Sally Beamish (b.1956) studied viola at the Royal Northern College of Music before focusing on composition and moving to Scotland where she now resides. Her music embraces many influences, particularly jazz and Scottish traditional music, and she has written for numerous soloists including Steven Isserlis, James Crabb, Håkan Hardenberger, Branford Marsalis and Tabea Zimmermann.
Her string quartet for the Elias Quartet, Reed Stanzas, received its premiere at the 2011 BBC Proms and won a Royal Philharmonic Society Award. In 2013, Flodden, written to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the eponymous battle, was premiered and shortlisted for both a Royal Philharmonic Society and BASCA British Composer Award. A year later, Equal Voices, a major work with Sir Andrew Motion for the London Symphony Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra, marked the centenary of the beginning of the First World War. http://www.sallybeamish.com/
Born in Ayr, Rory Boyle was a chorister at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, and studied composition firstly with Frank Spedding at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, and then with Lennox Berkeley in London. Whilst still a student, he won the BBC Scottish Composers’ Prize with his first orchestral score and in 1987 he won the Zaiks Prize, for another orchestral score Winter Music. In 1998 The National Youth Orchestra of Scotland’s tour programme included his Capriccio which was performed at venues including the London Proms. In the Proms programme the conductor Nicholas Cleobury wrote: “While Boyle’s Scottish roots are never far away, his music has a strong, mainstream European, Stravinsky-based rigour, with its own brand of virile, challenging, but always comprehensible counterpoint, dissonance which is hard-fought yet never gratuitous, an unsentimental lyricism and unerring sense of architecture”. He has received 3 nominations at the annual British Composers Awards, with his opera, Kaspar Hauser, Child of Europe,performed in Scotland and Germany to critical acclaim, winning the stage works category in 2010. He lives in Ayrshire and divides his time between composing and teaching at the The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where he is a Professor of Composition. http://www.musicsalesclassical.com/composer/short-bio/157
Born in Inverness in 1976, Stuart MacRae has established himself as one of the most distinctive composers of his generation, writing music of elemental power and emotional subtlety. His works include a Violin Concerto (2001), Hamartia for cello and ensemble (2004), and Gaudete for soprano and orchestra (2008), all of which have been performed at the BBC Proms. Works for the stage include the dance-opera Echo and Narcissus (2007) and the opera Ghost Patrol (2012), a collaboration with writer Louise Welsh for Scottish Opera and Music Theatre Wales, which won the 2013 South Bank Sky Arts Award for Opera and was shortlisted for an Olivier Award.
Stuart’s music has been performed at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and the Edinburgh International Festival, and by ensembles including the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Ensemble, Hebrides Ensemble, BCMG and London Sinfonietta, as well as numerous orchestras. He was Composer in Association with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra from 1999 to 2003. He was resident composer at the Spannungen Kammermusikfest in Heimbach, Germany in 2003, and Edinburgh Festival Creative Fellow at the University of Edinburgh from 2005 to 2006. From 2006 to 2007 he was a resident composer at Internationales Künstlerhaus Villa Concordia in Bamberg, Germany. Recent projects include the opera The Devil Inside, written for Music Theatre Wales and Scottish Opera and Parable, a setting of Wilfred Owen’s poetry to mark the 100th anniversary of World War I commissioned by the Hebrides Ensemble. http://www.stuartmacrae.com/
Both a“dazzling fiddler” (Scotland on Sunday), and an “unfailingly strong and imaginative” composer (The List), Aidan O'Rourke stands at the centre of the modern Scottish folk music revival. Loved for his warm lyrical fiddle style and admired for his adventurous compositions, O'Rourke has emerged as one of Scotland's leading artists, defining a modern attitude to traditional music.A thrilling live performer Aidan O’Rourke (a member of the UK’s most musically adventurous folk trio Lau) has secured a place at the very forefront of the modern music scene. He has been performing, writing and releasing consistently creative music (that has a reach far beyond folk) for over a decade. Aidan O’Rourke won BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Musician of the Year 2014 before recording and touring the hugely acclaimed new Lau album The Bell That Never Rang (produced by Brooklyn artist Joan As Police Woman), co-curating a three day festival (Lau-Land) featuring a collaboration with Tinariwen and shows by Sun Kil Moon and electronic music pioneers Plaid. All that before recording and writing Imprint in Scotland through the spring and summer of 2015.
“Few contemporary musicians in any category can match either his artistic ambitions or his achievements in bringing them to fruition” (Scotsman)
“O’Rourke’s music – both his writing and playing – is unfailingly strong and imaginative” (The List)
Ailie Robertson (b.1983) is a multi-award winning composer and performer, whose work crosses the boundaries of traditional and contemporary music. Winner of The Sofia International Composition Competition, the SCO Composition Prize, and 2nd in the Oslo Grieg Competition, Ailie has received commissions and awards from Creative Scotland, Enterprise Music Scotland, the CCA, Arts Council England, CultureIreland, and Celtic-Connections, along with residencies at the EIFF, BerwickSound and CALQ Montreal.
Nominated 'Composer of the Year' in the STM Awards, and awarded a BBC Performing Arts Fellowship, an MBF Emerging Excellence award, and chosen for Making Music's Adopt-a-Composer Scheme, Ailie has written for TV and theatre, and her work has featured on BBC R3, R2 and R-Scotland. Her latest release won the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik and was described as “an exquisitely moving little masterpiece” (FRoots). Her recent work for harp and string quartet was premiered for Champs Hill Records by The Elias Quartet and Eleanor Turner. http://ailierobertson.com/
Although Savourna Stevenson’s music strongly reflects her Scottish roots, it also reveals an eclectic and innovative urge to break through stylistic barriers between classical, folk, world music and jazz. The diversity of commissioning organisations, from the BBC to Iona Abbey, and her equally diverse audiences, from orchestral concert goers to viewers of HBO, are a measure of the breadth of her musical output.
Savourna’s catalogue includes a large body of work for the harp, including her Harp Quintet acclaimed for its use in popular American TV series ‘Sex and the City’ and ‘Ugly Betty’ ... and her Concerto for Pedal Harp premiered to enthusiastic audiences in June 2012 by international harp soloist Catrin Finch and the Scottish Ensemble - The Herald critic found it typical of what he called “the joy of Savourna Stevenson’s music ... from the heart and to the heart, absolutely open and totally honest in its integrity and expressive qualities ... voluptuously romantic ... unashamedly gorgeous ... and a darker flavour of Bernard Herman in the finale”.
Savourna’s three large scale orchestral works with narrative, ‘Misterstourworm & the Kelpie’s Gift’, ‘Hansel & Gretel’ and ‘The Snow Queen’, plus three orchestrated songs for the National Youth Choirs of Scotland signify a major contribution to music for children - “Stevenson’s ‘Waiting for the Silver Sailed Moon’ for upper voices was again confirmed as the loveliest tune to have been created by the choral organisation’s commissioning work” - The Herald. Recent commissions include further works for choir, for pedal harp andSavourna is currently writing a work for piano & orchestra entitled ‘The Secret Life of a Piano’.
(b.1982) Edinburgh-based artist, composer, and performer Hanna Tuulikki’s practice crosses a range of visual and sound-based forms. She works primarily with the voice to create worlds out of sound – immersive ethereal spaces, unearthing essential relationships with the lore of places. Within performance and film, she makes use of sculptural objects and stagings. Drawings, text and visual-scores illustrate subject-matter and narrative.
Her largest project to date, Air falbh leis na h-eòin | Away with the Birds (2010-2015) is a body of work investigating the mimesis of birds in Scottish Gaelic song, at the heart of which is a vocal composition for a female ensemble. In August 2014 it was performed in the harbour on the Isle of Canna, as part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme. A digital, interactive iteration of the work, commissioned by The Space, was launched in August 2015. Other recent works include SING SIGN: a close duet (2015), a site-specific vocal and gestural suite for male and female performers, commissioned by Edinburgh Art Festival, and Women of the Hill (2015) a place-responsive song cycle for a female trio, commissioned by Skye-based ATLAS Arts. Her work has been featured on BBC Radio 4’s Echo Chamber and Radio 3’s Composers’ Rooms. http://www.hannatuulikki.org/
Matthew Whiteside is a composer, collaborator and orchestrator in Glasgow. He writes music for concert, film and collaborative installations often-using live electronics within his work and is currently working with flutist Carla Rees to write a new piece for contra-bass flute and electronics to tour at the end of 2016.
His music has been performed across the world including Dublin’s National Concert Hall, Glasgow City Halls, Salem Artworks in New York and the Belfast International Festival at Queen’s. In 2015 he was co-commissioned by sound festival and R-Space gallery, with support from the Lisburn Arts Advisory Committee, to collaborate with Dominika Mayovich on an interactive installation. Matthew’s recent work Solo for Viola D’amore and Live Electronics, recorded by Emma Lloyd. was described as having the overall effect of ‘one of meditation – a Japanese stone garden whose raked ripples have been brought into sound’ by Musicweb International and features on his debut album Dichroic Light released in 2015 and supported by Creative Scotland. He composed the music for Micahel Palin’s Quest for Artemisia broadcast Christmas 2015, and has scored two feature films (Anna Unbound and The Loudest Sound) and will be working on a short (Do Not Disturb) in 2016. http://www.matthewwhiteside.co.uk/