Professor Philip Cashian

Head of Composition

BMus, DMus, Hon ARAM

Composition - Head of Composition
Research Programmes - Head of Composition

Head of Composition since 2007

Major commissions from leading orchestras including the London Sinfonietta, London Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Britten Sinfonia

Has written, performed and recorded works for chamber ensembles, opera and dance Read Philip's blog

In 1990, aged 27, Philip Cashian was the Benjamin Britten Fellow at Tanglewood, where he studied with Lukas Foss. He was awarded the Britten Prize in 1991, the Mendelssohn Scholarship in 1992 and the PRS Composition Prize in 1994.

His music has been commissioned, performed and broadcast worldwide. Recent performances include the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Riga Sinfonietta, Ensemble Profil (Bucharest), the Esprit Orchestra (Toronto), Ergon Ensemble (Athens), Festival de Musica de Alicante, Aspen Music Festival, Ojai Festival (California), Musikmonat (Basle), Moscow Autumn Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, Spitalfields Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and the BBC Proms as well as performances in Germany, France, Austria, Hungary, Holland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Australia, New Zealand and China.

Commissions include Night Journeys (London Symphony Orchestra), Spitbite (Britten Sinfonia), The House of Night (OSJ), Io (BBC National Orchestra of Wales), Three Pieces, Chamber Concerto and Skein (Birmingham Contemporary Music Group) and Tableaux (Northern Sinfonia). In 2006, Sarah Nicolls gave the first performance of his Piano Concerto with the London Sinfonietta under Zsolt Nagy. In 2008, Cashian was again commissioned by the London Sinfonietta to write The Opening of the House. 2008 also saw the premiere of his first opera, The Cumnor Affair for Tête à Tête Opera Company.

Recent works include Dark Flight (2009) for six cellos (recorded by an Academy cello ensemble for NMC), All things wear silence (2010) for choir, brass and organ, Aquila (2010) for clarinet, cello and piano, Samain (2011) for string quartet and Settala's Machine (2012) for wind ensemble. In March 2013 he was composer in residence at Oberlin Conservatoire where his Concerto for cello and strings received its premiere.

Philip is published by Cadenza Music. Recordings of his music are available on the NMC label.

Personal philosophy of teaching

As a regularly performed and commissioned composer, I am acutely aware of the importance of training our students to be able to get work after they leave full-time education. Alongside the highest standards of teaching and training, it is important to have a broad ranging practical and hands-on approach that prepares students for the realities of the profession.

Selected recordings

Dark inventions, NMC

The House of Night, NMC

Bingham String Quartet, NMC

Endymion: Sound Census, NMC

Spectrum, NMC

A White Room, NMC

The NMC Songbook, NMC

Digital Discoveries 2: On Shifting Ground, NMC

Digital Discoveries 4: Into a Several World, NMC


Last FM





Staff Finder

@pcashian • Jul 22
I'd forgotten what a great piece the Nonet (1957) by #RobertoGerhard is. Why is this music never played?……
@pcashian • Jul 22
In praise of John Cooper Clarke, our real poet laureate | Suzanne Moore…
@pcashian • Jul 13
Leonora Pictures sounding fantastic in rehearsal with @aspenmusic contemporary ensemble. And a spectacular view out……
@pcashian • Jul 04
Thanks @no_commentary for sending photos of my opera The Cumnor Affair, I'd forgotten how dark + sinister it was to……
@pcashian • Jun 29
Calling the French ‘turds’ shows Boris Johnson is the eternal spoilt 15-year-old | Stephen Moss…