John Woolrich

John Woolrich

A much commissioned and frequently performed composer, a highly creative teacher and an original programmer, John Woolrich is an important figure in British musical life.

His successful collaborations with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group led to his appointment in the 2002-03 season as their Artistic Associate, and from 2004 he has been the Associate Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival. In 1991 he founded the Composers Ensemble, of which he continues to be the driving force.

A number of preoccupations thread through his varied output: the art of creative transcription (Ulysses Awakes, for instance, is a recomposition of a Monteverdi aria, and The Theatre Represents a Garden: Night – a work for the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment – is based on fragments of Mozart), a fascination with machinery and mechanical processes (heard in many pieces including The Ghost in the Machine and The Barber’s Timepiece), a love of song and a passionate interest in literature.


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