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David Sawer (General Composition, 1995)Prom 20-Brahms Piano Concerto No1 in D MinorProm 20-Brahms Piano Concerto No1 in D Minor, performed by The BBC Philharmonic conducted by Mark Wrigglesworth at the Royal Albert Hall

David Sawer

Fellow in 1995 for General Composition

In 1996 he was composer-in-association with the Bournemouth Orchestras; in 2006 he was awarded a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship.

The 1990s saw a succession of important commissions. Byrnan Wood, his first large-scale orchestral piece, was premiered at the Proms in 1992 and subsequently recorded on the NMC label by the BBC Symphony Orchestra with Andrew Davis. The Trumpet Concerto received its first performance from the same orchestra in 1995, and in 1997 the BBC National Orchestra of Wales gave the world and London premières of the greatest happiness principle at St David’s Hall, Cardiff, and the Proms respectively. Tiroirs, commissioned by the Michael Vyner Trust for the London Sinfonietta, has been performed throughout Europe, in the USA and at the 1998 ISCM World Music Days.

Drama, or a fascination with theatrical possibilities, is present in many of his works. His radio composition Swansong, a commentary in words and music on a short story by Hector Berlioz, won a Sony Award in 1990. Cat’s-Eye was choreographed by Richard Alston for Ballet Rambert and Hollywood Extra, written for the Matrix Ensemble to accompany an expressionist silent film, was taken on a Contemporary Music Network Tour by the Asko Ensemble.
From Morning to Midnight, commissioned by English National Opera, premièred at the London Coliseum in 2001, for which he received a Laurence Olivier Award Nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Opera and a Royal Philharmonic Society Award nomination (Large-Scale Composition).

Other works include a Piano Concerto for Rolf Hind, which won the British Academy British Composer Award 2003, Stramm Gedichte for the New London Chamber Choir, and Rebus for musikFabrik.

Recent works include Skin Deep, co-commissioned by Opera North, Bregenzer Festspiele and Det Kongelige Teater Copenhagen; Rumpelstiltskin, a ballet for dancers and ensemble, commissioned by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group; Flesh and Blood, for two voices and orchestra, premiered by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and April\March, commissioned by RPS Drummond Fund for the London Sinfonietta/Royal Ballet and first performed at the 2016 Proms.