(c) Ben Tomlin

Alex Ho

RPS Composer 2021 | Commission for Manchester Camerata

About Alex

I am a British-Chinese composer based in London. My music often explores issues of cultural identity and social consciousness and ranges from orchestral, ensemble, vocal, choral, and solo instrumental pieces, to works for ensembles of Chinese and western instruments, to pieces for plastic bags, table-tennis players, and audience participation. I have collaborated on many interdisciplinary projects, not least with movement/dance, architecture, glass sculpture, and VR design. My first (anti-)opera, Untold, premiered in 2019 with support from Arts Council England, Help Musicians UK, Sound and Music, and Snape Maltings, and was awarded the George Butterworth Award 2020 for "an outstanding new work".

After dabbling a little with composition at school and writing a few truly terrible pieces, I began composing music more frequently during my undergraduate studies at Oxford University and was fortunate to be encouraged by some lovely tutors and friends. I then completed a composition master’s at Cambridge University and am now studying for a doctorate at the Royal College of Music with a full scholarship from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (LAHP studentship supported by RCM).

Alongside composing, I co-direct Tangram, an artist collective made up of composers, researchers, and performers of Chinese and western instruments.

Highlights include

  • Commissions from London Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier, BBC Radio 3, Royal Opera House, National Opera Studio, Music Theatre Wales, and London Sinfonietta.
  • Performances across the UK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany and China, on platforms including SoundState Festival (Southbank Centre, London), Sound Unbound (Barbican Centre, London), Hearing China (Shanghai Symphony Hall, Shanghai), Snape Maltings, Cheltenham Music Festival, Oxford Lieder Festival, and BBC Late Junction.
  • Selection for artist development programmes with Sound and Music, London Symphony Orchestra, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, and National Youth Choirs of Great Britain.
  • Tangram successes including receiving Jerwood Arts’ inaugural £20,000 Live Work Fund 2021 and Chinese Arts Now’s Artist Development Bursary 2019, winning Nonclassical’s Battle of the Bands 2019, and being appointed Associate Ensemble at SOAS University of London.

Find out more

If you are interested in finding out more about Alex, hearing and keeping up to date with his work, take a look at his website and social media below: