Stephen Upshaw is emerging as a creative force on the international music scene. Since making his concerto debut at 17, he has won several competitions and played in festivals around the world including IMS Prussia Cove, Lucerne, London Ear (where he was a featured artist for two consecutive years), Wien Modern, Oxford Chamber Music, Musica Nova (Finland), and the Salzburg Chamber Music Festival alongside artists such as Gary Hoffman, Philippe Graffin, Jennifer Stumm and the JACK Quartet. In recent seasons, recital and chamber music engagements have brought him to Boston’s Jordan Hall, London’s Barbican Hall, Wigmore Hall and Royal Opera House, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and Vienna’s Konzerthaus.
A noted interpreter of contemporary music, Stephen has given numerous national and international premieres and performed with groups such as Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Proton (Switzerland) the Harvard Group for New Music, Le Balcon (Paris), Aurora Orchestra and Rambert Orchestra (London) and the Bodø Sinfonietta (Norway), working closely with composers such as John Adams, Julian Anderson, George Benjamin, Christian Wolff and Michael Finnissy, who is currently writing a new piece for Stephen to be premiered at Scotland’s Sound Festival 2014.
A passionate chamber musician, Stephen has studied with, among others, Paul Katz, Ferenc Rados, Alasdair Tait and members of the Takacs, Belcea, Endellion, Arditti and Borromeo Quartets. He was a member of the London-based Geminiani Quartet, who earned first prize in the Alexander and Buono International String Competition and won the ISA prize for their interpretation of music of the Second Viennese School.
Additionally, Stephen has a strong interest in synthesizing music with other fields and has helped realize collaborative projects with the Boston Architectural College, Transport Theatre Company, Rambert Dance Company and Parasol Unit Art Space. He is also the artistic director of “Sounding Motion” – a new company exploring the relationship between live contemporary chamber music and dance. Recognized for his work in this area, Stephen was recently invited to give a presentation at the New England Conservatory on the topic of entrepreneurial musicianship and interdisciplinary collaboration.
A native of Atlanta, he studied with Dr. Marilyn Seelman before earning a BMus(Hon) from the New England Conservatory in Boston where he studied with Carol Rodland and Martha Strongin-Katz. Additionally, he has appeared in masterclasses with Thomas Riebl, Andras Keller, Kim Kashkashian, Pinchas Zukerman and Nobuko Imai.
Stephen completed his Postgraduate studies in the class of David Takeno at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he was elected a Junior Fellow, and is grateful for support from the Guildhall School Trust, the Albert Cooper Memorial Trust and the Nicholas Boas Charitable Trust.
Stephen plays a 1715 Daniel Parker school viola currently made available to him by Nigel Brown and the Stradivari Trust.
Calie Hough graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2010 with an honours degree in Classical Timpani and Percussion where she studied with Richard Benjafield, David Corkhill, and Michael Skinner. She has performed with numerous orchestras including the Southbank Sinfonia, Ernest Reed Orchestra, and was a member of Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra for two years. Before continuing her music studies in London, Calie was the winner of the Outstanding Soloist Award at the National Youth Jazz Championships an unprecedented three times. As an active chamber musician, she has played with the Nash Ensemble and collaborated with composers, circus performers, dancers, and electronics. Not only an active performer in contemporary and orchestral percussion, Calie also specialises in world percussion and continues to study and perform in a variety of venues.
Benjamin Graves Since achieving his Masters in Composition, with distinction, from the Guildhall School – with generous support from The Worshipful Company of Tobacco Pipe Makers, The Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers, the Guildhall Trust and the Countess of Munster Musical Trust – Benjamin’s works have been performed widely, either by himself, as clarinettist, or others across the UK and abroad. His music has been heard in venues in Royaumont, France; Darmstadt, Germany and Aldeburgh; Birmingham; Durham; Oxford and London’s Air Studios, Barbican, LSO St. Luke’s, the BBC’s Maida Vale Studios, The Place, Southbank, and the Wigmore Hall. Broadcasts include BBC radio 3 and Resonance 104.4 FM. Festival premieres include the City of London and Aldeburgh festivals. Recent projects include a work for large orchestra as part of the London Symphony Orchestra’s Panufnik Young Composer Scheme and he is currently undertaking a course at the Choreographic Research and Composition Programme of the Royaumont Foundation in France with generous support from the Nicholas Boas Charitable Trust. He is co-founder of the critically acclaimed dance and music company Sounding Motion who perform extensively across the UK in theatres, studios and education projects, with generous support from the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund.
John Strieder was born 1980 in Germany, is a composer and artist. His music has its origin in both the european modernism and current forms of contemporary music, as well as the achievements of cultures outside of europe. He is also interested in innovative forms of the underground music scenes, e.g. metal and glitch.
The music he writes, exclusively depicts inner processes, being an expression of emotional, intellectual and philosophical content, conveyed just through the music itself.
As an artist, he is working with digital, traditional and mixed media.
The interest in working cross-borders also showed up on his cooperation with the German Math Metal band „War From A Harlots Mouth“, where contemporary meets complex metal music.
Frederic Rzewski is among the major figures of the American musical avant-garde to emerge in the 1960s, and he has been highly influential as a composer and performer. He was born in Westfield, Massachusetts, earned his B.A. in music at Harvard, and later received an M.F.A. from Princeton, where he had the privilege of studying with Roger Sessions and Milton Babbit. A Fulbright scholarship allowed him to travel to Florence in 1960 to study for a year with Luigi Dallapiccola. Since then, except for a five-year period in the 1970s, he has mainly lived in Europe. He first came to public attention as a performer of new piano music, having participated in the premieres of such monumental works as Stockhausen‘s Klavierstück X (1962). In 1966, he founded, with Alvin Curran and Richard Teitelbaum, the famous ensemble Musica Electronica Viva (MEV). MEV combined free improvisation with written music and electronics. These experimentations directly led to the creation of Rzewski‘s first important compositions, pieces such as Les moutons de Panurge, a so-called “process piece,” which also combines elements of spontaneous improvisation with notated material and instructions. Rzewski‘s improv-classical hybrids are some of the most successful of the kind ever produced thanks to the fervent energy at the core of his music. During the 1970s, his music continued to develop along these lines, but as his socialist proclivities began to direct his artistic course, he developed new structures for instrumental music that used text elements and musical style as structuring features. Attica, which includes the recitation of a prison letter, and The People United Will Never Be Defeated, a virtuosic set of piano variations, are his most well-known works of the period. In 1977, he was made professor of composition at the Royal Conservatory of Liège, Belgium, and has continued to teach there since.
During the 1980s, Rzewski produced a number of surprising twelve tone compositions that (happily) provided fresh ideas of what could be done with serial systems. The 1990s saw him revisiting, via scored music, some highly spontaneous approaches to composition that recall his inspired experiments of the late 1960s. Rzewski‘s music is among that which defines postwar American new music. He has consistently given the exuberant boyish pleasures of a composer like Copland within the rigorously experimental framework of a composer like Cage. Often unapologetically tonal and fun, Rzewski‘s music cuts right through the frequent churlishness of avant-garde music.
Luciano Berio was one of the most important Italian composers of the second half of the twentieth century, a leader of the international avant-garde who has managed to write music that is communicative and pleasing to audiences. He received musical instruction from his father and grandfather, organists in Oneglia, and continued musical training through his school years. After World War II he went to Milan to study law but also became a composition pupil with Ghedini, a composer known for his interest in many styles. He passed that interest on to Berio, who started his career as a neo-Classicist.
While in school Berio met met a remarkable American singer, Cathy Berberian. They married and went to the U.S. on their honeymoon. At Tanglewood, he met his famous countryman Luigi Dallapiccola, who was teaching there. From him, Berio learned to work with the 12-tone system and also absorbed an interest in working with sound as a musical parameter. He met the electronic music pioneers Ussachevsky and Luening, which furthered his interest in sound. This led him, on his return to Europe, to seek out Bruno Maderna, Henri Pousseur, and Karlheinz Stockhausen, leaders of the European avant-garde who were also interested in electronic music.
In 1955 Berio and Bruno Maderna founded a Studio di Fonologia at a Milan radio station; it was the first electronic music studio in Italy. Berio became very active there, organizing concerts and also publishing a new music journal, both under the name Incontri musicali. He resigned his position with the studio in 1961, worn out by overwork, red tape, and political infighting.
Berio explored the frontiers of sound, particularly vocal sound, thanks to his association with Berberian. She was willing and able to produce a remarkable variety of extended techniques with her voice, which she did with the utmost musicianship. But Berberian was also able to win audiences with her superior showmanship. Representative of Berio’s vocal writing is Sequenza III for solo voice, which portrays 44 emotional states in seven and a half minutes and includes conventional singing, coughs, sighs, sobs, and a sound Berio called “girl-bird.” The work Omaggio a Joyce used Berberian’s voice as the source sounds for a tape music piece. The more traditional Folk Songs was a display piece for her facility with languages. Berio’s noteworthy, ongoing series of solo instrumental works — many in theSequenza series — have often explored the timbral possbilities of a particular instrument.
In the 1960s Berio taught at Tanglewood, Dartington, Darmstadt, Harvard, Juilliard, and Mills College, Oakland, CA. By the end of the decade, his marriage to Berberian had ended, and he returned to Europe. One of his most remarkable “American” compositions was Sinfonia (1969), a striking work built on the principles of quotation and collage. Back in Italy, he produced a series of television programs to popularize modern music. He was appointed to the board of IRCAM in Paris and wrote other notable works, such as Voci and Coro. In 1987 he founded Tempo Reale, a research institute in Milan. One of his many important later works is Renderings, which utilizes the fragmentary posthumous sketches of Schubert’s Tenth Symphony with clouds of sound that eventually coalesce into syntactic units. Berio died in Rome in 2003
Darren Bloom’s music has been praised for its ‘unrelenting intensity’, ‘evocative harmonies’ and ‘raw power which seems to sweep everything before it.’ His works have been performed across Europe and the USA in venues and festivals including the Eroica Hall (Vienna), many of London’s major performance venues, the Sounds New Festival and the Tête à Tête and Grimeborn Opera Festivals. He has written for ensembles and musicians including the London Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, BBC Singers, Ossian Ensemble, Ensemble Amorpha, Consortium 5, violist Paul Silverthorne, violinists David Worswick, Emma McGrath and Aisha Orazbayeva and guitarist Manus Noble. Recent commissions have come from the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Society and Park Lane Group. Darren’s chamber work Strange Attractorswas selected by the UK panel of the International Society for Contemporary Music to represent the UK, and his chamber opera KETTLEHEAD was recently created as part of his second year of residence with the London Symphony Orchestra as a member of their Soundhub Scheme.
Originally from the smog-shrouded foothills of Los Angeles, Darren grew up playing violin and attended the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA). At the tender age of 16, he became increasingly aware of his inherent limitations as a violinist and, as luck would have it, his burgeoning desire to stay up all night composing music. Buoyed by the creative atmosphere at LACHSA, he began attending composition classes and soon found that his future in music would not be limited to out of tune violin etudes and under-tempo showpieces. In 2000 he fled the tinderbox of LA for the dank streets of London to study composition at the Royal College of Music with Edwin Roxburgh, and in 2004 he began his studies with Brian Elias at the Royal Academy of Music where he was subsequently awarded a Masters Degree with distinction and a DipRAM. Following his degrees, he became the first composer in RAM history to hold the Manson Composition Fellowship for two years and spent an illuminating summer studying with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies at the Dartington International Summer School.
Darren is a founding member/composer/conductor of the London based Ossian Ensemble, a group specialising in theatrical productions and virtuoso performances of contemporary music. As a conductor, he has recorded music by Joseph Atkins for BBC documentaries, worked with members of the LSO and BBCSO, the London Sinfonietta (assistant to Christopher Austin), Ensemble Amorpha, City Side Sinfonia, Contemporary Consort, RAM Composers Ensemble, Sounds New Festival, York Late Music Festival and the Austrian Cultural Forum Soundings Festival. Darren studied conducting with Edwin Roxburgh, Neil Thompson and Christopher Austin.
Much in demand as an educator, Darren works for the Trinity Laban Conservatiore Junior Department and Wellington College teaching composition, theory and musicianship and is Composer-in-Residence at Forest School where his students have won numerous national awards, including BBC Young Composer of the Year. He also founded two pioneering junior contemporary music ensembles (Forest School and Trinity Laban) with which he’s given the premieres of dozens of works by young composers. Darren can now be found roaming the semi-rural forests in Essex where he lives with his wife, a virtuoso recorder player and baroque flautist for whom he’s written several works, and their two young children.
Jay Capperauld is a Scotland-based saxophonist and composer. He graduated with distinction from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland after studying Saxophone under the tutelage of Josef Pacewicz. As a saxophonist, Jay has worked with some of the major Scottish Orchestras including; the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Ballet, Scottish Opera and the Scottish Festival Orchestra and has also performed with the Scotland-based Saxophone Quartet, Sax-Ecosse.
As a composer, Jay has had many successful performances of his works within Scotland; writing for various Instrumentalists and Ensembles including; BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra,
Red Note Ensemble, Workers Union Ensemble, Live Music Now’s Flercussion, MusicLab, Ensemble Thing and has also worked with members of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Moreover, Jay’s works have been conducted under many prestigious batons including Ilan Volkov and Pierre-André Valade.
Highlights from Jay’s work include success in winning 1st prize in the Dinah Wolfe Memorial Prize 2013 with his work for solo Piano, Christus Tantasticus, which premiered earlier in 2013 with internationally renowned pianist, Sinae Lee, as the performer.
And, Jay has also recently collaborated on a Ballet with Choreographer, Hubert Essakow, which celebrated the centennial anniversary of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. The Ballet MONAD premiered at the Tramway (Glasgow) in May of 2013 with dancers from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and instrumentalists from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
However, more recently, Jay won the inaugural Heidi Cupp Award for his work Dehumanised Shock Absorbers given by the Workers Union Ensemble. Jay won the prize through an audience vote on the night of the premiere at the LSO St Luke’s after being shortlisted along with 4 other finalists.
Jay is in his final year of studies in the Masters of Composition course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under the tutelage of Gordon McPherson. More info : www.jaycapperauld.com
Marc Yeats’ music is performed, commissioned and broadcast worldwide. Transduction, complex surface relationships, asynchronous alignments, contextual, harmonic and temporal ambiguities, polarised intensities and a visceral joy of sound are all primary concerns.
. . . . . ‘how sour sweet music is, When time is broke and no proportion kept!’ . . . . (William Shakespeare: Richard II, 5.5.42-9)
Marc Yeats is a composer and visual artist. His intense music has received performances and broadcast around the world including The Edinburgh String Quartet (UK), the Chamber Group of Scotland (UK), Psappha (UK), Richard Casey, Stephen Combes, the London Sinfonietta (UK), the Endymion Ensemble (UK), Lonba (Argentina), Paragon Ensemble (UK), the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (UK), illegal harmony (UK), 175 East (N.Z.), Sarah Watts, SCAW (UK), Sarah Nicolls, Federico Mondelci, the Commonwealth Sinfonietta (UK), Contempo Ensemble (Italy), Rarescale (UK), The Scottish Clarinet Quartet (UK), Symposia (UK), the New York Miniaturists Ensemble (USA), Trio IAMA (Greece), The International Concert Brass Soloists (Switzerland), Dirk Amrein (Germany) Expatrio (UK), Chroma (UK), Kokoro (UK), Consortium5 (UK), Ensemble Amorpha (UK) Chamber Cartel (US), Auditiv Vokal (Germany), the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra (UK), the Hallé Orchestra and Chorus (UK) conducted by Sir Mark Elder, Tokyo City Philharmonic (Japan) and Gewandhaus Radio Orchestra (Germany), with broadcasts on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Scotland as well as US, German, EU, Hawaiian, Japanese and New Zealand radio.
Marc is Composer-in-Association with:
Thumb Ensemble [Birmingham UK]
Manchester Pride [Manchester UK]
Chamber Cartel [Atlanta, Georgia US]
SATSYMPH [Bristol/Crewkerne UK]
Composer Curator with Sound and Musicfor 2014/15