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Press contact for BB Trust
Debra Boraston
Telephone: +44 1424 883307
Press release date: March 2009

Picturing Haydn

Quartet’s CD Release and Illustrated Concert for Haydn
Commemorative Year 2009

homage to Joseph Haydn, inventor and master of the string quartet,
with a specially created project to mark the commemoration of the
composer’s death 200 years ago. A collaborative endeavour built
around Haydn’s sublime Seven
Last Words of Christ on the Cross, Op 51
resulted in nine specially commissioned paintings plus CD, short film
and two ‘illustrated’ concerts to mark the Haydn festivities
this summer.

Australian artist Jamie
asked by the Navarra Quartet to paint canvasses inspired by each
musical movement and the paintings were then photographed to provide
a projected backdrop for live concerts. The premiere public
performance with pictures will be on 31 May (Haydn’s actual ‘death
day’) at the Royal
Northern College of Music
part of the Haydn
The Innovator
(with projection), and again at the City
of London Festival
26 June (with original paintings). The pictures are also effectively
a storyboard for the CD which is released on the Altara
in May/June 2009.

Boyd often painted to the sound of the Navarra Quartet rehearsing in
the room next to his studio in his large family home in Hampstead,
where the Quartet spends much time owing to the fact that its
cellist, Nathaniel Boyd, is Jamie’s son. Boyd deliberately painted
in a different style for this commission as he was very conscious of
how the pictures would be displayed on a projected backdrop and
viewed from some distance. He used much broader strokes and less
detail, but still the fearless use of vibrant colour for which he is
celebrated. Colour is indeed the main interplay between the art and
the music in the view of Navarra violinist Xander Van Vliet who has
always wanted to bring together painters and musicians: “This
whole project – the paintings, the recording process, the
performances – has motivated everybody involved. Haydn is very
inventive with colour in a smaller palette, while Jamie uses colour
in a very broad and striking way. It all creates a very positive
tension between the music, the art and the audience.

and friendship have both played key roles in the development of this
project, as voiced by the young musicians in a special film made by
the Borletti-Buitoni Trust to show the whole project in the making,
from its genesis through the recording process to a private concert
earlier this year. This can be viewed on the BBT website –

from 22 April and will form part of the CD package.

is a special retrospective show of Jamie Boyd’s work at the Rebecca
Hossack Gallery in London this summer to mark the painter’s 60th

Navarra Quartet has financed this project with the support of its
which was awarded in 2007.


brilliance is not only reflected through his captivating use of
colour, but also the symbolic representations of the themes of
humanity and nature which his art so succinctly surveys”

in Melbourne, Jamie moved to London with his family as a young boy.
At the age of 17 he began painting full-time in London and trained at
the Slade School of Art. He held his first Australian exhibition in
1966 at the Bonython Galleries in Adelaide. Since then he has
exhibited regularly in Australia in addition to showing his work in
England, Italy, Germany and Holland. His work is represented in
collections including Artbank, University of South Australia,
University of Western Australia, Parliament House Art Collection and
the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery. His artistic pedigree is
unparalleled. The son of renowned artist Arthur Boyd and nephew of
Mary Percival nee Nolan, his genetic endowment is unquestioned.
Indeed, a perusal of the Boyd family tree bears testimony to the
power of genetics as reflected through the involvement of his
siblings Polly and Lucy as painters and an extended family dedication
to art which can be traced back to the 19th
century. Jamie’s own children all paint too but have branched out
professionally into the performing arts in the worlds of theatre and
the concert hall.