Gary Carpenter

Professor of Composition

FRNCM, HonRAM, FRSA, LRAM, ARCM

Email: Gary.Carpenter@rncm.ac.uk

Gary Carpenter (born 1951, Hackney, London) was educated at Sir George Monoux Grammar School, Walthamstow and studied composition initially with Dennis Carney and subsequently with Humphrey Searle, Thea Musgrave and (principally) John Lambert at the Royal College of Music (1969-72). He has lived in Holland and Germany and has written six operas (The Snow Queen Blewbury 1982, Le Grand Meaulnes Bracknell 1984, Mythologies Wakefield 1988 [all with Ian Barnett] and for Tête à Tête Opera: Doggone, Nyanyushka, Sparklepuff [all with Simon Nicholson), five musicals (including The Streets Of London with Ian Barnett, China Song with Simon Nicholson and Goodnight Mister Tom with Michelle Magorian) and a radio music drama – The One Alone – with Dame Iris Murdoch as well as animated and live action film scores, several ballets including Greyzone (Graz 2000, chor. Christina Comtesse), Kinderspelen (Nederlands Dans Theater 1978, chor. Jiri Kylian, – revived 2014/15 IntroDans, Arnhem) Interactions (NDT 2 1980 chor. Christopher Bruce) and a large amount of concert music including a Horn Concerto for Stephen Stirling and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and Sonatinas (a concerto for alto saxophone and chamber orchestra) for Christian Forshaw and Ensemble 10:10, Liverpool.

He has been musical director and/or arranger-orchestrator on many films including The Wicker Man (1973) and The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. His Van Assendelft’s Vermeer for clavichord won the British Clavichord Society Composition Competition (2004) and was shortlisted for a British Composer Award (2005), whilst his Azaleas for harp, violin and ‘cello received a Victor Salvi Award in Venice (2004) and won the British Composer Award (2006) in the chamber category. He has also won prizes in Monaco and Vienna and received bursaries and awards from the Arts Council and the Holst and Gulbenkian Foundations.

A portrait CD, Die Flimmerkiste, is released on NMC. His Songs Of Sadness And Piety for voices, saxophone, organ & percussion appears on Christian Forshaw’s CD Renouncement and his Marking Time for basset clarinet appears on Mark Simpson’s Prism CD, also for NMC. Pantomime for 13 winds (in a version woodwind orchestra) forms part of the Twisted Skyscapes CD project with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra Winds conducted by Shea Lolin

Principal works include The Listening Project Symphony (Radio 4, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, [2012] – nominated for Prix Europa 2013), Fred and Ginger (LSO, Daniel Harding [2011]), Bassoon Concerto (Alan Pendlebury, RLPO, Vasily Petrenko [2011], Piano Trio [Fournier Trio, Wigmore Hall 2011, RPS Prize nomination 2012)] and Niederau (2011) which its commissioner, Tempest Flute Trio, have performed internationally over 30 times. His SET – Concerto for Tenor Saxophone and Orchestra was premiered in Manchester with Iain Ballamy (sax), Martin France (kit) and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by HK Gruber [February 2014] – repeated in Strasbourg [July 2015] and Liverpool [May 2018]. In a new departure, Gary arranged and directed Satie In Blue, an evening long entertainment for big band first performed in Manchester (June 2014). Dadaville, a BBC commissioned orchestral work (after Max Ernst’s sculpture of the same name) received its premiere at the First Night Of The Proms 2015 (BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sakari Oramo). Last year (2016), The Food Of Love – a sequence of Shakespeare songs in four books for choirs and piano commissioned by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust – celebrated the anniversaries of the Shakespeare’s birth (1564/2014) and death (1616/2016) whilst an Aldeburgh Music/14-18 NOW orchestral commission Willie Stock commemorating the two Battles of The Somme (1916 and 1918) received its premiere with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Oliver Knussen at the Aldeburgh Festival. He contributed orchestral material (BBCSO) to David Sedaris’s ‘Death Knows No Season’ broadcast (BBC Radios 3 and 4, December 2016) and is writing incidental music for Sedaris’s upcoming audiobook ‘Theft By Finding’.

Gary is a Professor at Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) and teaches composition at the Royal Academy of Music where he was elected an Honorary Member (HonRAM) in 2015. He received a Fellowship of the Royal Northern College of Music (FRNCM) in December 2016, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and a director of BASCA (British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors) where he chairs the Classical Executive Committee. He is a recipient of the 2017 PRS Composers’ Fund award for a portrait CD with the RLPO.

Personal Website

Current and Future Research

  • Orchestral work consolidation and penetration: Portrait CD (see Professional Activity)
  • Fischietto è Morto: exploring the relationship between trombone, clowns and Fellini’s cinema (I Clowns Finale). The Soprano Saxophone Sonata for John Harle further extends this by exploring circus themes.
  • Theft By Finding (Audible audiobook): Underpinning David Sedaris’s memoirs with incidental music, musical commentary and underscore with reference to American popular music trends from 1977-2002.

 

Research Funding

SET for Tenor Saxophone and Orchestra performance + Orchestral works recording: funding to date from PRS Resonate (2016) and PRS Composers’ Fund (2017).

Undergraduate Teaching

UG one-to-one tuition

Postgraduate Teaching

  • PG one-to-one tuition
  • PG Composition seminars

Research Supervision

  • Amir Sadhegi – PhD:  Performance Art and Postdramatic Theatre: An exploration of performativity and the development of an experimental approach to music composition.
  • Dr Laura Bowler – PhD: Music of Cruelty: Exploring the application of Antonin Artaud’s ‘Theatre of Cruelty manifesto to musical composition and performance.  (Royal Academy of Music)
  • Dr Brian Mark – PhD: Preserving Historical Artifacts: Borrowing Materials for Contemporary Musical Landscapes (RAM)

Publications

    Composition(All Details – Simplified)s

  • Gary Carpenter Marking Time (basset clarinet/piano) published by Cadenza Music, 2010, 2017

    Details of Composition

    Commissioned by Mark Simpson

    First Performance

    1st performance (Mark Simpson/David Horne): Wales Millenium Centre, Cardiff, May 2008 (BBC Young Musician of The Year competition).

    Recording

    https://soundcloud.com/gary-carpenter/marking-time?in=gary-carpenter/sets/sonata-for-clarinet-and-piano

    Other Performances / Broadcasts

    BBC TV Transmission
    https://youtu.be/WvX8x6c9kIQ

  • Gary Carpenter Willie Stock for large orchestra published by Cadenza Music, Wales, 2016

    Details of Composition

    Aldeburgh Festival-NOW14/18 Commission

    First Performance

    1st perf. June 17th 2016, Snape. BBCSO cond. Oliver Knussen. ‘Live’ broadcast BBC Radio 3.

    Recording

    https://soundcloud.com/gary-carpenter/willie-stock?in=gary-carpenter/sets/orchestral-works

    Other Performances / Broadcasts

    2nd broadcast Bavaraian Radio June 19th 2016 ‘Of the newcomers, Gary Carpenter’s Willie Stock, inspired by the fate of the composer’s uncle, one of 419,000 British casualties at the Somme, hit the spot most precisely. Bugle calls, fragments of wartime songs, martial percussion; the sounds couldn’t have been more atmospheric as this ten-minute piece twisted through elegy and anguish until it reached a lone side-drum, rattling in the wind over a desolate landscape. Expertly crafted, vividly expressive, I thought it a miniature triumph.’

    Geoff Brown (Times) 17th June 2016

  • Gary Carpenter Dadaville for orchestra published by Cadenza Music, Wales, 2015

    Details of Composition

    BBC Proms commission for First Night Of The Proms 2015.

    First Performance

    1st Perf July 17th 2015. Royal Albert Hall, London – First Night Of The Proms. BBCSO conducted by Sakari Oramo

    Recording

    https://soundcloud.com/gary-carpenter/dadaville

    Other Performances / Broadcasts

    March 21st 2017 – BBC/Dubai Proms. BBCSO Edward Gardner Daily Telegraph Gary Carpenter’s six-minute Dadaville was just as light, but whereas Nielsen’s piece was guilelessly jolly, Carpenter’s was flecked with a dark, syncopated glamour that was hard to place, as if a film noir score had been crossed with the spirit of 1920s Berlin. The word ‘Dada’ is a gift for a composer with a taste for musical punning, which Carpenter certainly is. He rung the changes on the notes D and A with entertaining ingenuity, the piece eventually building to riotous a complication of polyrhythm which ended in a literal burst of fireworks in the balcony.

    Ivan Hewett, 18th July 2015 The Guardian Inspired by a sculpture by Max Ernst that looks like a forbidding iron wall but is actually made of cork, it’s a piece about deceptive appearances that progresses from its creepily sweet strings-and-harp opening to a passage of considerable rhythmic violence, its mood gradually turning more jubilant and its final chord coinciding with a burst of indoor fireworks from the balcony. Attractively scored, it was ritzily done.

    Tim Ashley, 18th July 2015 The Times One of the best new pieces to be premiered on a first night for years, Dadaville was inspired by an enigmatic painted relief by Max Ernst. Carpenter saw it at the Tate in his home town, Liverpool, and imagined what might be behind its strange, iron barricade. He came up with this six-minute soundscape that began with whispering strings and gradually disclosed what sounded like 50 mechanical toys coming to life, until exploding into a full-blown jazz riff with wild solo breaks for brass. The surprise was the ending: a whoosh of fireworks erupted from the Albert Hall’s balconies. Gimmicky? You bet, and I loved the audacity…

    Richard Morrison, 18th July 2015 The Observer Gary Carpenter’s well-crafted and witty Dadaville, inspired by Max Ernst’s 1924 painting in Tate Liverpool, began with spiky modernity and metamorphosed into a brilliant funk ending with a dazzle of indoor fireworks: a clever and serious first premiere of the season… …Carpenter (born 1951) has a lot of musical voices, all interesting.

    Fiona Maddocks, 26th July 2015 Birmingham Post The world premiere of Gary Carpenter’s BBC commission Dadaville (a response to Max Ernst’s 1924 relief) proved an engaging juxtaposition of eerily ethereal timbres, and exuberant jazzy rhythms, built fugato-like and with assertive punctuations from a huge bank of percussionists. Carpenter joins the phalanx of composers who have penned something similarly attractive, not least Mark-Anthony Turnage, and I doubt its surprise firework-fizzing ending can ever be repeated.

    Christopher Morley, 20th July 2015 The Sunday Times Carpenter’s new piece was a terrific orchestral scherzo showpiece, scored and paced with real mastery.

    Paul Driver, 26th July 2015 Classical Source Taking Dadaville as it reached the ears, the opening is mysterious and meditative –at first light (yes, a George Benjamin title) – giving way to bustling and gawky passages bristling with activity, the music jazzy if hard-edged (hence Kenton) – trombone and baritone sax given riffs, further contrast offered through a liquid centre for solo strings. Ambiguous or not, Dadaville (the music) has its macabre aspects and seems set on a mechanistic course culminating with a final – visual – flare-like flourish (outside of the Hall, television viewers had the advantage here). It may be (and this is meant as a compliment) that Dadaville is too compressed and there is a bigger piece trying to get out, but it worked enjoyably on the night and clearly has a life beyond Kensington.

    Colin Anderson, 18th July 2015 http://www.classicalsource.com/db_control/db_prom_review.php?id=12967 5against4.com For a few years, the annual Proms season began with a première, which was nice but reduced the piece (or, at least, reduced composers’ aspirations) to a mere curtain-raiser. Gary Carpenter‘s Dadaville, which received its first performance in the opening Proms concert last week, did not begin the concert (that task fell to Nielsen), but the piece would in fact have worked wonderfully well as a concert-opening overture, but one with considerable chops and ambition. Taking both its title and essence from Max Ernst’s 1920s artwork of the same name, Dadaville, in the moment, appears to be characterising itself as yet another short ride on yet another fast machine. But it’s more than that. If anything, the bristling activity that bookends the piece seems less about momentum than energy, practically crackling with arcs and sparks emanating from its restless core. Initially irregular and unpredictable, sharp accents firing out seemingly at random, it soon falls into regularity and a pugilistic motivic outburst. This is picked up in its later incarnation, rising through the winds before splintering into a gyrating, funky dancefloor of elated mayhem coated in melodic brass hoo-hahs and fripperies, culminating in a sizzling, brash burst of fireworks (both imagined and real – a first for the Proms?). That ‘essence’ of Max Ernst’s Dadaville i mentioned before is the work’s inherent fragility, which for Carpenter becomes an “ambivalence” captured in a startlingly contrasting central episode. Hinted at in the work’s opening moments, Carpenter expands them into a soft but wide, lyrical vista, tinged with Messiaen-like ecstatic radiance. It lasts barely a minute, but this passing glimpse into something eternal transforms Dadaville into very much more than mere ephemera, matching elation with elevation.

    26th July 2015

    http://5against4.com/2015/07/26/proms-2015-gary-carpenter-dadaville-world-premiere/ Seen and Heard International Carpenter’s brief work (only six minutes) was inspired by a painted relief, entitled Dadaville, by the German surrealist artist and founder of the Dada movement in Cologne, Max Ernst (1891-1976). Carpenter is a composer who always creates an exquisite mixture of sound and this little gem is no exception. It is a joyous piece with jazzy elements, almost swing-like, which gives it a rather special charm, and the finale was as fabulous as it was unexpected. Carpenter explained in the programme notes that looking at Ernst’s work (which depicts an iron wall), he often pondered “what else might live behind this iron/cork wall – something the penultimate bar fleetingly hints at…” He deliberately leaves out the end of the sentence, hinting at a surprise. And so it was. The piece finished literally with a bang and fireworks at the top of the Hall. It stunned the audience, bringing a variety of amazed exclamations. People spontaneously exploded in an enthusiastic applause, almost as an extension of the final fireworks and, as we all know, the First Night of the Proms must start with a bang and you’ve just got to have fireworks too! Carpenter came on stage to acknowledge happily the well-deserved, fervent applause.

    Margarida Mota-Bull, 18th July 2015

    http://seenandheard-international.com/2015/07/proms-2015-the-first-night-goes-with-a-bangliterally/?doing_wp_cron=1437934264.8739750385284423828125 Bachtrack Taking its name from an artwork by Max Ernst, the piece was inspired as much by the notes ‘D’ and ‘A’ which make up ‘Dada’ as the artistic movement itself. The notes act as reference points, providing a solid foundation for a series of contrasting episodes. Ranging from Ravel to Ginastera, these are underpinned by infectious rhythms and attractively orchestrated, with some excellent parts for individual players: principal trombone Helen Vollam and saxophonist Tim Holmes revelled in their solos. The disparate ideas gradually coalesced, driving the piece towards its end: a brief reference to the start of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and that was it. Colourful, engaging and witty: perfectly pitched for the First Night, and which deserves to be heard in its rightful place as concert opener.

    Katy Wright, 20th July 2015

    http://bachtrack.com/review-prom-1-belshazzar-maltman-oramo-bbcso-july-2015 The Classical Reviewer As the music slowly and quietly opened there seemed to be very much the sound world of Britten in one of his Sea Interludes, an exquisitely conceived opening. Soon, however, there were little instrumental outbursts around the moments of tranquil beauty. As the work grew there were moments of disruptive, menacing undertones, as the music slowly built, insistently, with jazz style brass phrases to a final climax with the surprise of fireworks to conclude. A brilliant piece from a composer that I am becoming increasingly drawn towards.

    17th July 2015

    http://theclassicalreviewer.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/an-outstanding-first-night-of-proms.html The Arts Desk Gary Carpenter pitched his Dadaville just right for a First Night commission. The title comes from a Max Ernst work at Tate Liverpool, and the music itself is suitably Dada too. A range of styles are brought together into an eclectic and unpredictable mix. The quiet, breezy passages of the opening suggest Debussy, but soon the tempo picks up and the music becomes more rhythmic and percussion-driven. Carpenter explains in the programme that his piece is designed to exploit the large orchestra assembled for Belshazzar’s Feast, although his textures are considerably more straightforward than Walton’s. More often than not, the strings are employed in simple octave or unison stabs, punching out the rhythms beneath similarly forthright melodic statements from the woodwind and brass. Although short, the piece has a piecemeal sectional structure, but is brought together at the end by a riotous jazzy finale, capped by an impressive trombone break from Helen Vollam. On the final chord we even got fireworks, shot off from the gallery above. Bizarre, but fully in the spirit of Carpenter’s score.

    Gavin Dixon, 18th July 2015

    http://www.theartsdesk.com/classical-music/prom-1-vogt-maltman-bbcso-oramo MusicOMH Gary Carpenter’s Proms commission work Dadaville began…with the orchestral stuttering and twinkling percussion that became somewhat of a hallmark of late-twentieth-century orchestral pieces; but via a fascinating bluesy conversation between a baritone saxophone and a bass clarinet (a truly unusual combination), it moved to a catchy rhythmic coda for full orchestra (ending literally with fireworks – described by Carpenter as ‘a Rammstein-type pyrotechnical explosion’) which marked it out as a worthy successor to twentieth-century jazz-inspired works such as Stravinsky’s Ebony Concerto, or Bernstein’s Prelude, Fugue and Riffs.

    Barry Creasy, 18th July 2015

    http://www.musicomh.com/classical/reviews-classical/bbc-symphony-orchestra-oramo-albert-hall-london Musical Thoughts Gary Carpenter’s Dadaville, which took the notes D and A and made them a central motif by repeating them in order to create the musical equivalent of the word DADA, was one of the more enjoyable modern works I have listened to recently. A champagne-like bundle of jazzy, snappy sounds, this was, to my mind, an unfettered success.

    Vlad Bourceanu 20th July 2015

    http://www.musicalthoughts.net Posh, Broke & Bored It was a gorgeous evening. We were privileged to witness the world premiere of Gary Carpenter’s ‘Dadaville‘ – a BBC commission inspired by and named after Max Ernst’s sculptural painting. A surreal and playful frenzy that reminded me of Jan Svankmajer’s films, it was fitting that it went out with a bang – literally – Carpenter wrote an instruction at the end of the score for a ‘Rammstein-like pyrotechnic explosion’. I nearly had a heart attack when the fireworks went off at the end of Dadaville! One of the cannons was literally right above my head – I was leaning forward over the box when it went off, the boom and flash nearly made me jump off and plunge to my death (but not before taking out everyone on the stalls).

    http://www.poshbrokebored.com/2015/07/first-night-bbc-proms-2015.html The Quarterly Review Contemporary British composer, Gary Carpenter (b. 1951) is an interesting figure – a musician who set out in the 1960s learning composition at the Royal College of Music, and serving on such projects as the 1973 film (set on a sinister Pagan Scottish island), The Wicker Man. Film buffs and enthusiasts for cult music may remember the “sound” of this film: its weird processions of clashing brass, and seemingly innocent folkish fiddle-playing, all adding a strange sense of approaching doom. This time, Gary Carpenter has been inspired by the work of artist, Max Ernst: a wall of iron (but actually made of cork) from 1924 which hangs in a gallery in Liverpool. The opening of this piece – Dadaville – reminded me of the Dawn interlude from Britten’s Peter Grimes, but from this brief serenity arose a score which assembled and toyed with many stronger, more abstract sounds (the orchestration included a saxophone) – ending with a bang of actual pyrotechnics from above the orchestra. Over the years, the Proms has made something of a tradition of including such pieces (by composers such as Simon Bainbridge, Thomas Adès et al): instantaneous, interesting, technically brilliant, and not entirely without tonality, but works that seem to this reviewer to be clever exercises, rather than music which is destined to endure because it has either a story or a great heart. However, I found myself enjoying Dadaville, and I warmed to Gary Carpenter when he was interviewed on Radio 3 (his serious yet down-to-earth character, and easy-going way of explaining his style and motivation making for a very enjoyable broadcast).

    http://www.quarterly-review.org/endnotes-july-24th-2015/

  • Gary Carpenter Closing Time for tenor and ensemble published by Cadenza Music, Wales, 2015

    Details of Composition

    Songs to texts by Eva Salzman. Liverpool Capital of Culture Commission 2008

    First Performance

    1st perf: Jeffery Lloyd Roberts (tenor), Ensemble 10/10, Clark Rundell (dir). Liverpool. 8th October 2008.

    Other Performances / Broadcasts

    2nd Performance Huddersfield Festival 2009 (I think!).

  • Gary Carpenter Listening Project Symphony published by Cadenza Music, Wales, 2015

    Details of Composition

    Commissioned by BBC Radio 4 for The Listening Project ‘Live’. Shortlisted for Prix Europa 2013

    First Performance

    1st performance and broadcast 14th December 2012. BBCPO cond. Terry Davies. Media City, Salford.

    Recording

    2nd performance January 2016, RNCM Symphony Orchestra, Clark Rundell

    Other Performances / Broadcasts

    Entire ‘live’ broadcast (including theme from The Archers): http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01p7hdz Available until 2099!

  • Gary Carpenter SET – Concerto for Tenor Saxophone and Orchestra published by Cadenza Music, Wales, 2015

    Details of Composition

    BBC Commission

    First Performance

    21st February 2014. Iain Ballamy (sax) Martin France (drums), BBCPO cond. HK Gruber. Live Broadcast from Biridgewater Hall, Manchester.

    Recording

    https://soundcloud.com/gary-carpenter/sets/set-concerto-for-tenor

    Other Performances / Broadcasts

    2nd Peformance (movements 1,4 and 5) July 2015, Strasbourg Philharmonic, Baldur Brönnimann. From The Guardian ‘Gary Carpenter‘s output spans everything from atonal treatments of 12-bar blues to the syrupy-sinister orchestral arrangements for The Wicker Man; so he is perhaps uniquely placed to find the common ground between Coleman Hawkins and Alban Berg. Carpenter’s BBC commission, SET, was a unique and extremely cool double concerto in which jazz drummer Martin France laid down the pulse and saxophonist Iain Ballamy improvised freely over the top. The title is a play on words referring both to the modernist tone-row and a jazz musician’s list of standards; and it began as it meant to go on, lining up a rigid 12-note sequence and then swinging it until the chains went slack.’ https://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/feb/23/bbc-philharmonic-gruber-macmillan-review

  • Gary Carpenter Food of Love (The) published by Cadenza Music, Wales, 2014

    Details of Composition

    Four choral song books commissioned by Shakespeare Birthplace Trust commemorating 450th anniversary of WS’s birth (1564) and 400th of his death (1616)

    First Performance

    Book 1, (SATB + Piano) Stratford-upon-Avon, April 2014 Books 2 & 4 (SSA + Piano [Edinburgh 2015)], SSAATTBB + Piano [Derry October 2015]) Book 3 – (TTBB + Piano) Northampton Male Voice Choir, Northampton 2016

    Recording

    Only A Singing Bird CD Food of Love Book 2 http://www.signumrecords.com/catalogue/national-youth-choir-of-scotland-national-girls-choir/only-a-singing-bird/sigcd440.html

  • Gary Carpenter Pantomime (2014) for woodwind orchestra (and for 13 winds 1995) published by Camden Music, England, 2014

    Details of Composition

    Adaptation of original version for Mozart Gran Partita scoring (also published by Camden Music)

    First Performance

    First performance of this version: 23rd April 2016

    Recording

    Recording of original version: https://soundcloud.com/gary-carpenter/sets/pantomime-for-13-winds Reviews of the CD release: ‘Gary Carpenter has become something of an establishment figure, with professorships at the Royal Northern College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music, his profile enhanced by an NMC release of his works for ensemble under the title Die Flimmerkiste. His Pantomime derives from a musical version of Aladdin, forming a five-movement suite which invokes “the shadowy world and half-forgotten world of smoky Music Halls, Vaudeville, Burlesque, and their later, often televisual incarnations.” This is a score filled with fun and often witty elegance, including a Dream Calypso which reminds one of Malcolm Arnold and includes some juicy glissandi from the clarinets, and a Grand March (of the Chief Executive) which is announced by a quote from Mahler and is illustrative of an administration constantly messing things up “by arriving in inappropriate keys and providing equal opportunities for the wrong harmonies”.’ http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2015/Jul/Twisted_skyscape.htm ‘Gary Carpenter (born 1951) wrote Pantomime as a present for the Haffner Ensemble who premiered it in 1995. Much of the musical material comes from a musical version of Aladdin and the composer deliberately invokes music halls, vaudeville and burlesque. It is full of references to popular music. Prologue is really perky and puts a smile on the face, whilst Cavatina and Polka is lyrically beautiful. Dream Calypso and Farewell is rather big band in style but complex and varied. Grand March (of the Chief Executive) is a melange of popular styles, again a smile on the face particularly at the sly references to classical themes. Finally the Waltz – Finale (Depravity) a witty big band-style waltz.’ http://www.planethugill.com/2015/10/twisted-skyscape-music-for-woodwind.html

    Gary Carpenter’s (b.1951) www.garycarpenter.net Pantomime was written in 1995 and is in five movements and opens in a subdued dramatic fashion before slowly developing in tempo to a riotously buoyant theme, recalling to an extent jazz and the music of the 1920s. It moves rhythmically forward with contrasting moments of a more reflective nature. There is a most attractive quieter second movement section with a reflective, melancholy oboe theme picked up by bassoon and accompanied by the rest of the ensemble before the third movement brings a moderate flowing tempo with a gentle rhythmic lilt, with more fine orchestration, a lovely use of woodwind band and developing some jazz influences as it progresses. It falls slower towards the end, as well as being reflective with some lovely rich sonorities. The fourth movement takes the opening of Mahler’s fifth symphony on which to base a rich variety of variations, again with a rhythmic jazz style twist, before running into the final waltz movement, inventive and ear catching.
    This is a diverse, attractive and highly imaginative score from this fine composer whose BBC commission Dadaville will receive its world premiere with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sakari Oramo at this year’s First Night of the Proms this coming Friday 17th July 2015.’ http://theclassicalreviewer.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/a-highly-attractive-new-release.html
    ‘The CD opens with panache and style in Philips Sparke’s Overture, contrasting with the fun, quirky but catchy music of Carpenter’s Pantomine. This CD allows you to explore some fascinating British music and experience the sounds of flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, and various types of saxophones. The music is performed by the Czech Philharmonic Wind Orchestra conducted by ex-Colchester Institute Music School student Shea Lolin. Highly recommended for all woodwind players.’ Colchester Gazette, 31 July 2015
  • Gary Carpenter The North (saxophone quartet) published by Cadenza Music, Wales, 2014

    Details of Composition

    Commissioned by Borealis Saxophone Quartet

    First Performance

    1st perf. St John’s Smith Square, February 27th 2014

  • Gary Carpenter Two Hart Crane Songs published by Cadenza Music, 2013

    Details of Composition

    Written for the Composers’ Ensemble

    First Performance

    First Performed by Mary Wiegold and the Composers’ Ensemble as part of Elvis Costello’s Meltdown Festival. Purcell Room, London. 1992

  • Gary Carpenter Runcorn Bridge for Wind Orchestra published by Studio Music, England, 2013

    Details of Composition

    Commissioned by North Cheshire Wind Orchestra

    First Performance

    1st perf: 30th June 2012, RNCM Manchester, North Cheshire Wind Orchestra, Catherine Tackley, conductor

    Recording

    https://soundcloud.com/gary-carpenter/runcorn-bridge?in=gary-carpenter/sets/brass-and-wind

    Other Performances / Broadcasts

    Perfomance by National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain 2015 + several performances in USA and Germany.

  • Gary Carpenter Horn Concerto – Horn and Orchestra published by Cadenza Music, Wales, 2011

    Details of Composition

    BBC commission for Stephen Stirling and BBC Philharmonic Orchestra

    First Performance

    1st Performance, BBC Studio 7 Oxford Rd Manchester

    Recording

    https://soundcloud.com/gary-carpenter/01-1-cadenza-1-animato-meno-mosso-affetuoso?in=gary-carpenter/sets/orchestral-works https://soundcloud.com/gary-carpenter/02-2-cadenza-2-agitato-slinky-andantino-caminando-allegro-giocoso-quasi-una-cadenza?in=gary-carpenter/sets/orchestral-works https://soundcloud.com/gary-carpenter/03-3-scherzando-andante-con-rubato-tempo-giusto?in=gary-carpenter/sets/orchestral-works

  • Gary Carpenter Niederau (3 flutes) published by Cadenza Music, Wales, 2011

    First Performance

    1st perf: Anthony Burgess International Centre, Manchester. Tempest Flute Trio, May 2011

    Recording

    https://soundcloud.com/gary-carpenter/sets/niederau-for-3-flutes

    Other Performances / Broadcasts

    Multiple performances internationally ‘Another highlight among the commissioned works was Gary Carpenter’s Niederau, which, the composer informed us, was the first piece ever written for Tempest. And it did a brilliant job of demonstrating all the best features of the group, giving them long passages of rhythmic unison which they handled fantastically, and an array of soft staccato chords, played with real wit. The piece’s intricate but light harmonic language incorporated a range of effects, including key-tapping and an odd, slightly disconcerting schlurping noise.’ https://bachtrack.com/review-tempest-flute-trio-forge This is a most interesting flute trio but you’ll need to be able to fully assimilate the contemporary style in order to be able to perform it successfully. Carpenter says he is concerned with the ‘technical and expressive possibilities of three identical instruments conceived as single hyper- or 3D-flute and with the spacial possibilities implicit therein.’ so you can see immediately the type of work this is. Each movement describes a village on a bus route in the Tirol. Thierbach uses texture, weaving the flutes around one another to depict the remoteness of this village. Aufach is a fast Allegretto with extreme dynamics, tongue rams and key clicks, while Oberau has a more dance-like feel. Niederau itself is fast with a lot of notes to contend with. This piece is not for everyone but the challenge really is worth it.’ https://www.justflutes.com/niederau-carpenter-product1202274.html#gref

  • Gary Carpenter Piano Trio published by Cadenza Music, Wales, 2011

    First Performance

    1st perf.: Wigmore Hall October 2011 Fournier Trio. RPS Award Shortlist 2012

    Recording

    https://soundcloud.com/gary-carpenter/sets/piano-trio-1

    Other Performances / Broadcasts

    Subsequent performances in Bucharest as part of British Council’s British Series (2012 and New Zealand on tour (2014) by Tamsin Waley-Cohen (violin), Bartholomew LaFollette (‘cello) and Tom Poster (piano)

  • Gary Carpenter Dioscuri (2 cellos) published by Cadenza Music, Wales, 2010

    Details of Composition

    Commissioned by Pei-Jei and Pei-Sian Ng

    First Performance

    1st perf: July 15th 2010. Pei-Jei and Pei-Sian Ng. Mecklenberg Festival, Germany

    Recording

    https://soundcloud.com/gary-carpenter/sets/dioscuri

    Other Performances / Broadcasts

    2nd perf: Adelaide International Cello Festival, Australia. 3rd April 2011 Broadcast on ABC

  • Gary Carpenter Doubles (concerto for oboe, clarinet and wind band) published by Studio Music, England, 2010

    First Performance

    RNCM commission. 1st perf: July 2nd 2009. RNCM Manchester. RNCM Wind Orchestra, Melinda Maxwell (oboe), Paul Vowles (clarinet)

    Recording

    Polyphonic CD http://www.studio-music.co.uk/concert-band/cd-recordings/qprm156d Paul Goodey (Oboe), Linda Merrick (Clarinet), Clark Rundell https://soundcloud.com/gary-carpenter/doubles-for-oboe-clarinet-and-wind-orchestra?in=gary-carpenter/sets/brass-and-wind

    Other Performances / Broadcasts

    US 1st perf: 9th July 2009, Cincinnati, Ohio.

  • Gary Carpenter Fred & Ginger for orchestra published by Cadenza Music, Wales, 2010

    Details of Composition

    LSO Commission

    First Performance

    1st perf: Barbican, London. Feb. 17th 2011. LSO/Daniel Harding

    Recording

    https://soundcloud.com/gary-carpenter/fred-and-ginger?in=gary-carpenter/sets/orchestral-works

    Other Performances / Broadcasts

    BBC Radio 3 Broadcast

  • Gary Carpenter Go-Slow – (guitar quartet) published by Cadenza Music, Wales, 2010

    First Performance

    First performed in 1984 by the Omega Guitar Quartet

    Recording

    https://soundcloud.com/gary-carpenter/sets/go-slow

  • Gary Carpenter Sonatinas for alto sax and small orchestra or piano published by Cadenza Music, Wales, 2010

    Details of Composition

    Commissioned by Liverpool Phiharmonic Society for Ensemble 10/10’s 10th anniversary.

    First Performance

    Ist performance: March 2007. Liverpool. Christian Forshaw, Ensemble 10/10. cond: Clark Rundell.

    Recording

    https://soundcloud.com/gary-carpenter/sets/saxophones

    Other Performances / Broadcasts

    Broadcast on Radio 3 8th December 2007, Hear and Now.

  • Gary Carpenter Van Assendelft’s Vermeer (clavichord) published by Cadenza Music, Wales, 2008

    Details of Composition

    1st prize British Clavichord Society’s Composition Competition 2004. Shortlisted for British Composer Award 2005.

    First Performance

    1st performance: August 2004, Pamela Nash, St Cecilia’s Hall in Edinburgh

    Recording

    Recorded on Die Flimmerkiste CD (NMC)

  • Compositions

  • Gary Carpenter Blue (unaccompanied flute), Holly Melia Solo Flute
  • Gary Carpenter Bassoon Concerto, Solo Bassoon/Orchestra
  • Gary Carpenter After Braque – for 20 players, Ensemble 10/10, Clark Rundell, Mixed Ensemble, NMC, Birkenhead, September 2006
  • Performances

  • Gary Carpenter Gary Carpenter Death Knows No Season – Front Row Centre Overture etc., Giancarlo Guerrero, David Sedaris Orchestra, 20th September 2016
  • Recordings

  • Gary Carpenter Food Of Love (The) Book 2, NYCoS National Girls’ Choir, Christopher Bell, SSA Piano, Signum, RSNO Centre, Glasgow, 8th to 10th May 2015
  • Gary Carpenter Marking Time, Mark Simpson, Ian Buckle Basset Clarinet and Piano, NMC, Liverpool Hope University, Capstone Building, 9-11 August 2010
  • Gary Carpenter Pantomime (Prague Version) for woodwind orchestra, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra Winds, Shea Lolin, 2 oboes, 4 clarinets (4th dbl bass), 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 saxophones., Legni Classics, Prague, March 24-26th 2014
  • Gary Carpenter Die Flimmerkiste, Ensemble 10/10, Clark Rundell/Gary Carpenter, Pamela Nash Chamber – various, NMC, Birkenhead/London, 2006

Professional Activity

  • 2018: RSNO commission for 40th Anniversary of RSNO Youth Choir. Details to be arranged. SET performance: Iain Ballamy,  RLPO cond. Clark Rundell (May 3rd 2018 Liverpool) Portrait CD recording: RLPO/Ballamy/Rudge cond.:Rundell/Petrenko (poss).
  • 2017: Fischietto è Morto for trombone and strings. CD release June 2017. 1st perf. Matt Gee (commissioner) and RPO, Ryedale Festival July 2017 (tbc). Soprano Saxophone Sonata – Commissioned by John Harle – 1st perf Autumn 2017 (tba). Clarinet Quintet – commissioned by Linda Merrick – 1st Performance tba
  • 2016 Willie Stock for Orchestra. 1st perf. June 17th Snape. Aldeburgh Festival-NOW14/18 Commission, BBCSO conducted by Oliver Knussen. Death Knows No Season – Front Row Center Overture and Interludes. BBCSO, Barbican 20th December 2016, BBC Radio 3 (23rd Dec 2016). BBC Radio 4 (31st December 2016)
  • 2015 The Food Of Love Books 2 & 4 for choirs and piano (SSA [Edinburgh 2015)], SSAATTBB [Derry October 2015]. Dadaville for Orchestra. 1st Perf July 17th 2015. Royal Albert Hall, London – First Night Of The Proms. BBCSO conducted by Sakari Oramo. SET – Concerto for Tenor Sax and Orchestra – French Premiere, July 2015, Strasbourg Philharmonic, Baldur Brönnimann
  • 2014 SET – Concerto for Tenor Sax and Orchestra: 1st perf. February 2014. Iain Ballamy, BBCPO, HK Gruber (cond). The Food Of Love – four choral song books commissioned by Shakespeare Birthplace Trust commemorating 450th anniversary of WS’s birth (1564) and 400th of his death (1616), 1st perf. of Book 1, Stratford-upon-Avon, April 2014. The North for saxophone quartet. Borealis Quartet commission. 1st perf. St John’s Smith Square, February 27th 2014.
  • GSMD External Examiner: MMus Composition/Opera Makers.
  • Composition Professor: Royal Academy of Music,