COMPOSERS AND COMMISSIONS
Hannah was appointed in September 2020 as the Choir's fifth five15 composer-in-residence, for the 2021-22 season.
Known for her attentive arrangements and immersive world-building, Hannah Kendall’s music looks beyond the boundaries of composition. Her work bridges gaps between different musical cultures, both honouring and questioning the contemporary tradition while telling new stories through it. Contrasting fine detail with limitless abandon, she has become renowned both as a composer and a storyteller, confronting our collective history with narratively-driven pieces centred on bold mission statements.
Marked by striking and often polarising dynamics, her large-scale work simmers on the surface, and is upturned by the briefest moments of bombast. Ensemble pieces subvert audience expectations of ‘quiet and loud’, ‘still and moving’; scattering those musical opposites unexpectedly. The sounds are visceral, but their placement is complicated, disclosing the detail that exists beneath. While hinging on intense moments, Kendall’s music is also staggeringly intricate, manoeuvring tiny decisions that reveal themselves on further listens.
Kendall’s recent work has provided a meeting point for different types of music, carrying with it the weight of connected but unharmonised histories. Recently, she’s achieved this by looking beyond the typical tools of composition, using auxiliary instruments that exist outside of the concert hall. In Tuxedo: Vasco ‘de’ Gama, she integrated the spiritual Wade in the Water, transcribing its melody into a delicate music box, contrasting the fragility of the instrument against the song’s resounding place in history. Tuxedo: Hot Summer No Water (2020) for solo cello features an ACME Metropolitan whistle, placing a sonic timestamp on the piece; pointing to a year significantly defined by the police’s presence in black communities.
Her Tuxedo series is named after an artwork by American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. His eponymous piece provides one of many graphic scores that Kendall has used as inspiration throughout her career. Rather than create ‘representations’ of these images, she uses them to spark her writing process. Building pieces from a place of intuition, her compositions are just as likely to be become abstracted, turned inside out by surprises she finds along the way, as they are to have a firm narrative.
Kendall’s work has been widely celebrated. She has created pieces such as Disillusioned Dreamer (2018), which the San Francisco Chronicle praised for having a ‘rich inner life’, as well as The Knife of Dawn (2016), a chamber opera that received critical acclaim for its involving and claustrophobic representation of the incarceration of Guyanese political activist Martin Carter. Her work has been performed extensively, and across many platforms. She has worked with ensembles including London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, The Hallé, Ensemble Modern, and London Sinfonietta, but you’ll also find her collaborating with choreographers, poets and art galleries; crossing over to different art-forms, and celebrating the impact these unique settings have on sound. She is currently composing an Afrofuturist opera for experimental vocalist and movement artist Elaine Mitchener.
Born in London in 1984, Kendall is based in New York City as a Doctoral Fellow in composition at Columbia University.
Five15 Commissions for London Oriana Choir
Tuxedo: Dust Bowl #1
Tuxedo: Dust Bowl #2
In July 2019 Anna won the competition for young women composers aged between 18 and 25 under the five15 initiative, for which the prize was to be the Composer- in-Residence for the 2019-20 season (subsequently extended to the 2020-21 season due to the Covid-19 pandemic).
Anna is a recent Composition graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music, having studied with Laura Bowler and Larry Goves. She is particularly passionate about utilising the voice and working in a multimedia setting and she regularly collaborates with writers, visual artists and film makers.
During her studies she also engaged in a multitude of ways with performance across many genres and has since begun singing with the London Contemporary Voices.
In addition to her appointment this year with the London Oriana Choir she has also taken up the post of Graduate Musician in Residence at Radley College, where she facilitates many creative elements of the Music Department including teaching classes in Music Technology. She was chosen as the winner of Kantos Chamber Choir’s recent call for new Christmas Carols and was chosen to take part in the ORA Singers’ Christmas Gift scheme.
After writing works for the European Union Chamber Orchestra, the RNCM Chamber Choir, the No Dice Collective, the Camerata Players and the BBC Singers, her recent projects include a series of works for solo instrument and electronics, a commissioned set of pieces for the Hallé Youth Choir, a commissioned work for the Radley College Concerto Concert this Spring and an interactive multimedia installation piece in collaboration with singer-songwriter and seamstress, Anna Baines, for Summer 2021.
In 2018 Anna curated a slot at Kendal Calling festival when her piece ‘Constellation’ for chamber ensemble and spoken word was performed. She has also toured with the band, New Order, playing synths and singing backing vocals, and featured in their recent documentary ‘Decades’ on Sky Arts.
Prior to her degree Anna studied at the Purcell School and was also a composer with the National Youth Orchestra, receiving tuition from Anna Meredith and Larry Goves. During this time her music was played at The Sage Gateshead, South Bank, Snape Maltings, Birmingham Symphony Hall and Tate Britain. In 2014 she was a winner of the BBC Proms ‘Inspire’ competition with her piece ‘Underneath’ for three voices and beat boxer.
Keen to pass on her brimming enthusiasm for music that challenges, intrigues and excites an audience, she has been a BBC Proms ‘Inspire’ ambassador for three years acting as a mentor for young composers. She has also worked with teenagers at the Sound and Music Summer School and the National Youth Orchestra. Most recently she has started writing blog posts for the ORA Singers ‘Composer Create’ website, a resource aimed at young composers.
Five15 Commissions for London Oriana Choir
ice shining, glittering ice
In the blue
Jessica is an internationally acclaimed BAFTA-winning composer of contemporary classical music and is also co-founder of renowned games company The Chinese Room. Her work has been performed in diverse and high-profile venues such as The Old Vic Tunnels, The Barbican, Sydney Opera House, The Royal Albert Hall, Great Ormond Street Hospital, The Wellcome Trust, MOMI New York, The Royal Opera House, Sage Gateshead and Durham Cathedral. The Washington Post have described her music as “stupendous” and The Guardian praised her “gorgeous orchestral score” for Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. The Rapture score has been voted in to the Classic FM Hall of Fame for the last two years.
Jessica's music has had extensive airplay on Radio 3 and Classic FM, as well as on radio stations and in concert halls around the world.
She wrote the music for the genre-defying Dear Esther, which won awards for Best Audio at the TIGA’s, a GANG award and nominations for Best Audio at the BAFTAs. The music went on a worldwide orchestral tour as part of Replay: Symphony of Heroes. The sold-out Dear Esther Live, where the game is played real-time alongside musicians and BAFTA nominated actor Oliver Dimsdale premiered at The Barbican to great acclaim, went on a national tour of the country's finest concert halls and is currently touring internationally.
In 2017 Jessica wrote the music for Google Daydream game So Let Us Melt, described as "easily one of the best classical releases of 2017, and one of the best game soundtracks of the year too."
She is currently signed to Faber Music and her choir book, The Light We Cast, is available to buy on their website.
Her BAFTA winning music for acclaimed PS4 title Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture was named soundtrack of the year by MOJO magazine and sat in the Top 10 of both the Official and ClassicFM charts for several weeks. The score won Best Score at the Emotional Games Awards, won four GANG awards in San Francisco, and the game won Best Audio and Best Performer as well as Best Music at the BAFTAs 2016.
Jessica is also a presenter on ClassicFM, presenting High Score, a Saturday night show about video game music. The show has had an astounding response and is the most listened to show on catch-up in the history of the station. Her music was sung at The Royal Albert hall in May 2018 as part of an evening of Sony Playstation soundtracks and she also hosted the evening.
The recipient of a PRSF Women Make Music grant, Jessica's large scale choral and brass band work, The Durham Hymns, (a collaboration with Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy) premiered at Durham Cathedral.
In March 2016 Jessica was awarded a place on British Council's FAMLAB (Film, Archive and Music Lab week). In conjunction with PRS for Music Foundation, HOME and BFI, the British Council.
Jessica was awarded the Outstanding Contribution award at Women in Games in 2018. She was also a finalist in the Hospital Club awards in the Games and Creative Industry categories 2017. She won the coveted MOSMA award at the Malaga Film Festival in 2016.
Jessica dared to face Jeremy Paxman in 2017's Christmas University Challenge.
Jessica also works as a freelance composer and is available for hire on games, film, television and other projects. Her music is published by Faber.
Five15 Commissions for London Oriana Choir
Briefly it Enters
I Loved You First: But Afterwards Your Love
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to be the third composer in residence. I am passionate about choral music and I’m particularly excited as I have been following five15, the incredible initiative pioneered by the London Oriana Choir, very closely as it’s such great news for women composers. I’m already buzzing with ideas and can’t wait to get going in earnest.”
- Jessica Curry
Born in 1985, Rebecca was composing from very young, completing her first full musical aged 10 and piano concerto at 15. After school music scholarships she studied at New College, Oxford, Bristol University and the National Film and Television School. Her concert work first came to public attention when BBC Radio 3 premiered symphonic suite When Music Sounds in 2014. Her 2015 debut self-release for choir and orchestra, I'll Sing, rose up the classical charts and was Classic FM's Choral Classic of the Week. Next release, Soay, on Decca Records album The Lost Songs of St Kilda, was a reimagining for violin and orchestra of a forgotten melody from the furthest corner of the British Isles. The album spent five weeks at Classical No.1 and was named Classic FM 2016 album of the year. Most recently her track Winter, commissioned as the title track for bestselling vocal group Voces8's latest album, was described by Gramophone magazine as a 'masterpiece'.
Rebecca has written for numerous classical artists including Mari & Hakon Samuelson, the Scottish Festival Orchestra, percussionist Joby Burgess, cellists Richard Harwood and Oliver Coates. Her orchestral work has been recorded at Abbey Road and Air Studios. She writes extensively for choral groups, most recently completing a requiem. Dividing her time equally between concert and film music, screen work has involved projects for 20th Century Fox, Disney, Working Title, Harvey Weinstein, the BBC and Universal Music Group among others. She was mentored by Golden Globe-nominated composer Alex Heffes, and EMMY-nominated composer Maurizio Malagnini. In 2015 she was the only British participant invited on the internationally renowned ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop with Richard Bellis in Los Angeles, which selects 12 of the top emerging film composers internationally for a month of Hollywood meetings and workshops at Fox Studios. Music department work includes Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, director Stephen Frears' The Program, BBC period drama series The Paradise and The Secret Agent, BBC's Frozen Planet Live, action film The Take starring Idris Elba, famous US Miniseries remake Roots, and Disney's Queen of Katwe directed by Mira Nair.
Rebecca has been an associate of the London Symphony Orchestra as part of its Soundhub scheme, and is a BAFTA Crew participant. Other awards and nominations include the Jerry Goldsmith Awards (2017), Best Score/Soundtrack (Global Music Awards 2015), Best Composer (Underwire Festival for Women in Film & TV 2014; also Global Music Awards 2015), Best Musical (The Online Film Festival 2015), Adopt A Composer (PRS/Making Music/Sound & Music in association with Radio 3 2012), and the Book, Music & Lyrics musical theatre workshop (Mercury Musical Developments 2014). She recently signed to Decca and her debut album will be released in 2018.
Five15 Commissions for London Oriana Choir
Photo: Rebecca Dale
“I am thrilled to be working with the London Oriana Choir and Dominic Ellis-Peckham, and honoured to be part of the five15 project, following in Cheryl's inspiring footsteps. As a composer, it's a joy to collaborate with an ensemble so passionate about discovering and promoting new music in all its forms. I can't wait to spend the year working together.”
- Rebecca Dale
Photo: Brant Tilds
“I am thrilled to be the launch composer of the five15 project and am looking forward to hearing the premières of all the new works by female composers that will be created in the next five years. I am sure the project will bring to the fore many positive role models for young composers”
- Cheryl Frances-Hoad
Cheryl Frances-Hoad was born in Essex in 1980 and received her musical education at the Yehudi Menuhin School, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (BA (Hons) Music (double 1st), MPhil with Distinction (Composition)) and Kings College London (PhD, Composition). Her music has been described as “like a declaration of faith in the eternal verities of composition” (The Times), with “a voice overflowing not only with ideas, but also with the discipline and artistry necessary to harness them” (The Scotsman).
Recently chosen to be a featured composer on BBC Radio 3’s ‘Composer of the Week’ (‘Five under 35, March 2015), her works have garnered many awards, from the BBC Lloyds Bank Composer of the Year award when she was just 15 to more recently the Mendelssohn Scholarship, The Bliss Prize, The Cambridge Composers Competition, The Robert Helps International Composition Prize (USA), The Sun River Prize (China), The International String Orchestra Composition Prize (Malta), The RPS Composition Prize, and the BASCA British Composer Awards (where she became the youngest composer to win two awards in any year for Psalm 1 and Stolen Rhythm in 2010).
She has received two awards from the PRS Women Make Music Fund (for The Madness Industry (a brass quintet for Onyx Brass) and Sailing to the Marvellous (a ninety minute oratorio for four choirs and ensemble for Bridlington Priory) and has held the posts of Leverhulme Musician in Residence (at the University of Cambridge Psychiatry Department (2008)), Rambert Composer in Residence (2012/13), and Opera North/Leeds University Cultural Fellow in Opera Related Arts (2010/12).
Cheryl is currently recording a third album (of chamber orchestral music with Nicholas Daniel, David Cohen, Ivana Gavric and the Rambert Orchestra conducted by Paul Hoskins) for Champs Hill Records: her first two CD’s received rave reviews with The Glory Tree being selected as “Chamber Music Choice” by BBC Music Magazine in October 2011. Her works include a Piano Concerto, 'Cello Concerto (Katharsis), three piano trios, a ninety minute opera about the life of Amy Johnston (Amy’s Last Dive with librettist Adam Strickson), and several large scale works involving young musicians (A Young Person’s Guide to Composition was premiered by the London Chamber Orchestra and 150 children conducted by Christopher Warren Green in May 2014). 2015 saw Cheryl's BBC Proms debut with a premiere for the Cardinall's Musick entitled From the Beginning of the World: the work received rave reviews and was described as 'a ravishing world premiere' and 'an astonishing tapestry of vocal and emotional colours' by The Arts Desk
Future projects include second works for both the Schubert ensemble and the LCO, song cycles for both Leeds and Oxford Lieder Festivals, a piano concerto for Ivana Gavric and a new work for Yshani Perinpanayagam (piano) and her Commodore 64.
Cheryl's music is published by Cadenza Music.
Five15 Commissions for London Oriana Choir
The Food of Love
So True a Fool is Love
The Tym is all Ronne