Young Composers’ Camerata Encounter

Posted on April 26, 2010

Two young composers have spent an afternoon with Manchester Camerata to find out more about the new compositions they’ll be writing to be premiered by the orchestra this coming autumn.

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Manchester based Nina Whiteman and Gavin Higgins, who studied at Chethams and the RNCM, have until August to get their pieces together, for performance in September and October.

They are getting the opportunity through a scheme which is a collaboration between Manchester Camerata and Sound and Music (formed in 2008 by the fusion of result of bringing together the British Music Information Centre, Contemporary Music Network, Society for the Promotion of New Music and Sonic Arts Network).

Nicole Rochman is Learning Producer with Sound and Music.She says “It’s giving them theopportunity to work for a specific instrumentation; to a specific brief; in a real life working environment.”

Borth composers have to create a piece of about 7 minutes duration, which has to be delivered by August. For the duration of the project, both Nina and Gavin can call on experienced composer and staff member at the Royal Northern College of Music. “This is a creative time for them, they’ve got lots of creative juices flowing. Seven minutes is managable. Had it been twenty or thirty minutes then it would have been a completely different animal!”

Nina Whiteman is a composer and singer living in Manchester. She studied music at Oxford University and went on to postgraduate study in composition at The University of Manchester. Many of her compositions take their inspiration from extra-musical sources including visual art and poetry, reflecting her activities as a painter and her interest in vocal techniques. As a singer, Nina specialises in challenging repertoire composed in the last fifty years and sings with Trio Atem (flute, voice, ‘cello), who are committed to high quality, engaging performances of new work and pieces from recent repertoire. She saya, “It’s really great to be writing for a professional ensemble of the calibre of Manchester Camerata.”   Composer Nina Whiteman

Composer Gavin Higgins   Born in Gloucestershire in 1983, Gavin Higgins grew up in the Forest of Dean. Gavin was awarded a place to study at the prestigious Chethams School of Music in Manchester and in 2001 was given a scholarship to study at the Royal Northern College of Music with Gary Carpenter. In 2007 Gavin became a Royal College of Music scholar supported by the AHRC and Douglas and Hilda Simmonds Awards, studying composition with Ken Hesketh. Gavin is a Sound and Music (SPNM) Shortlisted Composer. Commenting on the scheme Gavin said, “It’s great to get a piece played and heard at a good concert.”

Both Nina and Gavin have until August to get their pices together – we’ll be following their progress in our blog – Gavin’s composition will be played in September and Nina’s piece will be premiered in October.