Robert Fokkens (b 1975)
200 PIECES Etude (world premiere)
Cameron Howe viola
Sohrab Uduman (b 1962)
200 PIECES Elogia (world premiere)
Daichi Yoshimura viola
Jesse Jones (b 1978)
200 PIECES Amorphia
Wenhan Jiang viola
Sir George Benjamin (b 1960)
Lucas Levin viola
with Paul Silverthorne viola
All performers at this event are conforming to our safety requirements of being at least two metres apart.
Robert Fokkens is a South African composer based in the UK. His work explores a range of influences from traditional South African music to experimental music, via jazz, electronic dance music and the classical canon, creating a music characterised by twisted cycles, rhythmic energy, and microtonal inflections.
In 2020, Fokkens's work will be premiered by the Riot Ensemble, David Adams and Alice Neary at the Penarth Chamber Music Festival, and Anna Snow and Kate Ledger for the York Late Music Festival. French quartet Quatuor Capriccio and pianist Jakob Fichert also give repeat performances of works commissioned by them. Following a workshop and showing in December 2018, funded by an Arts Council Wales/Lottery-funded Research and Development Grant, Robert is also currently developing a monodrama with the winner of the 2010 Kathleen Ferrier Award, baritone Njabulo Madlala, and librettist Mkhululi Mabija.
In past seasons, Robert’s work has been performed in major venues in the UK, South Africa, Australia, the USA, Japan, and across Europe. He has received commissions from organisations including the Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust, Arts Council Ireland, Cape Town Opera and the SAMRO Foundation. Performers of his orchestral music include conductors Pierre-André Valade, Gérard Korsten, Kenneth Woods and Tim Murray, and the Gothenburg Symphony and English Symphony orchestras. Other musicians and ensembles who have performed his music include violinists Ernst Kovacic, Darragh Morgan, Harriet Mackenzie, Lucy Gould, and Philippa Mo; cellists Oliver Coates, Richard Lester and Robin Michael; singers Ian Partridge, Claire Booth, Sarah Dacey and Patricia Rozario; flautists Liesl Stoltz and Carla Rees; and ensembles such as the Carducci, Signum, Armida and Capriccio quartets, Fidelio and Fibonacci trios, rarescale, New Juilliard Ensemble, EXAUDI, juice vocal trio, Tête à Tête Opera, and CHROMA.
His music is published by Composers Edition and Tetractys Publishing, and his debut CD of chamber music Tracing Lines is available on the Métier label. The violin concerto An Eventful Morning Near East London was released on Nimbus in 2017. His music has also been released on Orchid, Herald, Prima Facie, TUTL and Foundry labels, and broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio, Swedish Radio P2, Portuguese Radio Antena 2, and various South African radio stations.
Fokkens is Senior Lecturer in composition at Cardiff University, and regularly gives masterclasses and presentations on his work at other institutions in the UK, Ireland and South Africa. He was composer-in-residence for the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival 2017, NewMusicSA Indabas in 2008 and 2015, Festival Capriccio-en-Maine 2017, and for the South African National Youth Orchestra Courses in 2005 and 2013. He is Course Director of the Vale of Glamorgan Festival’s Peter Reynolds Composers Studio. He studied at the University of Cape Town and at the Royal Academy of Music, also holding the Manson Fellowship at RAM in 2001-2. He completed his PhD at the University of Southampton in 2007, where he was supervised by Michael Finnissy. In 2014 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.
Sohrab Uduman was born in Sri Lanka in 1962. He began his musical life as a clarinettist at the University of Surrey, and went on to study composition at the University of Birmingham with Vic Hoyland and Jonty Harrison. His music has received several awards, including an international prize at the Huddersfield Festival of Contemporary Music, the Bourges International Competition for Electro-acoustic Music, the George Butterworth Award, the Oskar Back Foundation Prize for Young European Composers and first prize at the Prix Annelie de Man 2012 Composer’s Competition. Uduman’s music has featured at many festivals, including the Oxford Festival of Contemporary Music, the Spitalfields Festival, the Cheltenham International Festival of Music, Darmstadt, Britten Festival Bruges and Agora Festival at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.
Recent works include Tracing metamorphoses for string quartet and live computer transformation commissioned by the Institute de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) for the Arditti Quartet. Current projects include a series of compositions for instruments and real-time computer processing; these include Breath across autumnal ground for harpsichord and live electronics, performed at the Spitz, London, and Ausruf for quarter-tone trumpet and live electronics, which received its first performance at St Paul's, Huddersfield in 2007. He was Lecturer in Composition at the University of Durham from 1991-6 and currently works in the Department of Music & Music Technology at the University of Keele, where he is Programmes Director of Music and Music Technology. Uduman was appointed Reader at Keele in February 2010.
Future plans include a forthcoming performance at the Sound and Music Cutting Edge concert series in London of Breath across autumnal ground; a collaborative work with a colleague on a song cycle which will explore the fusion of traditional materials and form with contemporary compositional praxis and a composition for the Radcliffe Bell duo. Uduman is also interested in working with artists from other media and is currently working on a project making use of film and drawing. The resulting work Derriere le miroir, with live drawing by Jon Barraclough, was performed at King’s Place in June 2012. Mostly recently, Uduman was selected as the winner of OPUS2016, Britten Sinfonia’s open submission scheme for underrepresented composers.
Performed extensively across North America, Europe, and Asia, Jesse Jones’s music has been heard in venues such as Lincoln Center, Avery Fischer Hall, the Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, St John's Smith Square, Seiji Ozawa Hall, the Kimmel Center, San Francisco’s Nourse Theater, the Paul Hindemith Foundation, the American Academy in Rome, and the St Matthäuskirche in Berlin.
Jones has received commissions and premieres from many of the world’s leading ensembles and soloists, including the Juilliard String Quartet, Ensemble Recherche, the Argento Chamber Ensemble, the Scharoun Ensemble Berlin, pianist Gloria Cheng, the Momenta String Quartet, cellist Jeff Zeigler, the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, violinist Joseph Lin, guitarist Dieter Hennings, Alter Ego, Duo Damiana, Cochlea, and from Tanglewood, Aspen, Bennington, MusicX and the Barlow Endowment.
Jones’s recorded music catalogue, including several feature albums, is available commercially on the New Focus, innova, Bridge, Summit, Equilibrium and Albany labels.
Jones has been awarded the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship and the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Heckscher Foundation Prize in Composition, an EarShot New Music Reading with the New York Philharmonic under Alan Gilbert, and a fellowship from Aldeburgh Music’s 'Jerwood Opera Writing Programme'.
Jones holds a DMA in music composition from Cornell University. While there, he studied composition with Steven Stucky, Roberto Sierra and Kevin Ernste, as well as piano with Xak Bjerken. Jones now teaches music composition at the Oberlin Conservatory and tours frequently in the collaborative Jones/Butterfield Duo.