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"Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens." - Maria von Trapp

Howard Skempton

Howard Skempton was born in Chester in 1947, and has worked as a composer, accordionist and music publisher. He studied in London with Cornelius Cardew from 1967, which helped Skempton to discover a musical language of great simplicity. Since then he has continued to write undeflected by compositional trends, producing a corpus of more than 300 works – many pieces being miniatures for solo piano or accordion. Skempton calls these pieces ‘the central nervous system’ of his work.
Skempton’s catalogue of works is also as diverse as it is long, ranging from pieces for solo cello (Six Figures, 1998), and guitar (Five Preludes, 1999), to the Chamber Concerto for fifteen players, the Concerto for Hurdy-Gurdy and Percussion, and Lento, premièred by the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican in 1991, and performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ilan Volkov, at the 2010 BBC Proms.
In May 2005 Skempton’s Tendrils for string quartet was awarded the prize for ‘best chamber-scale composition’ by the Royal Philharmonic Society, and in December 2005 it won in the chamber music category at the annual British Composer Awards. Skempton won a second British Composer Award in 2008 for The Moon is Flashing, a song  cycle for tenor and orchestra commissioned by the BBC, which was premièred by BBC NOW and James Gilchrist at the Vale of Glamorgan Festival in September 2007 and broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Featured on

Various composers
My Beloved's Voice: Sacred Songs of Love
Choir of Jesus College Cambridge / Mark Williams
Various composers
A Doll's House
Ensemblebash