Following the interest generated by the first Myra Hess Day in September last year, Piers Lane is arranging a new series of programmes at the National Gallery. The programmes all reflect the theme of the role of the arts in war, or in times of great stress, and will include the Elgar piano quintet, Bach transcriptions for piano, Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time and a short, touching setting by Lee Hoiby for baritone and piano of a letter from an American serviceman in Iraq, to be sent to his family in the case of his death. The baritone soloist will be Philip Tebb from the Royal College of Music Opera School.
The music critic of the Montpelier Argus, Jim Lowe, wrote of 'Last Letter Home': “A new American song—one that is likely destined for worldwide importance—was presented just months after it was written . . . and because of the song’s timeliness and fine crafting, it proved emotionally devastating."