Alwynne Pritchard was born in Glasgow in 1968, and as a teenager began composition lessons with her father, Gwyn Pritchard. She then studied with Robert Saxton at the Guildhall School of Music, and later with Melanie Daiken, Justin Connolly and Michael Finnissy at the Royal Academy of Music – where she was awarded many prizes for her work. In 1997 she was awarded a research scholarship by the University of Bristol, and in 2003 received a PhD in composition.
In the summer of 2000, Pritchard was awarded a Visions of Norway scholarship for a two-month residency at the Kulturhuset USF Verftet in Berge; she later returned for an extended residency. In April 2007 she completed a one-year residency at the Internationales Künstlerhaus Villa Concordia in Bamberg, Bavaria after which she spent a year living in Berlin. From June until August 2010, she was resident at PointB Worklodge, New York. In September 2008 Alwynne became the Artistic Director of the Borealis Festival in Bergen, Norway, where she now lives.
In 2002, the BBC Symphony Orchestra gave the first performance of Alwynne’s orchestral work Critical Mass, and in March 2007 her piano concerto Map of the Moon was premiered by Nicolas Hodges and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Decoy, created at the Heinrich Strobel Stiftung, Freiburg, in 2005 for the Donaueschingen Musiktage, was awarded the special prize given by the Foundation Ton Bruynèl, STEIM and the Foundation GAUDEAMUS.
Commissions in the last five years have seen Pritchard’s work move more frequently in the direction of music theatre; over the last decade and a half Alwynne Pritchard’s music has been performed by leading players and ensembles throughout Europe and America.
In 2005, she formed the Bergen/London-based improvisation quintet Fat Battery, and has also performed as a vocalist with computer programmer Thorolf Thuestad and flautist Rowland Sutherland in the trio Myrtle. From 2001 until 2008, Pritchard taught composition at Trinity College of Music in London, and she has also worked regularly as a project leader for the BIT20 Ensemble’s music education projects in Norway and abroad – and presented many contemporary music programmes for BBC Radio 3, including Music in Our Time, Midnight Oil, Music Matters, Hear and Now and Discovering Music.