RNCM PRiSM Appoints Artist and Producer in Residence

RNCM PRiSM announces Zakiya Leeming – our Artist and Producer in Residence in association with Wellcome Trust project

17 May 2022

We are delighted to welcome composer and former RNCM PRiSM Doctoral Researcher Zakiya Leeming in her new role as PRiSM Artist and Producer in Residence.

Leeming will be working with Professor Paul Klenerman (University of Oxford) on a project exploring immune memory through music.

The three-year project funded by Wellcome Trust will include development of an opera by Leeming, as well as a dedicated schools programme exploring the history and science of vaccines through musical composition.

Left: Zakiya Leeming | Right: Professor Paul Klenerman

I am excited to join the team at PRiSM in my new role. I enjoy collaborating with health scientists and doctors, and the generous support from Wellcome means we have the scope to really get into the details.

I am thrilled to be working with Paul again after meeting him on the ISARIC4C project last year – our idea to explore this area grew from that experience.

I’m looking forward to discussions with the British Society for Immunology (BSI) and Oxford Vaccine group, and finding out how musical and immunological research might influence each other. — Zakiya Leeming

I am very excited to start this collaborative project with Zakiya and RNCM PRiSM. The idea of blending music and science to create a new work with broad impact is so attractive – and the pandemic has shown us all what an important area immune memory is.

I’m also really grateful to the Wellcome for funding this – it’s an innovative scheme and an amazing opportunity for me to work with such a talented team. — Professor Paul Klenerman, University of Oxford

Zakiya Leeming biography

Manchester-based composer Zakiya Leeming explores interdisciplinary collaborations in the fields of science and medicine. Recent commissions include the Royal Philharmonic Society, Riot Ensemble, Ensemble Recherche, Future Music Festival, Explore Ensemble and Psappha. Featured by The Guardian and BBC Radio 4, Leeming has created a number of projects with health data scientists and doctors resulting in new works, including Dawn, on the Morning After the Storm for Professor Calum Semple OBE and members of ISARIC4C, an international consortium of researchers and doctors whose outputs informed the UK government on COVID-19. In 2019, Zakiya devised and directed #MusicSaysDataSavesLives with Connected Health Cities (CHC), pairing four composers with health data scientists in a sold-out concert at the Manchester Museum. In her undergraduate degree at the University of Tasmania, Leeming received the Examiner Newspaper Scholarship and Dean’s award for Excellence with Honours, and was awarded the Soroptimists International Manchester Award in Composition, The Edward Hecht Prize and a Gold Medal in composition at the Royal Northern College of Music. Zakiya is founding co-director of experimental composer collective The Incógnito Project and member of Machine Learning for Music Working group MLM4M.

Paul Klenerman biography

Paul Klenerman trained in medicine at Cambridge and Oxford and specialised in infectious diseases. He did a PhD in Immunology at Oxford and postdoctoral research in Zurich. He has pursued research in the immune response to viruses (such as HIV, hepatitis C and SARS-CoV-2) and vaccines, funded mainly by the Wellcome Trust. He currently holds the Sidney Truelove chair in the Department of Medicine at Oxford.