Mark Simpson is BBC Philharmonic’s New Composer

The BBC Philharmonic has announced JRNCM alumnus Mark Simpson as its new Composer in Association, starting in September.

Aged 26, the appointment makes him one of the youngest ever composers to be given a formal role with a major British orchestra, alongside such luminaries as Thomas Adès and Mark-Anthony Turnage who were given big breaks in their 20s.

Mark’s new role will run until 2019. The BBC Philharmonic will programme his existing orchestral works and Mark will compose three new scores during that time, as well as joining the orchestra in high profile partnership projects, news of which will be announced over the coming weeks.

Liverpool-born Mark is one of the rising stars amongst today’s British composers. He signed an exclusive publishing agreement with Boosey & Hawkes aged 24 and was the BBC Inspire Young Composer of the Year in 2006. As a talented clarinettist, he is also a former BBC Young Musician of the Year and BBC New Generation Artist.

He says: ‘I’m thrilled to accept this role as Composer in Association with the BBC Philharmonic. To be given the opportunity to develop my work and build a solid relationship with an orchestra of such calibre, over this time period, is a dream. I can’t wait for it to begin.’

Simon Webb, General Manager of the BBC Philharmonic adds: ‘The BBC Philharmonic proudly champions great British music and Mark is one of the brightest stars of the new generation of brilliant young composers in the UK. This new role will give Mark the space and time to continue to develop his already distinctive and compelling compositional voice.’

Mark Simpson’s works include A mirror fragment… performed by orchestras in the UK and Germany, and Sparks composed for the opening of the 2012 Last Night of the Proms. Current compositional projects include a new work for solo baritone, chorus and orchestra commissioned thanks to Sky Arts Futures Fund in association with Ideas Tap, and an opera in collaboration with writer Melanie Challenger under the Jerwood Opera Writing fellowship scheme.

Mark studied at the Junior RNCM and was a member of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. He has composed for Psappha, Ensemble 10/10, Britten Sinfonia and the National Youth Orchestra, among others.

The appointment is part of the BBC Philharmonic’s aim to develop musical talent, with a particular focus on composers and musicians who have lived and studied in the North. Mark’s role at the BBC Philharmonic is a new one for the orchestra and replaces the previous title of Conductor/Composer, currently held by HK Gruber.

26 February 2015