Armistice Centenary composition premieres across Scotland


Martin Suckling’s Meditation (after Donne), for chamber orchestra and live electronics receives its premiere performances from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in St Andrews, Edinburgh and Glasgow on 7, 8, 9 November.

Responding to the SCO commission to mark the 1918 Armistice centenary, SCO Associate Composer Martin Suckling sought innovative ways to engage people throughout Scotland in the creation and performance of his new work for orchestra and electronics that explores themes of celebration, loss, community identity and the legacy of war.

In collaboration with the SCO, Martin invited members of the public to capture and contribute recordings of their local church bell sounds. More than 100 contributions were received from across the country, with bell sounds from Orkney to Galloway providing the source material for the electronics part.

A central idea of the project was to allow communities to take ownership of the new piece and remake it in their own ways.  In recent weeks a series of interactive workshops led by Martin alongside renowned animateur Paul Griffiths saw over 300 primary and secondary school students explore the themes and musical materials in Martin’s commission and to create their own versions of the piece using bell sounds, digital and acoustic instruments, and voices.  Martin’s intention was to write a piece that was within the reach of amateur performers, and the Helensburgh Orchestral Society will be presenting the first non-professional performance of Meditation (after Donne) on 1st December.

1819 Launch INSTA23 (2)

  • National Radio of Finland Simaku broadcast available online

    Following the success at the 2019 International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM)  – World Music Days , Thomas Simaku’s most recent work, La Leggiadra Luna for mixed choir a cappella, has been broadcast by four European radio stations.

  • Current and former students selected as 2019-20 RPS Composers

    The Royal Philharmonic Society have announced the latest members of their prestigious Emerging Composers scheme, including Robin Haigh, currently studying for a PhD at York with Martin Suckling, and Joel Järventausta, a former York undergraduate.

  • Martin Suckling on Radulescu at IRCAM

    Back in June Martin was invited to speak about Radulescu’s seminal solo viola piece Das Andere alongside violist Garth Knox at the Spectralisms conference in IRCAM.

  • Neil Luck features in 2019 BBC Proms

    Praise for Music Dept students featured in BBC Proms
    Following on from his specially-commissioned Radio 3 takeover to extend the Last Night of the Proms 2018, Music Department PhD student Neil Luck was invited to contribute a live set as part of 2019’s first ‘Proms at…’ event.  Joined by second year undergraduate Rebecca Burden and former student James McIlwrath, Neil masterminded three pieces in an event described by the Guardian as a ‘teasing, challenging new-music bill’.  Proms at …

  • Andreas Tsiartis a winner in Discovering Young Composers of Europe

    His new work will be performed by four different ensembles in four European cities and released on CD in 2020

    The objective of Discovering Young Composers of Europe (DYCE) Competition was to bring together the four regions of Europe (North, South, East, West) by inviting the composition students and alumni of all European Academies, Conservatories and Universities to submit a work.

  • Thomas Simaku selected for the ISCM – World Music Days 2019


    His work will be performed by a Grammy Award-winning ensemble

    Thomas Simaku’s recent work, La Leggiadra Luna for mixed choir a cappella, has been selected by the international jury for performance at the 2019 ISCM (International Society for Contemporary Music)  – World Music Days, which takes place in Estonia from 2 – 10 May.