Composer Of The Week: Five Under 35 - Contemporary British Women Composers

Ep 1-5/5

Monday 9 March



Continuing BBC Radio 3's celebration of female composers for International Women's Day, Donald Macleod speaks to five members of a new generation of British composers about their work – as they discuss the issue of women in music from a contemporary perspective. Featuring music by Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Dobrinka Tabakova, Hannah Kendall, Anna Clyne and Charlotte Bray.

Donald's first guest this week is Cheryl Frances-Hoad, who despite her young age has already been composing for a quarter of a century, and who won the BBC Young Composers' Competition in 1996 at the age of 15. Described by music critic Paul Driver as ‘a remarkable talent’, Cheryl’s music blends the influence of the English 20th century tradition (Britten, Tippett) with inflections of contemporary life in 2015.

Subsequent Composer Of The Week guests this week include:

Tuesday: Donald interviews the British-Bulgarian composer Dobrinka Tabakova (1980-), whose music shimmers with "glowing tonal harmonies and grand sweeping gestures", according to the leading magazine The Strad. Born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, before the fall of the Iron Curtain, Dobrinka Tabakova moved to the UK at the age of 11. Her lushly tonal, often highly Romantic music has been praised by figures as eclectic as John Adams, Iannis Xenakis and Alexander Goehr - and questions what it really means to be 'radical' in 2015.

Wednesday: Hannah Kendall joins Donald Macleod to discuss the varied influences on her music: her work with the poet Rick Holland, the paintings of Turner Prize winner Chris Ofili, and her own British-Caribbean heritage.

Thursday: Anna Clyne is today's featured composer - a creator of acoustic and electroacoustic soundscapes, whose music combines traditional instruments and harmonies with propulsive electronic textures and sonic experimentation. Now based in New York City, she joins Donald Macleod down the line from the USA to discuss her highly original musical voice and the influence of the visual arts on her work.

Friday: Donald's final guest this week is Charlotte Bray, who began composing only in her early 20s, yet who has been acclaimed as among the outstanding talents of her generation. She talks to Donald about the influence of the English landscape upon her work - from the perspective of an expat in Berlin.

To find out more about Radio 3's International Women's Day programming follow @bbcradio3 and search the hashtag #womensday

Presenter/Donald Macleod, Producer/Steven Rajam for the BBC

BBC Radio 3 Publicity