(1967 - )
Julian Anderson was born in London in 1967. His teachers included John Lambert, Alexander Goehr and Tristan Murail. Since his 1990 score Diptych won an RPS Prize, he has continued to attract the attention of the musical community as composer, enabler and teacher. He has been composer in residence to Sinfonia 21, the CBSO, the Cleveland Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and currently the Wigmore Hall. Between 2002-2010 he directed the Philharmonia's Music of Today series. As an teacher he was Professor of Composition at the Royal College of Music, London (1996-2004) at Harvard University (2004-7), and he is currently Professor at the London Guildhall School.
However, it is as composer that he has made the most impact, with commissions from such bodies as the BBC, the Nash Ensemble, the Cheltenham Festival, the London Sinfonietta, and the Asko Ensemble. He wrote the opening work, Alleluia (2007), for London's refurbished Southbank Centre and his piece Book of Hours (2004), for ensemble and electronics, won the 2006 RPS Award for Large Scale Composition. The NMC recording of the same work won the 2007 Gramophone Award.
Anderson’s music has also frequently been used for dance. Poetry Nearing Silence (1997) originally a commission from the Nash Ensemble, was later arranged to become a ballet choreographed by Mark Baldwin. In 2009 Anderson and Baldwin collaborated again on a new ballet, The Comedy of Change, based on Darwin’s Origin of Species which toured widely throughout the UK. In 2012, Mark Baldwin choreographed a dance work using Anderson’s viola solo Prayer.
Anderson has been particularly active recently in the worlds of choral and orchestral music. His Four American Choruses (2003) were premiered by the Groot Omroepkoor at the Concertgebouw and Bell Mass (2010) was premiered by the Choir of Westminster Abbey, London. In 2011 Anderson was a double winner at the British Composer Awards, with Bell Mass winning in the liturgical category and Fantasias (2009), a commission from the Cleveland Orchestra, taking the orchestral prize. The Discovery of Heaven (2011), a co-commission by the New York Philharmonic and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, attracted significant attention at its premiere in 2012 and went on to win a South Bank Sky Arts Award the same year. Both The Discovery of Heaven and Fantasias have been released on CD by the LPO; a disc which has garnered several 5 star reviews. Anderson was asked to compose a piece for the opening of the 2013 BBC Proms and the resulting piece, Harmony, was given a dazzling premiere by the BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus under conductor Sakari Oramo.
Following prodigious talent and international acclaim in just about every major genre – orchestral, choral, ensemble, chamber, dance – Anderson is about to release his first opera, Thebans, based on the Oedipus trilogy. It will be premiered at English National Opera in May 2014.