Higher Education Programme

sound and music nmc recordings higher education programme main image
Date: 
Throughout 2014
Produced by: 
Sound and Music / NMC

Sound and Music  and NMC Recordings are pleased to announce the composers selected to take part in the Higher Education Programme 2013-14

The new programme offers the 12 selected composers studying in Higher Education:

  • Workshops with professional artists: musicians from the London Sinfonietta, Sound Intermedia and leading soloists working across genres to develop new 10' pieces
  • Their works recorded by NMC and made available for digital download; selected works will also feature on the CD release celebrating the label’s 25th birthday
  • Their works performed at a showcase as part of hcmf// 2014
  • Professional mentoring, sharing of best practice and networking with peers
  • Recognition and support for composers who are interested in challenging the way they work

The 12 composers taking part in the programme are:

Eugene Birman, University of Oxford

 Eugene Birman (b. 1987 - Daugavpils, Latvia,) first prize winner of the Concorso Internazionale di Composizione “Lavagnino 2007” and recipient of the 2013 Young Composers Award from Tenso - the European network for professional chamber choirs, has written for a variety of genres, ensembles and performers, with performances across the United States, Europe, and Asia. His music has been commissioned and performed by ensembles and orchestras such as the Latvian Radio Choir, Eric Ericsons Kammarkör, Juilliard Symphony, Sinfonietta Riga, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, World Youth Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble U:, Resonabilis, Quartetto Prometeo, and the Cavaleri Quartet, members of the Deutsches Oper, the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, and the Milan Conservatory, as well as by soloists Maurizio Ben Omar, Iris Oja, Axel Strauss, and numerous others. His highly public career as a composer has led to numerous appearances on BBC, CNN, Bloomberg News, NPR's "All Things Considered", and Radio France. A former student of John Adams, Samuel Adler, Luis Bacalov, David Conte, Azio Corghi, and Christopher Rouse, Eugene Birman graduated with an M.M. degree from the Juilliard School and a B.A. in Economics from Columbia University. He is currently a candidate for the D.Phil in Music at the University of Oxford, Christ Church.

Michael Cutting, Kings College London

 Michael Cutting is a composer currently active in London and Manchester. Having previously graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music, he is now working towards a PhD in Composition at Kings College London supervised by George Benjamin. Additionally, he has attended courses such as Dartington Summer School 2012 and Foundation Royaumont’s Voix Nouvelles 2013, studying with Brian Ferneyhough, Fabien Levy and Oscar Bianchi. To date, Michael has worked with such groups as Lemanic Namascae Modern Ensemble, Endymion Ensemble, Manchester Camerata, Lontano, Fretwork and Lancashire Sinfonietta and his works have been performed in various venues around the UK and Europe. Future projects include new works for Ensemble Intercontemporain and Exaudi (Manifeste 2014), Philharmonia Orchestra (Royal Philharmonic Society Prize), Sarah Nicolls and Sound Intermedia (HCMF and Sound and Music/NMC), and London Symphony Orchestra (LSO Panufnik Scheme).In 2012, along with fellow composer Vitalija Glovackyte, Michael co-founded ACM Ensemble, a new music group based in Manchester with growing recognition. He also curates other events, such as the upcoming OHNO series in Cafe OTO, London, and later in 2014 in Copenhagen, as part of Sound and Music’s Composer-Curator program.www.michaelcutting.co.uk

Ben Gaunt, University of Sheffield

Ben Gaunt (b. 1984) studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and Manchester Metropolitan University. He is now pursuing a PhD at the University of Sheffield, supervised by Dorothy Ker and George Nicholson. His music has been performed by Ensemble 10/10, Icarus Ensemble, Christopher Redgate, and Size Zero Opera. His work 'Seven Shrinking Machines' was performed at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2012, and is being published by University of York Music Press. Ben is the co-director of Sounds of the Engine House alongside fellow composers Steven Jackson and Eve Harrison. They are currently touring the North of England, supported by the Sound and Music Touring Programme. Ben is currently composing a solo work for Copenhagen-based trombonist Heider Nasralla, supported by the Frances Chagrin Award, the Bliss Trust and PRSF Composer Bursary. Ben’s doctoral research involves the perception of time, architectural proportion, dimensionality, the big bang, and the big crunch. His compositions have been described as ‘jazzy’ by Alfred Hickling of The Guardian (and this is true), but Ben also finds inspiration in the music Gérard Grisey, Trent Reznor, Harrison Birtwistle and Nick Drake. Ben recently formed a piano duo (Hooleo Pianola) alongside Gary O’Shea, specialising in music written after the year 2000. Their inaugural concert featured premieres of Sheffield-based composers Tom Owen, Steven Jouanny, and Alex Gowan-Webster. Further concerts are planned for 2014.

 

Edwin Hillier, Royal College of Music

Edwin Hillier (b.1988) grew up in Derbyshire, and received his first formal lessons in composition whilst still at school. In 2007 he was awarded a choral scholarship to Cambridge University where he read Music, studying composition with Giles Swayne and Ryan Wigglesworth, before embarking on two years as a professional singer with the Choir of Gloucester Cathedral.Edwin is currently undertaking a Masters in Composition at the Royal College of Music, where he studies with Jonathan Cole and Kenneth Hesketh. He is a Polonsky Scholar, supported by a Soiree d’Or award, and receives the generous support of both the Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
As a composer, Edwin’s works have been performed and commissioned by ensembles including Nonclassical, Rarescale, Adrian Partington and the Choir of Gloucester Cathedral, the Choir of Christ’s College Cambridge, Ishirini and The explorensemble. He frequently enjoys collaborating across different media, writing incidental music for the theatre and working closely with the visual artist, David Behar-Perahia (Stonemasons’ Chaconne, for choir, live stonemasons and electronics, commissioned as part of the Invisible Structura series and supported by the Arts Council of England). Future projects include the staging of Edwin’s opera Serpentine in the RCM’s Britten Theatre, directed by Bill Bankes-Jones (Artistic Director of Tête à Tête Opera), in addition to the premiere performance of Schlaflied - for baritone and electronics - with Rarescale in both Cardiff and London. In December 2013 Edwin was selected to take part in the SAM/NMC Higher Education Programme, and will be writing a new work for Lore Lixenberg, the London Sinfonietta and Sound Intermedia, to be performed at the 2014 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

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Barnaby Hollington, University of Sussex

 

Barnaby Hollington was born in Norwich, UK, in 1975. He grew up mainly in Australia and France, but returned to Britain in 1993. He studied music at New College, Oxford and composition at the Royal College of Music. He then worked briefly as a violinist, before training as a teacher. Barnaby gave up composition altogether after his studies at the Royal College of Music, but began composing again in late 2002, adopting a radically different approach. From 2004-6, he was awarded prizes in several international competitions: 1st Prize and a Special Prize in the International Composition Prize Luxembourg (2006), 2nd prize in the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra Composition Competition (2006), 2nd prize in the Uuno Klami Composition Competition (Finland, 2004), 2nd prize in the Zeitklang International Composition Competition for Composers (Austria, 2005) and 3rd prize in the Chamber Category of the Alexander Moyzes International Competition for Composers (Slovakia, 2006). In 2007, Barnaby worked on a commission from the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra – Inventions, and was a finalist in the University of Aberdeen Music Prize. For financial reasons, Barnaby all but gave up composition again in late 2007. Since August 2013, however, considerably more favourable financial circumstances have allowed him to resume composing in earnest. He is now studying for a PhD in composition with Martin Butler at the University of Sussex.Three of Barnaby’s scores have recently been published by Editions Musica Ferrum (www.musica-ferrum.com).

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Weiwei Jin, De Montfort University

Weiwei Jin is a Chinese-Swedish composer, sound/multimedia artist, producer and pianist who creates works across the genres of concert music, contemporary dance, audio-visual installation, film, animation and theatre. Influenced by her journey across several cultures, Weiwei often crafts her ideas by using decontextualized cultural elements. She is currently based in UK working towards a Ph.D in Music under the supervision of Prof. Simon Emmerson in Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre at De Montfort University, Leicester. Her research interests lie in opera with technology, interdisciplinary and inter/transmedial operatic practice. She holds masters degrees in Western Art Music Composition and Electroacoustic Composition (Royal College of Music in Stockholm), Film Music Composition (Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts), and certifications of Music Technologies and Sonology (IRCAM, Sibelius Academy and ESMUC).Her music has been performed across Europe, Asia, North and South America, as well as broadcasted by Swedish National Radio, Swedish National TV, Peruvian National Radio and Radio of Shanghai. She has collaborated with a variety of international artists and groups including, Margaret Schedel (USA) at Harvestworks’ 2013/14 New Works Residency in New York, Dirty Electronics (John Richards) at IN-SONORA festival at The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, pianist Jingwen Tu (USA), dancer Karin Elmore (France), Musica Vitae Chamber Orchestra (Växjö), Hägerstens Chamber Choir (Stockholm), Swedish Wind Ensemble. In 2013, She received funding from The Swedish Arts Grants Committee to collaborate with bassoonist Sebastian Stevensson (Danish National Symphony Orchestra) and pianist Asuka Nakamura (Japan).

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Ryan Latimer, Royal Academy of Music

Ryan Latimer (b.1990) is a composer currently based in London. His music has been performed throughout the UK and Europe and has also featured in a number of festivals including Gaudeamus Muziekweek, Sounds New, Darmstadt Ferienkurse, New Generation Arts, Nonclassical, Druskomanija, Haapavesi and Frontiers Plus. He is currently Composer-in-Association with the Workers Union Ensemble as well as associate composer for the London Symphony Orchestra Soundhub project. He was also one of six composers to participate in the LSO Panufnik Scheme, which in 2013 saw the premiere of his new work for the orchestra. His recent work, Divertimento, written for the Britten Sinfonia, was premiered at Wigmore Hall and was later broadcast on BBC Radio 3. And in May 2013, he was one of six featured composers at the Austrian Cultural Forum’s Soundings Festival. In 2011, he was awarded 1st prize at the Young Composers Meeting, Netherlands,and was subsequently commissioned to write a larger work for the Dutch ensemble, Orkestde Ereprijs. As a participant in the International Composer Pyramid, his piece, Beta and Tau,written for the ICP Ensemble, was performed in the UK and France during December 2010. Ryan studied with Joe Cutler and Michael Wolters at Birmingham Conservatoire, where he recently graduated receiving the Musicians’ Union ‘Bill Warman’ Award, Bachelor of Music Award and Composition Prize. He is currently pursuing a PhD at the Royal Academy of Music, with guidance from Philip Cashian and Michael Finnissy.

 

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Oliver Leith, Guildhall School of Music and Drama

Oliver is a London based composer, writing acoustic and electronic music for concerts, films and dance. Tunes and sounds have been performed by the likes of Opera North Orchestra, Guildhall Symphony Orchestra and Exaudi and at venues such as the Rosemary Branch festival, Handel festival, Leeds Lieder, LSO St. Lukes, The Place, the Barbican cinema and Kings Place. He also runs the Locus Project in which new works are commissioned for spaces of interest, say for example, The Old Operating Theatre. He is now studying with Paul Newland on the Masters course at the Guildhall, generously supported by The Countess of Munster Trust and the Guildhall School Trust. He is also very interested in scientific illustrations and gardening. www.oliverchristopheleith.com>

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Paul McGuire, Brunel University

Paul McGuire (b. 1988) is a Dublin-born composer based in London. He is fascinated by the grain of sound and the interactivity between real and recorded sound. He investigates the acoustic, timbral and technical characteristics of musical instruments, beyond a usage of extended techniques in order to focus his practice on sounds that one wouldn’t normally associate with such instruments. He is also interested in lo-fi audio production, and he takes full advantage of sampling and looping technologies, building dense textures of sound from on-the-fly home recordings. Paul earned a B.A. (Hons.) in Music from Trinity College Dublin, where he specialised in composition under Donnacha Dennehy and Sean Reed and pursued further composition studies at Brunel University London. He is currently studying for a PhD in Composition at Brunel with Jennifer Walshe and Christopher Fox, funded by the 2012 Elizabeth Maconchy Composition Fellowship Award.In February 2013, Paul won the Pablo Wendel – Performance Electrics International Composition Competition for his piece Marshes (2013), written for mass guitar ensemble. He was one of five international composers selected to take part in a composition workshop and master class with Marcos Balter for II Bienal Música Hoje in Curitiba, Brazil, in August 2013, for which he was commissioned by Stuttgart’s ensemble cross.art to write Mantle (2013) for piano trio. In 2011, he was one of seven composers chosen to attend Bang on a Can’s Summer Music Festival. A self-taught multi-instrumentalist, Paul has performed with a number of rock groups, one of which (Halves) he played a number of shows with at South by South-West in Austin, Texas in 2010. His compositions have been performed by various ensembles including ensemble cross.art, Open Source Guitars, Con-Tempo String Quartet, and turnEnsemble, and he often performs his own work autonomously or with others. 

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Georgia Rodgers, City University

Georgia Rodgers is studying towards a PhD in Music Composition at City University, London, working part-time under the supervision of Dr. Newton Armstrong. She specialises in music for acoustic instruments and electronics, with a particular interest in the construction of space, the perception of sound and the human experience of listening. Georgia holds a BSc in Physics and an MSc in Digital Composition and Performance, both from the University of Edinburgh. Her composition A to B for percussion and electronics was performed by Serge Vuille in May 2013. She has recently completed a composition for cello and electronics, Late Lines, in collaboration with the cellist Séverine Ballon. Séverine premiered the piece in June 2013. Georgia also works part-time as an acoustician for a firm of consulting engineers based in Camden. She specialises in building and environmental acoustics. Georgia lives and works (and was born) in north London.

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Maya Verlaak, Birmingham City University

Maya Verlaak (1990) was born in Ghent, Belgium. From 7 years old she studied piano with Alfonso Medinilla and later also composition with Marc Maes in the Muziekacademie Gent.She studied composition and sonology at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, the Netherlands. She studied primarily with Peter Adriaansz and Gilius van Bergeijk, in addition to Diderik Wagenaar and Calliope Tsoupaki. She currently lives in Birmingham and studies at Birmingham Conservatoire with Howard Skempton and Michael Wolters. She makes her own electronic instruments/acoustic installations and writes pieces for them. She also composes for fixed media and classical instruments; ensemble music, orchestral music or solo instruments and likes to incorporate theatrical elements in her compositions. She wrote pieces for Ensemble Modelo 62, Ensemble Klang, Rosa Ensemble, Slagwerkgroep Den Haag, BCMG, Praetorius Ensemble, Richard Barrett ensemble Den Haag, VU-Amsterdam Chamber orchestra,… and solo pieces for Janet Forbes, Robert de Bree, Leo Svirsky and Christian Schmitt.In 2012-2013 she was composer in residence at Stichting Grasland, Haarlem and at Vrije Academie Den Haag, Netherlands.Maya is a founder-member and Artistic Director of Acid Police Noise Ensemble. Websites: www.maya.ricercata.org, www.acidpolice.com

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Ji Sun Yang, University of York

Ji Sun Yang (1979 Seoul, South Korea) is a composer, pianist and accompanist. She studied composition (BA) at Sook-Myung Women’s University in Seoul and in 2003, she moved to the Netherlands, continuing her studies (BA/MA) at the Hague Royal Conservatory. She studied with Sue-Yeon Hong, Gilius van Bergeijk and Martijn Padding. Currently she is a PhD candidate at University of York, U.K. and her supervisor is Dr Thomas Simaku. Her music was invited to the festivals such as Gaudeamus Music Week in Amsterdam, NL in 2007 / 2008 / 2010, ISCM in Sydney, Belgium 2010 / 2012, Dag in the branding in the Hague in 2008 and Nederlandse Muziekdagen in 2009. She received the commission works by ensembles as Percussion Group the Hague, Spectra Ensemble, Ensemble Klang, Trio Agartha and Doelen String Quartet. Also, her music was performed by Asko Ensemble, TIMF ensemble, Ensemble besides, Trio La Mer, Zenas Kim, Leonard Kwon and Chimera Ensemble. In 2008, she worked with ‘Dans Theater’ in Regentes Theater, the Hague and afterwards she was invited, as a residency composer and she was one of invited composers for ‘John Cage Anarchy of Silence’. Ji Sun attended the summer course ‘Ostrava Days 2007’ in Czech and in 2008 she attended the ‘Apeldoorn Young Composers Meeting’ in NL with ‘Orkest Ereprijs’. In 2008, she travelled to U.S. for ‘Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival’ in Massachusetts. The work for percussion quartet has been awarded third prize in the composition competition: ‘percussive arts society in Italy, 2009’. 

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