Portfolio 2014-15

Portfolio is a Sound and Music artist development programme. Aimed at talented composers at an early stage in their career, Sound and Music’s Portfolio scheme provides a key development opportunity for composers to create new work with and for some of the UK’s leading ensembles and presenters of new music. Portfolio enables them to develop their portfolio of work and gain vital artistic and practical insight and experience in working with professional ensembles and presenting organisations, and delivering new work to public audiences. 

The selected composers for the 2014/15 Portfolio scheme are:

Chandra Chapman, Artur Vidal and Dan Scott with the Bohman Brothers and Richard Thomas
Ben Tassie, Chris Roe, Eugene Birman and Lee Westwood with Aluminium Music and Joby Burgess
Chloe Knibbs, Daniel Kidane and Edward Nesbitt with The Riot Ensemble
Pia Palme, Luke Nickel, Michael Perrett and Charlie Usher with EXAUDI

London-based Jonathan and Adam Bohman, with Richard Thomas, are known for their unique experimental sound based live performances which use found objects, text and an innumerable array of sound sources. Their humorous visual set-ups which resemble hard-wired flea markets, are the basis from which the group, in the spirit of Fluxus, musique concrète and sound poetry, create their often grotesque soundscapes freely quoting from any source available to them. Found texts such as advertising spiel is juxtaposed with sounds ranging from amplified shoe brushes to a tape cut-up of seventeenth-century instruments.

Chandra Chapman

A musician currently based in Birmingham, Chandra specialised in composition and graduated in 2013 from the University of Aberdeen, having studied with Pete Stollery and Suk-Jun Kim. Her work has included site specific compositions, electroacoustic music and installations. Chandra also has a keen interest in participatory work and has collaborated with a broad range of people to create new work with them.

She has recently concluded a traineeship with Birmingham Contemporary Music Groups Learning and Participation department. During this year she has supported many young composers exploring new ideas and ways of writing music.


Artur Vidal

A Spanish-born saxophone player and sound artist who grew up in Paris and currently resides in London. As such, Artur has performed and recorded extensively in the UK, France and Spain, as well as also being active in Turkey, Mexico or Czech Republic. His work involves field recordings, sound walks, dance and improvisation, and he is an active member of the improvised music scene, playing and recording with artists and musicians who include Grundik Kasyansky, Jennifer Allum, Phil Durrant, Eddie Prévost, Roger Turner, Ruth Barberan, and Sébastien Branche, with whom he makes up the improvising saxophone duo ‘Relentless’. He has currently completed an MA in Sound Arts at London College of Communication (UAL) and started in 2013 an Mphil/PhD research about the notions of silence and sociality in improvised music.



Dan Scott

Based in Kent, Dan's work incorporates installation, performance, sound and text and often investigates the politics and poetics of sound and listening. Dan also works as a visiting lecturer at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama where he runs a module called Aurality and is currently engaged in a practice-based PhD at the University of the Arts, London, on the subject of ways of listening within sound art. Dan has carried out projects internationally including recent projects Yesterday at Harewood House,The Palace of Green Porcelain at Breese Little Gallery, On The Sonority of Clay at the Soundfjord Gallery, Advantageous Recordingsat the De La Warr Pavilion and the Sonic Trails series at Tate Modern. 


Joby Burgess with Aluminium Music

One of Britain’s most diverse percussionists, Joby is best known for his virtuosic,often lissom performances, daring collaborations, extensive education work, and regularly appears throughout Europe, the USA and beyond. Joby commits much of his time to his own projects, most notably the audio visual collective Powerplant - with sound designer, Matthew Fairclough and visual artist, Kathy Hinde - where the worlds of minimalism and electronica collide. Since 2001 Joby has been at the forefront of Britain’s leading percussion group Ensemble Bash and performs regularly with several duo partners including oboist, Janey Miller as New Noise and cellist, Matthew Sharp as Uncharted. 2014 sees a new collaboration with The Smith Quartet and new commissions from Graham Fitkin and Will Gregory.

Benjamin Tassie

Benjamin is a London based composer of electronic and acoustic music. He completed Post-Graduate studies at the Royal College of Music, achieving a Distinction. Whilst there he was an RCM Scholar, supported by the Angela Nankivell Award, and by both the Ralph Vaughan William’s Trust and the St. Marylebone Educational Foundation. Prior to this he graduated with First Class Honours from the joint undergraduate course at King’s College London and the Royal Academy of Music.

His music has been performed by a number of leading ensembles, including the Britten Sinfonia, Rarescale, the Composers’ Ensemble, Lontano, the Cavaleri Quartet, the Lunar Saxophone Quartet, and the Ossian Ensemble. He has worked with Rambert Dance on a number of projects, created a surround-sound music installation for the De La Warr Pavilion, and has had his music programmed by NonClassical. 


Chris Roe

Described as “both lyrical and strident”, “brilliantly unnerving” and “highly energetic”, Chris's music has been performed throughout Europe by ensembles including the London Sinfonietta, l’Arsenale and ECCE.  With recent highlights including the orchestral premiere of ‘Lavoisier’s Mirror’s’, and a Wigmore Hall debut, Chris is currently writing for the City of Cambridge Symphony Orchestra for the ‘Adopt a Composer’ scheme.

Chris graduated from Manchester University, before studying at the Royal College of Music with Kenneth Hesketh, graduating with the Adrian Cruft prize. Chris is also founder and conductor of ANIMA, an innovative ensemble performing live contemporary music with abstract visuals.


Eugene Birman

Eugene (b. 1987 - Daugavpils, Latvia,) has been commissioned and performed by leading ensembles and orchestras on three continents in over a dozen countries. His highly public career as a composer has led to appearances on BBC, CNN, Bloomberg News, NPR's "All Things Considered", Le Monde, Radio France, and numerous others. Current projects include commissions for the Estonian National Male Choir, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and the European network for professional chamber choirs - TENSO's first worldwide commission marking the centenary of WWI, to be premiered in Mechelen, Belgium in May 2014. He is a candidate for a D.Phil in Music at the University of Oxford, Christ Church and holds degrees from Columbia University and the Juilliard School.


Lee Westwood 

A composer and a guitarist, whose music draws influences from Modern Jazz, Folk, and the past 150 years of Classical Music. Although largely self-taught, Lee has received tutoring from Martin Butler, Martin Suckling and Alison Kay. He recently received Arts Council support for 'A Hidden Order', a multimedia exhibition with Sama Mara exploring the relationship between music and geometry, which, since March 2014 has been exhibited internationally in a growing number of the world's leading Contemporary Art galleries. As a guitarist, Lee has shared the stage with countless folk and guitar legends, has toured his music extensively throughout the UK, Europe and the USA, and has released five solo albums to date. Lee performed for five years with Songlines Award nominees Dizraeli & The Small Gods, and currently tours and records with experimental trio Le Juki.

“…one of the UK’s most exciting and versatile musicians.”

Keith Ames, MU


The Riot Ensemble 

A flexible, artist-driven organisation developing new ways to present new music which aim to be as innovative and exciting as the music itself. Riot Ensemble concerts have taken place in venues ranging from LSO St. Luke’s to Dalston Square to Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospitals.  Guided by a core artistic board of leading contemporary musicians, each Riot Ensemble performance is uniquely designed and produced by the artists involved; technology, community and education are all embraced to create accessible and rewarding opportunities for people to engage with and experience contemporary music.

Click here to read Heather Roche's blog on working with The Riot Ensemble and Sound and Music's Portfolio scheme.

Chloe Knibbs

Born in 1992, Chloe has recently graduated from the University of Manchester with a first-class degree, after specialising in composition with Professor Philip Grange. She has participated in a number of music festivals, receiving a bursary to attend the Composition Course at the Magnus Festival 2013 in Orkney and the Song-writing Course at the Dartington Summer School Festival 2013. Her music has been performed by the Quator Danel, as part of the MUMS Chamber Festival, by members of Manchester University Chamber Orchestra, and by the contemporary music ensemble Vaganza. She is keen to promote composition through education projects, having worked with the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, Halle Education and the WAM Foundation in India. 


Daniel Kidane

Daniel's music has been performed extensively across the UK and abroad as well as being broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Described by the Financial Times as ‘quietly impressive’ and by The Times as writing music that is ‘tautly constructed’ and ’vibrantly imagined’.Recently he toured with the Manchester Camerata Orchestra, conducting his harpsichord concerto ‘Feuersturm’, written for Mahan Esfahani. His piano trio, ‘Flux and Stasis’, received critical acclaim in The Times and was written for and premiered by the Fournier Trio in the Park Lane Group’s New Year Concert Series. Other recent performances include premieres of his works by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s 10/10 Ensemble and at the Adelaide International Cello Festival.  Last year he was chosen for the LPO’s Leverhulme Young Composers’ programme, which culminated in a orchestral premiere. He was also chosen to take part in last year’s Cheltenham Music Festival, as a resident young composer, and this year’s Presteigne Festival, as a winner of a Royal Philharmonic Society Composition prize. 


Edward Nesbit

Born in 1986, Edward studied at Cambridge University, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and King's College, London, studying with Richard Baker, Julian Anderson and George Benjamin.  His works have been performed by groups such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de Lorraine, the Britten-Pears Composers Ensemble, Lontano, the Orlando Consort, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, members of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and members of the Philharmonia Orchestra in venues including Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall and Barbican Hall; his work has also been broadcast on BBC Radio 3.  He won the 2010 Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize and, in 2013, the first Verbier Festival Academy Composer Prize.  His song cycle A Pretence of Wit was shortlisted for the vocal category of the 2013 British Composer Awards.



Since its debut in 2002, EXAUDI has emerged as one of Britain’s leading contemporary music ensembles. Founded by James Weeks (director) and Juliet Fraser (soprano), EXAUDI is based in London and draws its singers from among the UK’s brightest vocal talents. EXAUDI’s special affinity is for the radical edges of contemporary music, at home equally with maximal complexity, microtonality and experimental aesthetics. The newest new music is at the heart of its repertoire, and it has given national and world premières of Sciarrino, Rihm, Ferneyhough, Finnissy, Fox, Posadas, Eötvös, Gervasoni, Skempton, Ayres, Pesson, Poppe, Fox and James Saunders among many others.

Pia Palme 

Composer and performer Pia is known for her versatile musical life and her pursuit of the new in more alternative contexts. She started her musical career in a classical way, working as an oboist, performer with the recorder, and teaching music in the Music School of the City of Vienna. A radical reorientation brought her to improvisation, electronic and contemporary music. She created her own artistic projects, often interdisciplinary or site specific works, and moved from structured improvisation, graphic scores to extended forms of precise notation. Pia Palme is aware of sociological aspects - including feminism - and works with them as ingredients of her compositional concepts. Currently she researches on and uses audio-scores, a technique that allows her to extend the composing process into performances. Pia also works as a performer and experimentalist, with the contrabass recorder, as well as in the field of electronic music. For her artistic work she was awarded a grants and scholarships from the City of Vienna and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Art, such as the year-long composition scholarship 2014.


Luke Nickel

Luke (b. 1988) is an experimental composer currently pursuing a PHD in music composition at Bath Spa University in Bath, UK, under the tutelage of Prof. James Saunders. He began his career composing traditionally notated works for various ensembles including the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the McGill Wind Symphony, and the Harrington/Loewen Duo. Lately he has begun to investigate other forms of notation, leading to experimental works that defy the boundaries of music and performance art, encouraging a mode of listening more focused on experience. Luke also co-directs the Cluster: New Music + Integrated Arts Festival in Winnipeg, MB.


Michael Perrett

A graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music, Michael studied clarinet and composition with Linda Merrick, Larry Goves and Gary Carpenter. In 2009, he won the NCEM Composers Award which resulted in a performance of his piece God by the Tallis Scholars in York Minster, a performance subsequently broadcast on BBC Radio 3. His music has been workshopped by EXAUDI and The Ebor Singers, performed by The Tallis Scholars, ACM Ensemble, and various RNCM ensembles and soloists. Some highlights as a performer include Berg's Vier Stücke as part of the RNCM's Friedrich Cerha festival, Ferneyhough's In Nomine a 3 in the presence of the composer (again at the RNCM) and organising a performance of Burdocks by Christian Wolff at Kraak Gallery, a performance which formed the basis for his Masters dissertation. In 2014, he founded CoMA (Contemporary Music for All) Manchester who will make their debut at CoMA's 21st Anniversary concert at St John's Smith Square in October 2014. 


charlie usher

Charlie Usher 

Born in 1987 in the UK, Charlie has been performed by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (conducted by James Weeks), the BBC Concert Orchestra (Royal Festival Hall), the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra (conducted by James MacMillan), Katelyn Clark, Oliver Coates, Endymion, the Eris Ensemble, the New York Miniaturist Ensemble (Lincoln Center, New York City), Dave McCann, the RNCM Symphony Orchestra, and workshopped by Rolf Hind, Ensemble 10/10 and the BBC Singers.  He is a 2004 Guardian/BBC Proms Young Composer of the Year, and shortlisted by Society for the Promotion of New Music between 2007-2010. He studied with Professor David Horne at Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, until 2009, less formally with Howard Skempton in 2010, and privately with Antoine Beuger in 2012. An artist in residence at the Banff Centre, Canada (winter 2011), at DanceEast's ChoreoLAB new dance residency (summer 2012), and at the Soundings Festival at the Austrian Cultural Forum in 2013.  Projects include works for solo double bass (for Enno Senft) commissioned by the London Sinfonietta, September 2014.


These composers are all part of Sound and Music's 2015 New Voices scheme. To learn more visit the British Music Collection.

In collaboration with: 


Funded by:

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The London Community Foundation

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