‘A Boy Called Alex’ Young Musician in Daily Battle With Cystic Fibrosis to Conduct Bach’s St Matthew Passion

266

Alex Stobbs is a young musician, a prodigy, and the subject of an inspirational Cutting Edge documentary, A Boy Called Alex, set at Eton College. Alex has a major health challenge. Alex has cystic fibrosis and he survives only with the help of a massive daily cocktail of drugs, injections and intense physiotherapy.

The documentary follows his progress through frequent hospital stays, while preparing to organise and conduct an acclaimed performance of Bach’s Magnificat, in March 2007, in Eton College Chapel.

After the performance, director Stephen Walker asked Alex what he would do next. his answer was “The Matthew Passion. All three hours of it.” The performance is set for April 5th 2009, in London.

Studying at Kings College Cambridge, Alex prepared for his new challenge, Bach’s St Matthew Passion. In giving Alex the opportunity to fulfil his wish, The Rodolfus Choir will put on a memorable performance on 5th April 2009 at London’s Cadogan Hall, enabling Alex to conduct this great work. We invite you to attend this inspirational performance by which you will be helping Alex to increase awareness of this disease.

The St Matthew Passion, written by Johann Sebastian Bach in 1727, is a sacred oratorio from the Passions for solo voices, double choir and double orchestra, with libretto by Picander (Christian Friedrich Henrici). The St Matthew Passion is regarded as a masterpiece of classical sacred music. According to an entry in Wikipedia, “the original Latin title Passio Domini Nostri J.C. Secundum Evangelistam Matthaeum translates to ‘The Passion of our Lord J[esus] C[hrist] according to the Evangelist Matthew.'”

Bach’s Matthew Passion – 5th April 2009 – Cadogan Hall

  • Christopher Gillett: Evangelist
  • Michael George: Christus
  • Sarah Fox: Soprano
  • Michael Chance: Counter tenor
  • Timothy Robinson: Tenor
  • Thomas Guthrie: Bass
  • Rodolfus Choir
  • Trebles of Eton College Chapel Choir
  • Southbank Sinfonia
  • Alex Stobbs: Conductor
  • Ralph Allwood (Assistant Conductor)
  • The Cutting Edge documentary, A Boy Called Alex (Channel 4), will be repeated on Christmas Day, 25 December 2008 at 6.15 pm.

    Tickets will be on sale by website and phone (020 7730 4500) from 12 December.

    Issued on behalf of The Rodolfus Choir Ltd Charity Number 1033702.

    About Alex Stobbs

    Alex has played the piano since he was 3 years old, and at 7 won a music scholarship to Stoke Brunswick School in Sussex. Spurred on by his brothers who were both at choir schools, at the age of 9 Alex became a chorister at King’s College, Cambridge. Here he was fortunate enough to tour across Europe and around the world, singing in places such as the Haarlem Concertgebouw and the Sydney Opera House. At King’s he was taught piano by Elizabeth Werry, who introduced him to the Romantic repertoire (in particular Chopin) which he is most comfortable playing.

    In September 2003 Alex joined his two elder brothers at Eton on a music scholarship where he studied piano with Chris Hughes, and organ with Alastair Sampson and David Goode. He regularly played for chapel services at the College and also frequently conducted the College Chapel Choir.

    In October 2007 he was awarded a choral scholarship to Kings College Cambridge, to read music. He was also offered a place to study piano at the Royal Academy of Music.

    Alex’s long term ambition is to be a conductor.

    About Cystic Fibrosis

    Cystic Fibrosis Facts:

  • Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is the UK’s most common life-threatening inherited disease
  • Cystic Fibrosis affects over 8,000 people in the UK
  • Over two million people in the UK carry the faulty gene that causes Cystic Fibrosis – around 1 in 25 of the population
  • If two carriers have a child, the baby has a 1 in 4 chance of having Cystic Fibrosis
  • Cystic Fibrosis affects the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, by clogging them with thick sticky mucus. This makes it hard to breathe and digest food
  • Each week, five babies are born with Cystic Fibrosis
  • Each week, three young lives are lost to Cystic Fibrosis
  • Average life expectancy is around 31 years, but improved treatments mean increasing longevity
  • Alan Gray is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of NewsBlaze Daily News and other online newspapers. He prefers to edit, rather than write, but sometimes an issue rears it’s head and makes him start pounding the keyboard. Alan has a fascination with making video and video editing, so watch out if he points his Canon 7d in your direction.