Patrick Nunn (born 1969) studied with Frank Denyer at Dartington College of Arts, Gary Carpenter at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and with Simon Bainbridge and Jonathan Harvey during his PhD in composition at the Royal Academy of Music (funded partly by a PRSF Scholarship). He has been the recipient of many prizes and awards including the BBC Radio 3 Composing for Children prize for Songs of our Generation (1995), a British Composer Award for Mercurial Sparks, Volatile Shadows (2006), the Alan Bush prize for Transilient Fragments (2008) and the Birmingham New Millennium Composition award for Sentiment of an Invisible Omniscience (2010). His music, encompassing a wide range of mainly instrumental and electro-acoustic works, has been performed throughout the UK and on the continent and has featured at over fifty festivals worldwide. He has written for a diverse range of collaborators including the BBC Concert Orchestra, Thalia Myers, Piano Circus, Icebreaker, Ballet Rambert, The Gogmagogs, and the New London Children’s Choir. Patrick Nunn currently holds the position of Lecturer in Composition at the Royal Academy of Music. His music is published by Cadenza Music and the ABRSM and also features on Red Sock Records, NMC and Sfz labels.
Robert Saxton was born in London in 1953 and started composing at the age of six. Guidance from Benjamin Britten and Elisabeth Lutyens was followed by study with Robin Holloway, Robert Sherlaw Johnson and Luciano Berio. He won the Gaudeamus International Composers prize in 1975 and was awarded the Fulbright Arts Fellowship to the USA in 1986.
Robert Saxton has written major works for orchestras, choirs and chamber groups including the BBC (TV, Proms and Radio), LSO, London Sinfonietta and Arditti Quartet; festivals including Huddersfield, Three Choirs and Cheltenham; and soloists including Teresa Cahill, Steven Isserlis and Mstislav Rostropovich. Recordings have appeared on the Sony Classical, Hyperion, Metier, EMI, NMC and Divine Art.
Robert Saxton is currently Professor of Composition and Tutorial Fellow in Music at Worcester College at the University of Oxford. He has been a regular member of the BBC TV 4 (digital) Proms broadcasting commentary team and was a member of the South Bank Centre board for nine years.
Robert Saxton’s Quartet No. 3 was commissioned by the South Bank Centre, London and premiered by the Arditti Quartet in May 2011. He will write a song cycle for the Oxford Lieder Festival for 2012. His radio opera, The Wandering Jew, was released on NMC in June 2011.
Philippe Boivin was born in 1954. He studied musicology at the Sorbonne, harmony at the Paris Conservatoire and composition with Max Deutsch. In 1985 the SACEM awarded him a prize for the best pedagogical piece, and two prizes for composition (in 1988 the Georges Enesco in 1988, Pierre and Germain Labole in 2002). Thanks to his various activities, Philippe Boivin belongs to a generation of composers for whom the act of creation is not a restricted field of experience. His work, which is mostly turned towards chamber music, shows a great diversity of interests. His entire production however can be qualified by one adjective, that of rigor.
This can be noted both in the precision of his style as well as in the painstakingly elaborated forms into which he pours his music. This quality, however, does not prevent the instruments from expressing lyrical, dramatic and even theatrical attitudes. The thirty-odd compositions the composer has produced up till today are clearly marked by four tendencies.
- The theatrical dimension underlays the music and is present in all interpretations; in certain solos it becomes a composition in itself, both visual and audible (Zab or the Passion selon Saint Nectaire for double-bass).
- The pedagogical concept of certain pieces such as the Overture for brass orchestra or Photo de classe for 12 clarinets can be considered as « an attempt to establish a new relationship between the composer and the interpreters » by asking them to listen to each other.
- Several pieces use a concept of a cyclic form, the musical material being filtered from one composition to the next. The triptych for percussion Big-Bug, Chaconne, Domino III is a particularly clear example of this concept.
- At the same time Philippe Boivin’s main interest resides in shaping his sonorous structures; he uses a computer to this effect, for which he produces his own software to help composition - placing him thus among the most modern composers. Yet this doesn’t prevent him from remembering that music is also a question of movement and expression.
Cécile Gilly, musicologist (Salabert Editions catalogue)
Born in 1946, Philippe Nahon veered toward orchestra conducting following his studies in art and piano. He has trained with Louis Fourestier, Jean-Sébastien Béreau, Pierre Dervaux, Roberto Benzi, and taken part in a workshop led by Herbert Von Karajan.
His collaboration with Marius Constant launched an exciting era of discovery in the fields of contemporary music, jazz, improvisation, happenings and experimental theater. His encounter with Peter Brook soon got him hooked onto the path of exploring the infinite creative possibilities that infuse the interrelated realms of music, theater, dance, circus...
Currently the Music Director of the Ars Nova Instrumental Ensemble, Philippe Nahon continues to advocate contemporary creation and to promote music and musical ventures by giving them a theatrical slant.
Daniel D’Adamo was born in Buenos Aires - Argentina - in 1966, where he followed his first studies in music. In 1992 he moved to France studying at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique of Lyon, attending the class of Philippe Manoury.
In 1996-97 he followed the Cursus de composition at the IRCAM - Georges Pompidou Centre and worked with composers Tristan Murail and Brian Ferneyhough. That same year he took part in the Forum of young composers in Montréal - Canada -, working with the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne on Voices, a new piece for large ensemble. This same year, the Ircam presented a concert with his music.
From 1997 to 1999 he is nominated by the French Academy in Rome, «pensionnaire» at the Villa Medici, where he works on several new projects in composition. He there also created the Musica XXI contemporary music festival.
In 2000, Radio France organized a first monographic concert of his works, followed by the released of a CD by artists as Les Percussions de Strasbourg, the Court Circuit ensemble and the Ircam.
In 2004, he founded the Ensemble XXI, chamber orchestra based in the city of Dijon, being its artistic director until 2009.
In 2005 he received a commission from the Jeunesse Moderne and Opus 21 and was invited to teach contemporary music performance in Germany.
In 2006 he received the André Boucourechliev award together with a new commission for large ensemble : Frontières-Alliages, piece that was first performed during the Présences 2008 festival.
During 2007, he was composer in residence at the Abbaye de Royaumont, where he composed his Madrigali, a series of eight pieces for three singers and ensemble playing on baroque instruments. Created the same year at the Radio Suisse Romande in Geneva, Madrigali were released on CD by the Aeon label and the Poïésis ensemble. This same year, he receives a new commission from the French Ministry of Culture for a piece for clarinet and ensemble for the ensemble L’Instant Donnée, who recently presented a monographic concert in Paris.
His collaboration wth the Abbaye de Royaumont is pursuited during 2009-10, around a project of a new piece for the Philidor, wind ensemble playing on classical instruments.
In 2010, he was invited by The University of Canterbury and the Festival Sounds New to teach Music Composition in the International Composer Pyramid Program.
Daniel D’Adamo has recently been awarded the Prix de Printemps of the Sacem - french society of composers and music publishers - for his work Dream of Bells, composed for the maîtrise - children choir - of Radio France.
The music of Daniel D’Adamo has been played all over the world : in North and South America, in Asia and Europe. He collaborated with chamber ensembles and orchestras such as Court Circuit, Les Percussions de Strasbourg, Ensemble XXI, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne de Montréal, Ensemble Poïésis, L’Instant Donné, Nuove Sincronie (Italy), Sillages, Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain, Ensemble PhilidOr; Les Cris de Paris, Maîtrise de Radio France, ensemble Spectra (Belgium), etc. His pieces have been presented to the public in contemporary music festivals such us Présences, Agora, Musica (France), Inventionen (Germany), Nuova Consonanza, RomaEuropa, Traiettorie (Italy), Journée de Contrechamps and Festival Archipel (Switzerland), World Music Days (Australia), etc.
From 2002 à 2006, Daniel D’Adamo tought musical analisys at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris and from 2004 to 2008 at the Conservatoire de Tours. He is actually teaching composition at the Conservatoire de Reims. In 2007 he has been invited to teach composition at the Session de composition - Voix Nouvelles of the Fondation Royaumont in France.
The work of Daniel D’Adamo is characterised by the research of a musical language where the relationship between figure and form is a principal issue ; pieces like Voices, d’Ombra I and II, Frontières - Alliages, Breath, Coeli et Terrae, Lames, Abschuß, Nuits-Cassation, are some exemples. He frequently explores the spacialisation of sound as an important parameter for musical composition, as in Cerclé, Die runde Zahl, Landness, Pholia, etc. He is also particularly interested in computer music, composing electroacoustic pieces with or without acoustic instruments as well as works for the visual arts.
Since 2002, Daniel D’Adamo lives and works in Paris.