Robin Holloway
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1943-10-19
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/7063bc25-fb74-4e82-8332-c1d003bd93f1
Robin Holloway

Robin Holloway Biography (BBC)

When, in his late 20s, Robin Holloway shocked the establishment with his twin challenges to the prevailing zeitgeist of musical complexity, Scenes from Schumann (1970) and Fantasy-Pieces (1971), there was little of the sound of the previous psychedelic decade in them, but plenty of free love for the Schumann songs that he paraphrased.

And although in their use of pre-existing material as a springboard for invention these works showed Stravinskyian leanings - in the manner of the master's The Fairy's Kiss, some critics of the time, equating a fondness for the past with a reactionary fondness for tradition, thought these backward-looking glances conservative, a mistaken view of their radical posture which the later tributes to high and late romanticism - Domination of Black (1974), the opera Clarissa (1976), Seascape and Harvest (1984) and Wagner Nights (1989) - loftily dispelled. Further exploring romantic terms of reference, Holloway has also produced an ongoing sequence of concertos, three idylls for small orchestra, song-cycles, the oratorio The Spacious Firmament (1990), and two works after Ibsen, the symphonic ballad Brand and the concert-opera Peer Gynt, all flowing in a mighty delta from the source of his music of the 1970s.

A private pupil of Alexander Goehr, a student first of English and then of music at Cambridge University, and afterwards a University lecturer there, Holloway (born in Leamington Spa in 1943) has occupied a unique role in British music for the past three decades. To each of his pieces he brings an unparalleled range of aesthetic concerns, yet each one is unmistakably Holloway in the flavour and fluency of its language. The resulting corpus, both protean and fixed in its artistic aims, is among the most original in British music, and with every addition reveals new aspects of its composer's unique creative persona.

Essential to that artistic personality for all its varied manifestations is a contemporary view of the past which sees it neither as a body of practice conveyed from teacher to pupil, nor as an inheritance which, in Darwinian fashion, must be altered and improved for later generations, but as something almost tangibly to be desired, whether darkly, playfully or passionately.

If Holloway's penchant for writing divertimento-like works in his own version of 20th-century neo-tonality has also confounded the critics over the years, then his periodic returns to a modernist constructivism (nowadays a conservative gesture?) in three concertos for orchestra and several ensemble works, including The Rivers of Hell (1977), is a complementary aspect of the dialogue of desires so characteristic of his achievement. That the Second Concerto for Orchestra (1989), the NMC recording of which won a 1994 Gramophone Award, can surely be numbered among the dozen or so outstanding works by British composers of the last 30 years is a further testimony to his singular position in our cultural life, one ultimately defined by the force of his unique creative sensibility.


Robin Holloway Performances & Interviews


Robin Holloway Tracks

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Robin Holloway
Variations on "Sumer is icumen in"
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Variations on "Sumer is icumen in"
Robin Holloway
Minuetto alla tarantella (Serenade in C major, Op 41)
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Minuetto alla tarantella (Serenade in C major, Op 41)
Robin Holloway
Phaeton's Journey: Son of the Sun (world premiere)
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Phaeton's Journey: Son of the Sun (world premiere)
Robin Holloway
Gilded Goldbergs
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Gilded Goldbergs
Robin Holloway
The Food Of Love
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The Food Of Love

The Food Of Love

Singer
Clare Lloyd-Griffiths
Kate Symonds-Joy
James Robinson
Simon Wallfisch
Performer
Last played on
Robin Holloway
Holloway: The Food Of Love
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Holloway: The Food Of Love

Holloway: The Food Of Love

Performer
Author
Percy Shelley
Singer
Clare Lloyd-Griffiths
Kate Symonds-Joy
James Robinson
Simon Wallfisch
Robin Holloway
Men Marching (War Memorial No.1) Op.50, No.1
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Men Marching (War Memorial No.1) Op.50, No.1
Robin Holloway
Variations on Sumer Is Icumen In – Variation 2
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Variations on Sumer Is Icumen In – Variation 2

Variations on Sumer Is Icumen In – Variation 2

Performer
BBCSO conducted by Jac van Steen
Robin Holloway
Madrigals
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Madrigals

Madrigals

Choir
BBC Singers
Conductor
Charles Peebles
Robin Holloway
Woefully Arrayed (extract)
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Woefully Arrayed (extract)

Woefully Arrayed (extract)

Choir
Gonville and Caius Coll. Cambridge Choir
Conductor
Timothy Brown
Robin Holloway
Aria; Variation 1; Variation 2 (Gilded Goldbergs)
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Aria; Variation 1; Variation 2 (Gilded Goldbergs)

Aria; Variation 1; Variation 2 (Gilded Goldbergs)

Ensemble
Glen Inanga and Jennifer Micallef
Johann Sebastian Bach
Gilded Goldbergs, Op 86 (Variation 19)
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Gilded Goldbergs, Op 86 (Variation 19)
Robin Holloway
War Memorials No. 1 (Men Marching) (feat. Howard Snell & Britannia Building Society Band)
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War Memorials No. 1 (Men Marching) (feat. Howard Snell & Britannia Building Society Band)
BBC S O., Robin Holloway & Garry Walker
In China
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In China

In China

Performer
BBC S O., Robin Holloway & Garry Walker
Robin Holloway
Scenes from Schumann (excerpt)
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Scenes from Schumann (excerpt)
Robin Holloway
Fifth concerto for orchestra
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Fifth concerto for orchestra
Robin Holloway
Gilded Goldbergs (after JS Bach) Op.86 for 2 pianos
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Gilded Goldbergs (after JS Bach) Op.86 for 2 pianos
Robin Holloway
Fifth Concerto for Orchestra (BBC Commission: world premiere)
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Fifth Concerto for Orchestra (BBC Commission: world premiere)
Robin Holloway
Concerto no. 5 for orchestra
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Concerto no. 5 for orchestra
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Past BBC Events

Proms 2010: Prom 74
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/e2rq9r
Royal Albert Hall
2010-09-09T00:18:34
9
Sep
2010

Proms 2010: Prom 74

Royal Albert Hall
Proms 1996: Prom 04
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ew8fxj
Royal Albert Hall
1996-07-22T00:18:34
22
Jul
1996

Proms 1996: Prom 04

Royal Albert Hall

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