Ed Bennett (1975*) composer

Ed Bennett was born in Bangor, County Down in Northern Ireland. His music combines acoustic, electronic and multimedia elements. His work has been commissioned and performed internationally by many diverse artists, ensembles and organisations including the BBC, RTE, PRSF, Music Network, Moving On Music and the arts councils of England, Ireland and Northern Ireland. Noted performers of his work include the BBC Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras, the National Orchestra of Belgium, RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Ulster Orchestra, the London Sinfonietta and Sound Intermedia, Ensemble SurPlus, Crash Ensemble, Ars Nova Ensemble (Sweden), Orkest de ereprijs, Fidelio Trio, Lontano, Concorde, the Smith Quartet, Berlin Percussion Ensemble, Reinbert de Leeuw, James MacMillan, Arturo Tamayo, Ulrich Mertin, Darragh Morgan, Damien Harron, Roman Mints, Paul Roe and Sarah Nicolls. He also performs with and directs his own ensemble, ‘decibel’, which is dedicated to the performance of new and experimental cross-discipline work.

Ed is currently based at Birmingham Conservatoire where he is the recipient of a research fellowship and teaches in the composition department. Recent performances and commissions include a work for viola and ensemble for Garth Knox (Excavation - Arts Council of Ireland commission), a work for the Portuguese percussionist Pedro Carneiro (Clockwork Monkey Machine - Music Network commission), a work for orchestra and electronics for the Ulster Orchestra (all of this used to be trees - BBC R3 Commission), a work for the Fidelio Trio (For Marcel Dzama - Bromsgrove Concerts commission) and a new work for ensemble, electronics, video and improvising saxophonist for the Ars Nova Ensemble and Paul Dunmall (Integra - NGA Commission). He was a finalist in the British Composer Awards and in 2007 he was a featured composer in the RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland’s Horizons series where a portrait concert of his orchestral music was given. His work Ausland for orchestra was awarded the first prize in the Tactus Composers Forum in Brussels, Belgium in 2006. His music has been widely broadcast on radio and CDs have been released on the Lorlelt, Enzyme, CMC and NMC labels.


Luke Bedford (1978*) composer

Luke Bedford studied composition at the Royal College of Music with Edwin Roxburgh and Simon Bainbridge, following a Foundation Scholarship. He then gained a subsequent scholarship to study for a Masters degree at the Royal Academy of Music, again with Simon Bainbridge, with funds provided by the RVW Trust, the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, and the 2000 Mendelssohn Scholarship.

In 2001, the London Sinfonietta premièred Five Abstracts - a chamber work for 14 players. A BBC commission followed - Rode with Darkness, a work for large orchestra in 2004. In February 2006, Slow Music and Man Shoots Strangers From Skyscraper – both for an ensemble of 8 players – were performed by the Philharmonia as part of their ‘Music of Today’ series. Later that year, the song cycle Or Voit Tout En Aventure was premièred by the London Sinfonietta with Claire Booth (soprano) and Oliver Knussen. Orchestral work Outblaze the Sky was commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra as part of their ‘Sound Adventures’ series and premièred at the Barbican in April 2007 with Daniel Harding. Commissioned by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Wreathe was premièred in December 2007, conducted by Thierry Fischer. Bedford’s commission from the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Good Dream She Has, received its première in April 2008. The piece is scored for an ensemble of 15 players and three solo singers, the text being a re-writing of Milton’s Paradise Lost. Oliver Knussen conducted the first performance at the CBSO centre. Continuing the Milton theme – as part of their celebrations of Milton’s 400th anniversary – the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin recently premièred Bedford’s latest composition On Time, the text taken and adapted from the poem of the same name.

Or Voit Tout En Aventure was nominated for the Large-Scale Composition Award at the 2007 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards, and Bedford was recently the recipient of a prestigious Paul Hamlyn Artists’ Award. In January 2008, he was appointed as the first-ever Composer-in-Residence at the Wigmore Hall.


Thomas Larcher (1963*) composer & musician

‘You feel you are eavesdropping on a major talent caught up in the act of creation.’ Gramophone Magazine

Born in Innsbruck, Larcher grew up in the Austrian Tyrol. After studying piano and composition in Vienna, he embarked on a career combining composition, performing, teaching and festival direction. Composing and performing are now his key activities.

Larcher’s compositions take an immediate hold on the listener. Notable for their confidence and momentum, directness of expression and quality of invention, his works have been described as occupying ‘a refreshing middle ground in the contemporary music scene, somewhere between the complexity of the Boulez Stockhausen avant-garde and the newer wave of simplicity.’ Recent and forthcoming compositions include his piano concerto Bose Zellen, a new string quartet, Madhares, for the Artemis Quartet which premièred in Salzburg in 2008 and was performed in Porto and Frankfurt, Autumn 2009. A violin concerto for Isabelle Faust received its première in Vienna in March earlier this year, while Leif Ove Andsnes will shortly première a new work for piano solo inspired by Robin Rhode, with a first performance in New York’s Lincoln Center. Larcher has an ongoing association with the record label ECM; Naunz was released in 2002 followed by Ixxu in 2007, both to critical acclaim. A new release will present Larcher’s concertos for viola and piano. ‘Larcher has a way of convincing you, like Morton Feldman, that every note is in its right place and should be nowhere else.’ As a pianist, Larcher is a particularly illuminating performer of the music of our time. He also has a special ability to cast new light on the established repertoire, both through his searching interpretation and through programming that reveals links, contrasts and comparisons in music. His recital discs are often thought-provoking and have earned him many industry awards, including the Preis den Deutschen Schallplattenkritik and the Choc de la Musique.


Johannes Maria Staud (1974*) composer

Since joining publishers Universal Edition in 2000, Johannes Maria Staud has become one of the most successful composers of his generation, with prestigious commissions from some of the greatest orchestras and festivals in the world. Staud’s music has found widespread recognition on the highest level. Sir Simon Rattle commissioned Staud to write a composition for the Berlin Philharmonic (Aperion, 2004/2005) and the Salzburg Festival commissioned a cello concerto from him to be premiered as part of the celebrations marking the 250th anniversary of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s birth in 2006 (Segue, 2006). The Cleveland Orchestra under Franz Welser-Möst gave the first performance of On Comparative Meteorology (2009) and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra recently received the score they commissioned for string quartet and orchestra (On Deceptive City Maps and the Temptations of Winter Nights and Dichotomie II). Most recently the Staatskapelle Dresden has appointed him capell compositeur for the 2010/2011 season. He is to write three new works for the orchestra and its principal conductor, Fabio Luisi.

Staud draws on an eclectic range of influences for his creative work. Apeiron was inspired by the ideas of Leonardo da Vinci and the Greek philosopher Anaximander. In Segue, Staud orchestrated a Mozart fragment for violincello and piano. On Comparative Meteorology and On Deceptive City Maps and the Temptations of Winter Nights conjure up the world of Bruno Schulz, the Polish-Jewish writer and graphic artist. Dichotomie II is a reference to the string quartet of the same title.

Staud responds to contemporary literature, art and film in his work. Bruce Nauman numbers among those who have directly influenced him. Violent Incidents (Hommage à Bruce Nauman) (2005/2006) is for saxophone solo, wind ensemble and percussion. Black Moon for bass clarinet (1998) was inspired by Louis Malle’s film of the same title.


The Fidelio Trio

The Fidelio Trio (Darragh Morgan, violin, Robin Michael, cello and Mary Dullea, piano) perform extremely diverse repertoire throughout Europe, Asia and South Africa and frequently broadcast for BBC Radio 3. Since their South Bank debut they have appeared at Reggello Festival and Contemporaneamente Festival, Lodi (Italy), West Cork Music, Belfast Festival at Queens, Royal Opera House, London, Corsham Festival, Petworth Festival, Fuse Leeds, Musica Viva (Portugal) and Composer’s Choice Series, National Concert Hall, Dublin. CD releases included Bulb on NMC featuring trios by Kevin Volans, Donnacha Dennehy, Deirdre Gribbin and Ed Bennett, Metamorphoses, the chamber music of Icelandic composer Haflidi Hallgrimsson, on Delphian Records, and Bartlebooth, the music of Joe Cutler, on NMC. A further CD for Delphian Records of premiere recordings of Scottish trios by Judith Weir, Nigel Osborne and Sally Beamish will be released in early 2010 and they will feature on a chamber music CD of Rolf Hind’s music performing his piano trio, the thing is, commissioned by the Fidelio Trio, for Neos Musik. The Fidelio Trio have worked closely with many leading composers including Michael Nyman, Toshio Hosokawa and Howard Skempton and have premiered music by Salvatore Sciarrino, Edison Denisov, Beat Furrer and Toru Takemitsu. They are Music Network artists and supported by PRS Foundation, Culture Ireland and the Arts Council of Ireland. 2009 has already seen a concert tour of China including an appearance at Shanghai’s prestigious Oriental Arts Centre and a performance at London’s most exciting new venue, King’s Place. The trio will make their Wigmore Hall debut in December. In their native Ireland, they undertake a mini-residency at the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin, with their innovative new “Schumann+” series and perform at the National Concert Hall as part of Music 21’s series.


Patricia Rozario soprano

Born in Bombay, Patricia Rozario studied at London’s Guildhall School of Music winning the Gold Medal. Since then her career has developed in opera, concert work, recording and broadcasting. Her unique voice and artistry have inspired several of the world’s leading composers to write for her, most notably Arvo Pärt and Sir John Tavener, who alone has now written over thirty works for her, making their collaboration unique in the contemporary field. She has sung with Solti, Ashkenazy, Jurowski and Gardiner, sung opera at Aix-en-Provence, Amsterdam, Lyon, ENO, and Glyndebourne and concerts in over 40 countries in repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary music. She has given the premiere of many pieces including Pärt's Como Anhela la Cierva, John Casken’s Chansons de Verlaine, Tavener’s Veil of the Temple in London and New York, Schuon Lieder at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, and the US premiere of Solemnitas in Conceptione. Other notable performances include Vaughan Williams’ Pastoral Symphony with Sir Andrew Davis, Britten’s Les Illuminations with Harding, Gorecki's Third Symphony in Athens, Mahler’s Fourth Symphony (Northern Sinfonia), Pärt's L'abbé Agathon (Danish National Symphony Orchestra), Casken’s Farness (Northern Sinfonia), and Tavener’s Cantus Mysticus at the BBC Proms. Her discography includes Songs of the Auvergne with Pritchard, Haydn's Stabat Mater under Pinnock, Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia with Hickox, Casken's Golem (Gramophone award-winner), and many of Tavener’s major works. Her latest recordings include Pärt's L'abbé Agathon, Strauss Lieder with Charles Owen, a CD of Spanish songs with guitarist Craig Ogden and Knaifel’s O Heavenly King and Górecki’s Good Night on Louth Sounds. She was awarded the OBE in the 2001 New Year’s Honours.