Highfield Ensemble recording of “I believe in you, my soul” SATB setting of Walt Whitman (Summer 2018)

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 at all.  I can’t wait…Continue Reading “Highfield Ensemble recording of “I believe in you, my soul” SATB setting of Walt Whitman (Summer 2018)”

Novella (Chapter One) for cello and piano (Premiere, Dec. 2017)

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 (Premiere, Dec. 2017)”

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

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

  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”

Welcome to the website of composer, conductor and educator George Holloway. I am currently assistant professor of composition in the department of Ethnomusicology, Nanhua University, in Taiwan:   http://music2.nhu.edu.tw/members/teacher.php?class=110   Until April 2018 I was Dean of Composition at Tianjin Conservatory of Music, China (historically the first ever foreign head of department in a Chinese conservatory…Continue Reading “Welcome”