Composers 2

Continuing with the composers who have visited and worked at Dartington International Summer School of Music – Kurt Schwertsik, Harrison Birtwistle, Dmitri Smirnov and Elena Firsova, Oliver Knussen, Richard Baker, Petr Eben, Tansy Davies, David Bedford, Wilfrid Mellers, Graham Fitkin, Judith Bingham, John Woolrich, Peter Sculthorpe, Stephen Montague, Helen Glatz and Peter Wiegold.

Richard Baker born in 1972 is a British composer and conductor. He read Music at Oxford and spent a year at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague studying under Louis Andriessen. He is currently Professor of Composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Tansy Davies, born in Bristol in 1973 is a composer of contemporary classical music. She won the BBC Young Composers' Competition in 1996 and has written works for ensembles such as the London Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Harrison Birtwistle was born in Accrington, Lancashire in 1934 and studied clarinet and composition at the Royal Manchester College of Music where his contemporaries were Peter Maxwell Davies, Alexander Goehr, John Ogdon and Elgar Howarth. He is one of the leading European figures in contemporary music, his works combining modernist aesthetic with mythic power and emotional impact.

Dmitri Smirnov – born in Minsk in 1948 he studied at the Moscow Conservatory. After arriving in England in 1991 Smirnov and his family spent some time living in Dartington as Artists-in-Residence. His wife the composer Elena Firsova was born in Leningrad in 1950 also studied in Moscow. Their daughter Alissa Firsova is a composer, pianist and conductor.

Oliver Knussen was born in Glasgow in 1952. He studied composition in London with John Lambert and Gunther Schiller at Tanglewood.

Petr Eben - 1929-2007 was a Czech composer, organist and choirmaster. He was the composer in residence at Dartington in 1993.

David Bedford, 1937-2011 was an English composer and musician born into a musical family. His grandmother, Liza Lehmann, was a composer, his mother Lesley Duff, a singer who worked with Benjamin Britten, and his brother Steuart is a conductor. He wrote for school choirs, composed for film and television and in the late 1960's he moved into rock music working with Kevin Ayers, Lol Coxhill and Mike Oldfield. He was also was an arranger for Billy Bragg, Elvis Costello and many others. He was a regular visitor to Dartington for many years.

Wilfrid Mellers - 1914-2008 was an English composer, music critic and author of some 20 books of music commentary and analysis plus a great number of articles and reviews.

Graham Fitkin -born 1963 – is a British composer who compositions broadly fall in the minimalist and postminimalist genres. He is particularly known for his works for solo and multiple pianos, as well as for music accompanying dance.

Judith Bingham is a British composer and mezzo-soprano singer born in Nottingham in 1952. Although she is best known for her choral works she has also composed for brass band, wind ensemble, chamber groups and solo instruments.

John Woolrich was born in Cirencester in 1954. He founded the Composers' Ensemble and has been composer in association with the Orchestra of St. John's and the Britten Sinfonia. He was the Director of Dartington International Summer School of Music from 2010 to 2013 and also guest and Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival from 2004-2010.

Peter Sculthorpe – 1929-2014 – was an Australian composer. In his work he brought together aspects of native Australian music with that of the heritage of the West. He said he was political in his work and that his work had also always been about 'the preservation of the environment and more recently, climate change". His 16th String Quartet was inspired by extracts from letters written by asylum seekers in Australian detention centres.

Stephen Montague was born in New York 1943 and subsequently lived in Poland and since 1974 in London. Although a long term British resident his compositional influences are transatlantic, citing Charles Ives, Henry Cowell, and John Cage as influences on his work. He was a founder of the Sonic Arts Network in 1980. He has visited Dartington International Summer School many times and was responsible for devising the Apparitions project in 2008.

Helen Glatz – 1908-1996. Composer of chamber and brass ensemble music, solo pieces and theatre music. She studied music at the Royal College of Music with Ralph Vaughan Williams and Sir Charles Groves and won a scholarship to Hungary to study with Zoltán Kodaly and composer Sándor Vegh. She later studied percussion with James Blades at Dartington, and lived in Dartington until her death.

Peter Wiegold is a Professor at Brunel University and co-director of BICMEN, the only organisation in the world devoted to the archiving, curation, promotion and investigation of new music from across the Middle East. He has also been a regular conductor of the Composers' Ensemble.