Biography of Steinitz Richard:
Richard Steinitz was born in 1938 and is emeritus professor of music at the University of Huddersfield, a broadcaster, writer and musicologist, as well as a composer. In 1978 he founded Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and was for twenty-three years its artistic director. He was awarded an OBE in 1995.
The composer writes as follows: Hymn to Apollo at Delphi was composed in 1976 as a wedding present to my wife, and is scored for countertenor, various sizes of recorder and harpsichord. It was first performed by Owen Wynne, John Turner and Alan Cuckston at Eaton Hall, near Chester, on 1st October 1976. The music consists of two more-or-less simultaneous variants of the Hymn to Apollo, the text and notation of which were discovered inscribed on a stone at Delphi, whilst woven into the harpsichord part are references to the Song of Seikilos, engraved on a tombstone at Aydin in Turkey. Nearby Ephesus as well as Delphi itself we had visited together the previous year.
My piece ends with three different treatments of the Song of Seikilos, the original melody appearing complete but in successive transpositions in the voice part. This brief but sublime epitaph or exhortation, composed by one Seikilos for his wife, has been variously dated to between 200BC and 100AD. More substantial, although incomplete, are the two Delphic hymns from c.138 and 128 BC of which I use the earlier. These remarkable compositions are the oldest surviving examples of unambiguously notated music from anywhere in the world.