Scholarships in Orchestral Composition Announced

Darren Bloom

We are very pleased to announce that the first two holders of the King's College/Hartley Rogers CBSO Scholarships in Orchestral Composition will be Darren Bloom and Patrick Brennan, both currently studying on the Composition PhD programme supervised by Richard Causton. They will write pieces to be workshopped by the full orchestra of some ninety players under the baton on Ilan Volkov in Birmingham next June.

They will then have the opportunity to make alterations and refinements to their scores in time for a second workshop in the autumn. Both workshops will be recorded in their entirety, and at the end of the Scholarship, composers will have a professional-quality recording of their new pieces. This is a unique opportunity for composers to take risks and experiment with one of the world's greatest ensembles under the direction of a conductor who is a dedicated champion of new music.

Darren Bloom

Darren Bloom Described in The Times as ‘almost mystical… a genuine frisson’, Darren Bloom’s music is noted for its combination of ‘evocative harmony’ and ‘raw power’. His chamber symphony Dr. Glaser’s Experiment, commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra, was praised in as a ‘confident answer to the question: How can an orchestra perform the music of the future?’ Darren’s Strange Attractors was selected by the UK panel of the ISCM to represent the UK, and his opera KETTLEHEAD was created on the LSO Soundhub Scheme. Recent projects included a curation and commission for New Dots’ with the Octandre Ensemble and Borexino-Borealis, commissioned by the Park Lane Group for the Borealis Saxophone Quartet. As a winner of the 2016 Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize, Darren was commissioned to write for the Piatti Quartet at this year's Cheltenham Festival. Darren is a founding member of the Ossian Ensemble with whom he has conducted the premieres of dozens of new works. Other conducting highlights include a performance of Maxwell Davies’ Five Klee Pictures in the presence of the composer, music for BBC4 documentaries and working since 2014 as a conductor for the LSO Soundhub Scheme. Darren studied with Edwin Roxburgh, Brian Elias and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. He was awarded a DipRAM and the Manson Fellowship from the Royal Academy of Music as well as recently being appointed an Associate of the RAM. In 2015 he commenced an AHRC funded PhD in Composition at the University of Cambridge under the supervision of Richard Causton.

Patrick Brennan

Patrick Brennan was born in Derry, Northern Ireland. He studied piano performance with Julian Jacobson at the Royal College of Music, and composition with Julian Anderson and Hans Abrahamsen at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the Royal Danish Academy of Music respectively. His music has attracted national and international attention, with recent commissions and performances coming from orchestras and ensembles including the London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Internationale Ensemble Modern Akademie and the Zurich Chamber Singers. He has worked with several leading conductors and performers including Sir Mark Elder, François-Xavier Roth, Pierre-André Valade, Oliver Knussen, Emilio Pomarico, Huw Watkins and Rolf Hind. Brennan has been featured as a composer at IRCAM ManiFeste and the Lucerne Festival. He also represented Ireland at ISCM ‘World Music Days’ 2015. He was a “Guildhall Artist” Fellow at the GSMD and a designated Royal Philharmonic Society “Young Artist”. He was appointed BCMG/SaM Apprentice Composer-in-Residence and, in July 2016, was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society composition prize. Patrick Brennan is currently pursuing a PhD in composition at King’s College, Cambridge, supervised by Richard Causton.

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