Desmond Clarke

2015 RPS Composition Prize Winner

Commission: chamber work, Philharmonia Orchestra, Music of Today 2016

Desmond Clarke (b. 1989) is a composer based in the north of England. His music has been performed around the UK, particularly in York, where he is currently studying, as well as in France, Germany, Italy and Canada.

He has been lucky enough to work with numerous professional and amateur musicians including, amongst others, Ensemble Intercontemporain; the Kreutzer and Eurydice string quartets; guitar quartet Quartetto Aperion, contemporary harpsichordist Jane Chapman and student ensembles Vaganza, Chiasmus and Cat*er*waul. He has also enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with the University of York’s Chimera Ensemble as composer, oboist and conductor.

In May 2015 he conducted the ensemble in Salvatore Sciarrino’s Infinito Nero and the world premiere of Richard Barrett’s Codex VX. He has attended festivals and residencies at IRCAM, Paris; the Banff Centre, Alberta; and the HighSCORE festival in Italy at which he was awarded the 2013 festival prize for his string quartet Insect-Wood-Growth.

His 2015 projects include a viola concerto for Tim Ridout and the Melos Sinfonia; a choral work for the Coro di Musicologica di Cremona; and a sextet with electronics for Galician ensemble Vertixe Sonora.

(July 2015)

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DID YOU KNOW?

In 1824 the Philharmonic Society paid Beethoven 50 pounds to commission his 9th Symphony.