Concert 2 2016 Program Notes – The Genesis Suite

These program notes are to complement information in the printed program and the words of the compere.


Tolga Kashif 

London born Tolga Kashif is regarded as one of the most diversely talented musicians of his generation. He studied conducting and composition at the Royal College of Music, then later at Bristol University with Derek Bourgeois. His professional début was with the London Philharmonic, after which he has been a frequent guest with the Royal Philharmonic, City of London Sinfonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Northern Sinfonia. In 1992 Tolga Kashif was appointed as Associate Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra.

In 2001 Tolga Kashif was commissioned by EMI Classics to compose a symphony piece based on the music of legendary group, Queen. The Queen Symphony was released in 2002, and received its world premiere at the Royal Festival Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. (The Grainger Wind Symphony performed the wind band transcription of Queen Symphony in 2011).

The Genesis Suite

In 2010 Tolga Kashif composed The Genesis Suite. This suite was inspired by the music of the world acclaimed English rock group, Genesis who influenced the growth of the progressive-rock genre and their own influence from a wide range of music, both classical and mainstream rock.

The suite is partly Kashif’s own composition and is partly based on music that Genesis has written over the years.

The music of Genesis fell into the 70s in the genre ‘symphonic rock’, and can lend themselves perfectly for arranging to ‘pure’ classical music. Kashif chose for his composition the Genesis era without Peter Gabriel.

Dutch arranger Erik Somers transcribed five movements of the Suite for Symphonic Band: The sixth movement of the orchestra suite Entangled was not transcribed for symphonic band. The five movements are as follows.

  • Land of Confusion – Tonight, Tonight (with choir)
  • Ripples for piano and orchestra
  • Mad Man Moon – fantasia concertante for violin and orchestra
  • Fading Lights
  • Undertow – Blood on the Rooftop (with choir)

The transcription

The instrumentation for this work is not the standard concert band instrumentation typical in published works from the USA. The instrumentation of this work is more like the Spanish Symphonic Wind. The difference is that there are sections of celli and doubles basses.

Audio Visual recordings

To see a TV commercial for ‘The Genesis Suite’ by Kashif for symphony orchestra Click here 30 seconds

To see a YouTube video of The Premiere of The Genesis Suite for symphony orchestra described and conducted by Toga Kashif with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Centre, UK. Click here  4 minutes

To see a YouTube video of the 1st movement Land of Confusion – Tonight Tonight for choir and symphony orchestra Click here 7’27”

To see a YouTube video of the 2nd movement Ripples with piano solo accompanied by symphony orchestra. Click here (I am not so sure about the video of flowers.) Here is another Click here 9’52”

To see a YouTube video of a performance of the 3rd movement Mad Man Moon with violin solo accompanied by symphonic band  Click here 15’29”. Here is another accompanied by symphony orchestra Click here 16’32

To see a YouTube video of the 4th movement Fading Lights for symphony orchestra Click here 12’06”

To see a YouTube video of the 5th and last movement Undertow – Blood on the Rooftop for choir and symphony orchestra Click here 12’40”