Music Link International was founded by composer/conductor Peter Ash and writer/director Donald Sturrock in 1994, under the patronage of Sir Michael Tippett. Its aim was to create events of imagination and excellence, collaborating with artists from different cultures and disciplines to bring young audiences around the world to the joys of orchestral music.
For more than twenty years since its opening concert, an 'al fresco' summer serenade at Prussia Cove, Cornwall, Music Link International has commissioned and presented a wide range of events, often in unusual and unexpected locations - disused theatres, country houses and gardens - as well as established theatrical and concert venues. In recent years, Music Link has also developed a close relationship with the London Schools Symphony Orchestra, with whom it has collaborated on a number of projects. These have included a dance version of Eleanor Alberga’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, narrated by Simon Callow and choreographed by Mark Baldwin (2019), and The Dark Side - a concert conducted by Sian Edwards, which explored the idea of the devil in music and was narrated by Dame Janet Suzman. It was hailed in the press at as “a triumphant experience” and selected as one of the best concerts of 2020.
Music Link International manages a series of orchestral music commissions for young people based on the works of Roald Dahl, and has overseen the premieres of more than fourteen of these new works including productions in London, Los Angeles, St. Petersburg, Zurich, Cardiff and Glasgow. Some of its new commissions, such as Paul Patterson’s Little Red Riding Hood, have become among the most performed contemporary orchestral music in the world. A BBC video of the piece starring Danny DeVito and Julie Walters was watched by over six million people. A new recording of Tobias Picker’s opera Fantastic Mr Fox won the prize for Best Opera Recording at the 2020 Grammy awards. Notable highlights include:
Julian Grant: Serenade the Silkie
George Pelecis: Jack and the Beanstalk
Kurt Schwertsik: Goldilocks
Vladimir Tarnopolski: Cinderella
Paul Patterson: Little Red Riding Hood
Keepers of the Night
Eleanor Alberga: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Paul Patterson: Three Little Pigs Basel
The Golden Ticket St Louis
Tobias Picker: Fantastic Mr. Fox Los Angeles
Music Link has presented performances in the UK, Switzerland, Russia, France, Finland and the USA. The company has produced television documentaries for the BBC, CD recordings with its own orchestra, The Taliesin Orchestra, and also publishes several of the new works it has commissioned.
In May 2000, BBC TV broadcast The Revolting Concert from Cardiff Bay as part of their UK-wide festival Music Live. The concert included excerpts from all of the commissions performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales with a cast of celebrity narrators including Danny DeVito, Joanna Lumley, Sophie Dahl, Timothy West, Simon Callow and Sian Phillips.
It was closely involved in the development of the Roald Dahl Centenary celebrations in 2016 in London and Cardiff.
The Literary Estate of Roald Dahl generously donates their royalties from performances of the Roald Dahl Music commissions to Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity (formerly the Roald Dahl Foundation). This charity was founded by Roald Dahl's widow, Liccy, and helps create a better life for children and young people with chronic illnesses. Since 1992, the commissions have raised over £100,000 for the charity.