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Composer in Residence

Ben Rowarth, Composer in Residence, January 2015 –

Ben Rowarth image

Ben specialises in Choral Music, seeking to reflect texts through new and original ideas of texture and harmony, and has premiered many of his works with ‘Renaissance’, his own vocal ensemble, in the past two years. Ben has twice been commissioned to compose music for theatre and his soundtracks to ‘Dr. Faustus’ and ‘The Bacchae’ were both performed in Durham in 2011, receiving exceptional reviews. Winner of NCEM composers award 2012, Ben Rowarth had his motet ‘Where is thy God?’ performed in live concert by The Tallis Scholars (Peter Phillips) and broadcast a number of times on BBC Radio 3. Since then he has received numerous commissions and performances of his choral compositions. Of note are multiple performances in Durham Cathedral including as part of a concert jointly given by Durham University Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Choir and Sir Thomas Allen in 2013 and performances abroad by ‘Oxford Voices’, directed by Mark Sheppard in 2012 and 2014. Following the commission of a forty five minute, extended passion tide sequence for choir and string orchestra in January 2014, premiered alongside Mozart’s requiem in March, Ben then received a commission by Merton College Oxford in association with Choir and Organ magazine. The commission was performed in June whilst double page article on Ben, his compositions and his history was published in Choir and Organ the same month. Future performances include a planned recording by Sir Thomas Allen and Renaissance, Ben’s own professional vocal ensemble, and a performance by Robert Hollingworth (Director I Fagiolini) with ‘The 24′, both in 2015. Alongside this are performances within the National Centre for Early Music’s ‘York Early Music Christmas Festival’ and finally a performance of one of his ‘Three Advent Carols’ in a joint evening given by Renaissance and The Tallis Scholars (Peter Phillips) in St. John’s Smith Square in December 2014 .

 List of commissions and performances:

Commission by ‘The Ebor Singers’, Paul Gameson, Prayer of St Alcuin

Premiere at the National Centre for Early Music, York, at 7.30pm, 22nd November.

Performance of Unto Dust, Oxford Voices directed by Mark Sheppard, Paris, August 2014

Commission by Hild Bede College, Durham, Christ is the morning star, first performed in Durham Cathedral, May 2014

Performance of Where is thy God, The Ebor Singers, York Minster, April 2014

Commission by Durham University Choral Society, Christus (extended work for choir and string orchestra), March 2014

Commission by London Youth Choir, Britten Centenary Project, Swallows, London, November 2013

Performance of Unto Dust, Durham University Chamber Choir and Sir Thomas Allen, Durham Cathedral, June 2013

Performance of Where is thy God, ‘The Durham Singers, Durham, June 2013

Broadcast of Where is thy God, ‘Renaissance’ Chamber Choir, BBC Radio 3, May 2013

Workshop with The Orlando Consort, Christe Qui Lux, March 2013

Commission by Durham University Chamber Choir, Unto Dust, February 2013

Commission by Edinburgh Incidental Orchestra, The Full Heart, January 2013

Performance of Three Advent Carols, ‘Renaissance’ Chamber Choir, London, December 2012

Performance of Do not go gentle, ‘Renaissance’ Chamber Choir, Durham, November 2012

Commission by Hexham Abbey, O God of Feast and Festival, November 2012

Broadcast of Where is thy God, The Tallis Scholars (Peter Phillips), BBC Radio 3, July 2012

Performance of It is a thing most wonderful, Oxford Voices, Rouen Abbey, August 2012

Performance of It is a thing most wonderful, ‘Renaissance’ Chamber Choir, June 2012

Performance of Where is thy God, The Tallis Scholars (Peter Phillips), Durham Cathedral, June 2012

Performance of Three Advent Carols, ‘Renaissance’ Chamber Choir, December 2011

Commission by Castle Theatre Company, Soundtrack: The Bacchae, November 2011

Commission by A Clockwork Orange Production Company, Documentary Soundtrack, May 2011 (gaining award in Composition for film, 24 hour film shoot out best soundtrack, Leeds Film Festival, 2011)

Performance of Kyrie, University College Chapel Choir, Durham, March 2011

Commission by Castle Theatre Company, Soundtrack: Dr Faustus, February 2011

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