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Home > Christopher Swithinbank: Adopt a Composer

Christopher Swithinbank: Adopt a Composer

Commissioned by:

King Edward Music Society

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Chris Swithinbank was born in the Netherlands in 1988 to British par­ents and spent most of his child­hood living in Luxembourg. Studying first cello, he began to ex­per­i­ment with com­pos­i­tion at the age of 12, re­ceiving his first public per­form­ance aged 16 at the Centre Culturel de Rencontre Abbaye de Neumünster as part of events to mark the 60th an­niversary of the end of the Second World War.

Chris moved to Britain to study music at the University of Manchester, gradu­ating in July 2009 with a First-Class Honours Degree. During his time as an un­der­graduate he was awarded a Hargreaves Fund Prize for his re­search into the string quar­tets of Helmut Lachenmann. Following his bachelor’s de­gree, Chris con­tinued his studies at Manchester under the su­per­vi­sion of Ricardo Climent and sup­ported by a Harry Clough Bursary, gradu­ating with dis­tinc­tion from the MusM Masters in Composition course. Alongside his aca­demic studies, Chris has also par­ti­cip­ated in mas­ter­classes and private les­sons with Krzysztof Meyer, Pierluigi Billone, Rebecca Saunders, Beat Furrer and Philippe Hurel. Chris is cur­rently fol­lowing the ‘Cursus 1’ pro­gramme at IRCAM in Paris, sup­ported by an Entente Cordiale Scholarship from the French state.

Chris works with both acoustic in­stru­ments and elec­tronic sounds, ex­ploring tra­di­tional con­cert situ­ations and more in­nov­ative present­a­tion con­texts. His music has re­cently been per­formed at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Centre Acanthes, Kings Place, Royal Academy of Music, Encuentros Cuenca, Wrexham Arts Festival, MANTIS Festival, York Spring Festival of New Music and New Music North West by mu­si­cians such as Trio Atem, Psappha Ensemble, Mario Caroli, Pierre-Stéphane Meugé, Donatienne Michel-Dansac and Vincent Leterme, and has been work­shopped by Manchester Camerata, Richard Casey, Ian Pace, Eva Furrer and the Quatuor Danel. For 2010-11, Chris was com­mis­sioned to take part in the Adopt a Composer scheme sup­ported by Sound and Music, PRS for Music Foundation, Making Music and BBC Radio 3, col­lab­or­ating with the King Edward Musical Society of Macclesfield on a new or­ches­tral work, June Unfolding.

Chris is a co-founder of Raise Your Voice Collective, a group of young per­formers and com­posers based in Manchester, UK. He has ap­peared as a per­former of live elec­tronics in music by Martin Suckling, Kaija Saariaho, Anna Clyne, Lyle Mays and Fredrik Högberg, with both the Raise Your Voice Ensemble and Psappha Ensemble. He also un­der­takes mu­si­co­lo­gical re­search, giving an il­lus­trated talk on Helmut Lachenmann’s Gran Torso with the Quatuor Danel. ‘Into the Lion’s Den: Helmut Lachenmann at 75’ was pub­lished in the July 2011 issue of Tempo.

Find out more about King Edward Music Society.

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