for Piano and Chamber Orchestra

Full Score


Mesmerism was commissioned by the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra in its Diamond Jubilee Year with support from the PRS for Music Foundation. It was first performed by Alexandra Dariescu (solo piano) with the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra, conducted by Mark Heron, at the Pacific Road Venue, Birkenhead in October 2011.

Mesmerism won the Making Music British Composer Award 2012.

Mesmerism for piano and chamber orchestra is one in a series of works inspired by Ada Lovelace, pioneering mathematician and daughter of Byron [these include a dramatic vocal work Ada sketches and Calculus of the Nervous System for symphony orchestra]. Ada dabbled with mesmerism, a forerunner of hypnosis developed by physician Franz Mesmer.

Often I find inspiration in nature and science, and especially in the history and myths associated with scientific phenomena. In my earlier orchestral works Magnetite and Solar, musical material behaves as if shaped by magnetic fields attracting one another and moving in opposite directions. And so although (or perhaps because it is) scientifically suspect, mesmerism appeals to me because of its relationship with magnetism as well as the fact that it links several interests: science, Ada and Mozart (Mesmer was a patron of Mozart’s).

Mesmerism is in one continuous movement and lasts approximately 17 minutes. Throughout, I have imagined that the relationship of soloist to orchestra is mesmeric: the work is concerned with the piano ‘mesmerising’ the orchestra.

© Emily Howard 2011

Additional Information

Item Number: EP73331
Format: Sheet Music
Number of Pages: 38
Publication Date: 01/03/2019
Barcode: 9790577017778
ISMN: 979-0-57701-777-8
Format: 297x420mm
Instrumentation: 2(II=Picc).2(II=Cor).2.2-


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