chan (Hey Noni No) and Jingli Nona (My Pretty Maid).

The last song was also sung in ancient Portuguese and the catchy tune made it memorable.

The Actors Studio Chorus and Orchestra welcome auditions from interested Malaysians.

Rehearsals are held every Monday from 8pm to 10pm.

You can call Martin Rutherford on 04-8180149 or 014-9078101 if you enjoy singing and are considering joining The Actors Studio Chorus.

Doris Lim is a Malaysia Outlook contributor with a keen eye for details developed form her background in architecture and design. Her affable personality and passion to celebrate life is captured in her stories of the community. Doris’ love for all things beautiful and quirky is tempered by her love for writing, photography, food, art and travel.