Holloway Children’s Choir Winter Concert

On the penultimate day of 2018, the Holloway Children’s Choir held a truly excellent concert to a sell-out audience at the Cathay Future Concert Hall, Tianjin.  To see the programme of pieces we sang, scroll down to the bottom of the post for the poster (mostly in Chinese). Bolstered by our success applying for the…Continue Reading “Holloway Children’s Choir Winter Concert”

Phasma Music CD Release on Naxos!

In June 2018 I won joint second place in the Witold Szalonek International Composition Competition.  Phasma music, headed up by contemporary music tour-de-force Iwona Glinka, are due to release a studio recording of the finalists’ pieces on the Naxos Label.  Here’s the cover, featuring the impressive 14th-Century St John’s Cathedral in Kwidzyn, where the competition…Continue Reading “Phasma Music CD Release on Naxos!”

Collaboration with Ligeti Quartet (Bristol University Jean Golding Institute Seed Corn Award): “Metastable Impressions”

(Photo: Mike Massaro) I have just begun a new collaboration with Peter Bennett of the Interaction and Graphics Research Group at Bristol University, and Robert Arbon and Alex Jones of the School of Chemistry.  We are working to make visual and sonic representations of computational models of biomolecular dynamics.  In turn, we hope to make…Continue Reading “Collaboration with Ligeti Quartet (Bristol University Jean Golding Institute Seed Corn Award): “Metastable Impressions””

University of Taipei, Department of Musicology visiting lecture: “Organic and Geometric Aspects of Musical Composition” (2018.12.11)

I’m grateful to the inspiring Pan Jia Lin, Professor of Composition at Taiwan’s oldest university, the University of Taipei (台北市立大学), for her invitation to give a lecture to the students of the musicology department.  I had originally planned to give an adapted version of the lecture I previously gave in Zhejiang in May, but Professor…Continue Reading “University of Taipei, Department of Musicology visiting lecture: “Organic and Geometric Aspects of Musical Composition” (2018.12.11)”

Sam Cave forthcoming CD release on Metiér: Guitar Sonatas

The recording for Sam Cave’s CD is all done now, and Metiér (a division of Divine Records) are due to release the disc early in 2019.   I’m honoured that Sam has recorded my Guitar Sonata and Second Guitar Sonata to include on the disc; these are pieces which I wrote specially for Sam, and he’s…Continue Reading “Sam Cave forthcoming CD release on Metiér: Guitar Sonatas”

Holloway Children’s Choir to Compete in the Llangollen International Eisteddfod 2019

The Holloway Children’s Choir has had some fantastic news: we have been selected to compete in the Junior and Junior Folk competitions at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod next Summer! Info on the Eisteddfod can be found here: https://international-eisteddfod.co.uk/ I’m so proud of the children for this achievement, and I can’t wait to bring them to the…Continue Reading “Holloway Children’s Choir to Compete in the Llangollen International Eisteddfod 2019”

Holloway Children’s Choir Summer Concert: Videos

  The Holloway Children’s Choir inaugural concert came after a term of very hard work from me and the children of the intermediate and advanced classes.  They did a great job in spite of being slightly down on numbers (owing to my three week trip to the U.S., we had to organise the concert for…Continue Reading “Holloway Children’s Choir Summer Concert: Videos”

Atlantic Music Festival- Dances in Time and Vertical Space- quintet version (2018) world premiere

Amazing performance today at the Atlantic Music Festival of my piece Dances in Time and Vertical Space. You can watch the full performance here (solo violin: Nicholas Hatt): For Chinese users: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzc5ODg0Mjk4OA==.html   I took some videos of the dress rehearsal yesterday: For Chinese users: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzcxMDcwNjIzMg==.html   For Chinese users: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzcxMDcwNjI0NA==.html          …Continue Reading “Atlantic Music Festival- Dances in Time and Vertical Space- quintet version (2018) world premiere”

Mise-En Festival 2018 Music Marathon- World Premiere of “Crystal Images II”

It was an amazing 4 days at the 2018 Mise-En Festival.  I met many imaginative, free-thinking, intelligent, witty and talented composers, all of us composing very different and distinctive art music.  Moon Young Ha and Jordann Davis and the whole Ensemble Mise-En have worked extremely hard, especially on the last day’s 4-hour long Music Marathon. …Continue Reading “Mise-En Festival 2018 Music Marathon- World Premiere of “Crystal Images II””

I finished my PhD at the University of Southampton in 2011, and passed the viva with minimal corrections in early 2012.  It has been sitting on my computer (and in the Hartley Library at S’ton) all that time, and I thought I ought to put it up here, as it contains a lot of ideas…Continue Reading “PhD Portfolio and Commentary (2012)- download link”

Holloway Children’s Choir Summer Concert 2018

My children’s choir has been going well this semester.  I founded it in February after the Tianjin Grand Theatre’s Mulan Children’s Choir ceased to exist (see here: http://georgehollowaycomposer.com/?p=789), and the choir is going from strength to strength.  I absolutely couldn’t have done it without Zhou Ting Ting, and it’s been a huge learning experience for…Continue Reading “Holloway Children’s Choir Summer Concert 2018”

Mise-En Festival 2018 Visiting Composer- Premiere of “Crystal Images II: Beijing Hutongs, Spring ’18”

The Mise-En Festival 2018 website is up now: https://festival.mise-en.org/2018/index.html This contemporary music festival, run by an amazing team led by the energetic Korean composer Moon Young HA, is held annually at Mise-En Place, Bushwick, New York.  Mise-En chose my proposal for a new work, along with twenty four other composers’ proposals and scores (out of…Continue Reading “Mise-En Festival 2018 Visiting Composer- Premiere of “Crystal Images II: Beijing Hutongs, Spring ’18””

Highfield Ensemble recording of “I believe in you, my soul” (SATB setting of Walt Whitman)

(Full recording hopefully coming soon!…) The young, adventurous and talented Highfield Ensemble recently made a fantastic recording of my choral setting of a passage from Whitman’s Song of Myself.  Sadly I couldn’t be there myself, but they were so sensitive to the score and detailed in their interpretation, that they didn’t seem to need my personal input…Continue Reading “Highfield Ensemble recording of “I believe in you, my soul” (SATB setting of Walt Whitman)”

International Composition Prize: Second Place in the 2018 Witold Szalonek Composition Prize

I received some pleasant news at the start of June, that my piece for wind quartet, Mysterious Future, won second prize in the Witold Szalonek International Composition Competition.  The final, featuring 16 composers, took place on 5th June 2018 in Kwidzyn, Poland, with the pieces performed by Phasma Music.  Mysterious Future is due to be recorded on Naxos Records,…Continue Reading “International Composition Prize: Second Place in the 2018 Witold Szalonek Composition Prize”

“Fantasia” for accordion and violin, world premiere at Central Conservatory of Music 6th June 2018

http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzcwNDg4OTM2MA==.html I met the precocious and astonishing Tian Jianan in 2012, and in 2013 wrote this little piece for her, Fantasia, which I’m very happy can finally receive its premiere in her Master’s Final Recital at the Central Conservatory of Music on Sunday 6th June 2018.  Below is some information about Tian Jia Nan for Chinese…Continue Reading ““Fantasia” for accordion and violin, world premiere at Central Conservatory of Music 6th June 2018”

Zhejiang Conservatory of Music “Composition: Theory” lecture series: “Geometric and organic structural thinking in my musical compositions”

I recently had a superb experience down in Hangzhou, lecturing on my music at the very new and extraordinarily-equipped Zhejiang Conservatory of Music.  It’s one of two new Conservatories that have opened in China in just the last two years, the other being Harbin up in the North East. https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/F-vMzsNrh86bKrQg26H1LQ

Holloway Children’s Choir- inaugural rehearsals

Some of you will already know that I’ve recently set up my own children’s choir in Tianjin, the Holloway Children’s Choir.  We had our first rehearsals this weekend.  Most of my students from the now defunct Mulan have come with me on this new journey!  I’m looking forward to teaching them Sumer is icumen in,…Continue Reading “Holloway Children’s Choir- inaugural rehearsals”

Recording session with Sam Cave: Guitar Sonata

I’m looking forward to the release of Sam Cave’s CD, which will feature both of my guitar sonatas, alongside Murail’s Tellur, Fox’s Chile and Radulescu’s Subconscious Wave, all of which are possibly world premiere recordings.  Sam has described this disc as the “cumulative expression of the last ten years of my guitar playing”, and I am very proud that my…Continue Reading “Recording session with Sam Cave: Guitar Sonata”

Sculpture in Melody for traditional solo sheng 《线性雕塑》,为传统笙而作(2015-6) – forthcoming premiere taster!

I’ve been working with the talented Zheng Yang for almost two years now; I have given her so many drafts of this piece!  With all the struggles to make my musical ideas playable on the sheng, complete with meticulously bar-by-bar solving of near intractable fingering problems, we’re nearing the full premiere of “Sculpture in Melody”…Continue Reading “Sculpture in Melody for traditional solo sheng 《线性雕塑》,为传统笙而作(2015-6) – forthcoming premiere taster!”

Novella (Chapter One) for cello and piano- forthcoming project taster!

In November/December 2017 I was honoured to visit Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, and rehearse my piece for cello and piano, Novella (Chapter One) with Fang Yijia and Li Xinyuan.  They premiered the work on the 1st December, in what was one of the most enjoyable and awe-inspiring concerts I’ve ever seen (check out the…Continue Reading “Novella (Chapter One) for cello and piano- forthcoming project taster!”

Birds in Flight (2012) for two violins (Kreutzer quartet at Goldsmith’s, 1st Feb ‘18)

Listen to Colin Still’s excellent recording of Peter and Mihailo’s gorgeous performance (click on the link to hear two other performances of this piece):     http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzQwMzEwNzQ0MA==.html?spm=a2hzp.8253869.0.0

In January 2018, Tianjin International TV made a documentary about my life and work as composer, conductor and teacher in Tianjin. 在中国的朋友们,欢迎你们打开以下的链接观看天津国际频道Hello!天津的纪录片: http://tv.cntv.cn/video/VSET100183082927/35c76b659ddb4ad294aa3d03e454801f?from=timeline&isappinstalled=0 The full documentary: I’ve made a shorter edited version: Unfortunately it’s in Chinese!  Apologies to my non-Chinese-speaking friends, but I encourage you to take a look anyway, as it’s beautifully shot!

Opera for Children’s Choir: Cao Chong Weighs the Elephant 童声歌剧:曹冲称象 (2017)

You can see the documentary Tianjin International TV made about my rehearsals with the delightful Mulan Children’s Choir on this project here: Tianjin International TV: Hello! Tianjin documentary http://georgehollowaycomposer.com/?p=521 July 2018: Update I’ve got the videos of the three performances up online, you can see them here: For people in China, youku links below: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzcwNDY1OTk4NA==.html…Continue Reading “Opera for Children’s Choir: Cao Chong Weighs the Elephant 童声歌剧:曹冲称象 (2017)”

Pied Beauty (2017) children’s choir and string orchestra

This piece was commissioned by French-Chinese composer Qigang Chen, whose Gong Geng college runs a Summer camp for rural children to study music with superb teachers and perform with wonderful players.  The college is situated in the remote Zhejiang countryside–so remote, that one can only access it by boat. I have been lucky and privileged…Continue Reading “Pied Beauty (2017) children’s choir and string orchestra”

My beloved Mulan Children’s Choir.   Rachmaninoff Glorious Forever     Chen Yi A Ma Lei Hou, Ga Da Mei Lin (from Mountain Songs)       Franck, Panis Angelicus     Mozart, Ave Verum     Yang Hong Nian (arr.), Jasmine Flower 杨鸿年(编) 茉莉花     Russian Song (composer unknown)     Don’t be upset! (Russian song)  

Mosaic (2017) for 13 instruments

This is, to my mind, one of the most important educational contributions I’ve made at the Tianjin Conservatory of Music: coaching and rehearsing this piece was a transformative learning experience for the thirteen students that premiered the piece.  I personally invested 60 or more hours in rehearsing Mosaic, from one-to-one coaching, to sectionals and full rehearsals. …Continue Reading “Mosaic (2017) for 13 instruments”

The Poise Between Notes and Noise (2008) for flexible ensemble

This piece for flexible ensemble has had many performances over the years.  I’ve posted two videos of performances below, and a bandcamp link where you can hear the audio of what I think was the world premiere, by CoMA South.     http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzE2NDA0NDU2NA==.html?spm=a2hzp.8253869.0.0       http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzE2NDA0MzQ3Mg==.html?spm=a2hzp.8253869.0.0            

For No One, To No One was first performed by David Alberman at the SPNM solo spotlights concert, Wapping Hydraulic Power Station, London, UK, 20th March 2007. The title was prompted by composer and performer Ignacio Agrimbau, who suggested I write a piece without dedication, and which did not purport to convey extra-musical meaning. The…Continue Reading “For No One, To No One (2006-7) solo violin”

Kreutzer Quartet in Tianjin: Tullochgorm (2016) for String Quartet

In October 2016 I organised a mini-festival, inviting the Kreutzer Quartet to come and perform, teach, lecture and workshop students works.  It was a wonderful week, and garnered enthusiastic feedback from the Tianjin students.   http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzE2NDA0ODE4NA==.html?spm=a2hzp.8253869.0.0   While they were in Tianjin, I was lucky enough to have a new piece, Tullochgorm, premiered in their second concert.  This…Continue Reading “Kreutzer Quartet in Tianjin: Tullochgorm (2016) for String Quartet”

Ling 《灵》Improvised music, theatre and dance performance (2015/6)

  I worked with the director Cao Jing on her production of Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis in Summer 2015.  I was so impressed by her imagination and talent, I was clear that I wanted to work with her on an improvised performance involving music, dance and theatre.  This eventually became Ling, which we performed (each time utterly different)…Continue Reading “Ling 《灵》Improvised music, theatre and dance performance (2015/6)”

This piece, commissioned by the Druskomanija Festival in Lithuania, presents a collage of rarefied sound images.  The “images” are static textures in constant flux, combinations of looping, contrasting material in different instruments.  Each “image” was paired with fixed shots of natural phenomena, such as wind, waves or clouds moving across the sky (reflected in the…Continue Reading “Crystal Images (Cardigan Bay, Summer 2015)- for 9 instruments and video projection”

I worked on the musical accompaniment for this Chinese language production of Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis in Summer 2015.  I composed some new music for ‘cello/multi-tracked ‘cello, as well as using some of my other pieces.  I wrote the ‘cello pieces as canons, first recording a single voice and later overlaying copies of the same recording to…Continue Reading “Theatre Music for Sarah Kane 4.48 Psychosis 萨拉·凯恩:4.48精神崩溃配乐”

I wrote this piece for 13 performers (all Chinese instruments, including 2 percussionists playing Chinese percussion) for the TJCM 2015 May Music Festival.  It was premiered by the Fan Yin Chinese instrument ensemble.  The suona player plays from three different positions, at first from behind the audience, then in the middle of the audience, and…Continue Reading “Iceflow IV (2014) for Chinese instrument ensemble (13 players)”

Dances in Time and Vertical Space (2015) for solo violin and six instruments

AANMI premiered Dances in Time and Vertical Space in the concert hall of the Central Conservatory of Music on 25th May 2015, as part of the Beijing Modern Music Festival.   This piece is a kind of baroque dance suite, with the different dances superimposed upon each other in different mensurations and, as the piece progresses,…Continue Reading “Dances in Time and Vertical Space (2015) for solo violin and six instruments”

Vincenz und Greta (2012-14) for 8 accordions

For Eight Accordions, spatially arranged around the audience. I wrote this piece between Jan 2012 and March 2014, in honour of my friend Nicolai Leski’s two children, Vincenz and Greta. The players are ranged around the audience in 8 evenly distributed positions, the aim being that opposing performers can “transmit” the sound from one side…Continue Reading “Vincenz und Greta (2012-14) for 8 accordions”

Guitar Sonatas 1&2

My two guitar sonatas were both written for and dedicated to Sam Cave.  Thanks to Sam, these two pieces have become my most often performed compositions!  Sam is preparing a professional recording of both sonatas, which I eagerly await.  In the meantime, I post here the videos of Sam’s earlier performances (from his visit to…Continue Reading “Guitar Sonatas 1&2”

Brief Journey (2007) for soprano, alto, erhu (or violin) and piano

This vocal work sets the poetry of Li Po (Li Bai) in Chinese.  The world premiere performance from my “Music for Voices” composer portrait concert in Southampton in 2012,  was sung by English performers, and I did my best to coach them in the mandarin pronunciation (although of course Li Po’s own pronunciation is nothing…Continue Reading “Brief Journey (2007) for soprano, alto, erhu (or violin) and piano”

Setting of P.B. Shelley’s poem of the same name.  During the first of my two years in Beijing (2012-3), I did not have many opportunities to make music.  I was in the wilderness somewhat with my Chinese language learning.  This was a welcome opportunity to perform my own music, although it was admittedly  terrifying playing…Continue Reading “Mutability (2013) for solo soprano and piano”

Earthly Branches (2012-3) for large orchestra

  Earthly Branches won a prize in the 2013 Beijing Modern Music Festival’s “Orchestral Composition Grand Prix” (I came third), and the piece was premiered in Beijing Concert Hall by Qingdao Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Zhang Guoyong.  I added the following text to the inside page of the score for Earthly Branches.  This reflects how I felt…Continue Reading “Earthly Branches (2012-3) for large orchestra”

A Spark Lights the Void Within (2009) for soprano and string orchestra (or piano and double bass)

This song cycle was written for, and premiered by soprano Ruth Hopkins.   A Spark Lights the Void Within was written in memory of Lydia Press.  I wrote the texts of the three recitatives in the wake of Lydia’s passing away, and later chose the Cavafy and Shelley poems to accompany my own.  Southampton University Strings premiered…Continue Reading “A Spark Lights the Void Within (2009) for soprano and string orchestra (or piano and double bass)”

My programme note on this piece from 2012: Ondas (“Waves”) sets a love poem by Federico Garcia Lorca.  I was interested in the image of the “concentric waves” which the speaker says are like the waves in his heart when his beloved speaks.  I wrote a sort of circular melody (the same melody, in fact…Continue Reading “Ondas (2006-7) for solo soprano”

Bird Songs (2007-9) song cycle for mezzo-soprano and piano

Bird Songs (2007-9) “Fifty-Nine Swans” (Yeats) “Black Rook in Rainy Weather” (Plath) “The Hierarchies of Sound” (Evans) I’ve uploaded 3 performances of my song cycle for mezzo and piano, “Bird Songs”. Each time working on this song cycle from scratch with a different singer was extraordinarily fun, and a tremendous challenge and learning experience.  I…Continue Reading “Bird Songs (2007-9) song cycle for mezzo-soprano and piano”

Two Pieces for Violin and Piano (2008/10)

  http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzE2NDE1ODcwMA==.html?spm=a2hzp.8253869.0.0   Program Note i. Chanson ii. Epitaphium The “Two Pieces for Violin and Piano” are actually two sections that together form one complete piece.  In the first, the piano plays a systematically accelerating and decelerating sequence of rhythms, presenting a sequence of pitches based around the interval of a minor sixth; the violin…Continue Reading “Two Pieces for Violin and Piano (2008/10)”

Druskininkanonas (2011) for double reed quintet

I wrote this piece for the Lithuanian Oboe Quartet, with an offstage bassoon appearing late in the piece! It was premiered on the 20th May 2012 in Holy Trinity Church, Auletikos, Lithuania, as part of the Druskomanija international contemporary music fesitval.  There is a version for four oboes and bassoon; this alternative version (and the…Continue Reading “Druskininkanonas (2011) for double reed quintet”

Meltwater (2009-2011) for choir and orchestra

    Meltwater (2009-2011) was written jointly for Finchley Chamber Choir and Finchley Chamber Orchestra, as part of the 2009-2010 Adopt a Composer scheme, with the world premiere in 2011. I began the piece during my exchange trip to National Taiwan University, Taipei, and finished it on my return to the UK, variously finishing sections…Continue Reading “Meltwater (2009-2011) for choir and orchestra”

Media Vita (2007-8) for string orchestra

  I wrote this piece originally for the Southampton University Strings in 2007-8. I remember clearly finishing the manuscript at my parents’ house in Mwnt, Ceredigion, at around 10pm on New Year’s Eve of 2007. The name comes from an Ambrosian plainsong, “media vita in morte sumus”, “in the midst of life we are in…Continue Reading “Media Vita (2007-8) for string orchestra”

Originalemelodie (2010) for solo piano

Originalmelodie reflects upon lyricism in music, and upon the boundary between independent melodic line/contrapuntal ‘voice’ and figuration/accompaniment.  It is also a tapestry of reminiscences, visiting Gustav Mahler, Charles Ives, Kaikhosru Sorabji, Ferruccio Busoni, traditional Taiwanese song, Jean Barraqué, Brian Ferneyhough and Felix Mendelssohn; only the last of these is quoted directly, whose Songs without Words were first published in London as Original Melodies for…Continue Reading “Originalemelodie (2010) for solo piano”

Mass of St Michael (2010) SATB, organ and cello

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Kyrie, eleison. Kyrie, eleison. Kyrie, eleison. Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Christe, eleison. Christe, eleison. Christe, eleison. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.   LORY be to God on high. And in earth peace towards men of good will….Continue Reading “Mass of St Michael (2010) SATB, organ and cello”

Premiere performance of the version for piano quartet:     http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzE2NDAzOTczMg==.html?spm=a2hzp.8253869.0.0     A later, distinctive interpretation from the U.S.A.: International Composers’ Collective, U.S.A. branch, Cleveland, Ohio 2011 《开明的演说》(2007/2009)- 国际作曲家协会美国分部      

  This recording is Julian Jacobsen’s intensely expressive and exacting performance from 2007 (Turner Sims Concert Hall). This was the first piece I completed during my Masters study with Michael Finnissy; it was on the basis of this piece that I was chosen for the SPNM Shortlist (2006-9). The final form of the piece was…Continue Reading “Selected “early” works”