Psappha Ensemble © Psappha

I am so excited to announce that I have been selected by Psappha's Artistic Director, Tim Williams, to write a new 5 minute piece for solo guitar as part of the Composing for... young artist scheme. The project involves a series of workshops throughout the rest of 2020 and the start of 2021, culminating in an audiovisual recording session in the Summer. 
I am beyond thrilled to be working with guitarist Tom McKinney and the team at Psappha - this is an incredible opportunity to develop my understanding of the guitar, and develop a brand new work with an artist at the top of their field. 

A recent visit to Oxford (photo by Jasper Dommett)

Tom McKinney explaining the extended techniques involved in Rebecca Saunders's work 'A visible trace'. (Text via Chadlington Festival)

Tom McKinney was born in Stoke-on-Trent and began to study the guitar from the age of seven with John Lambert. At fifteen Tom studied privately with guitar legend Nicola Hall before entering the Royal Northern College of Music to study with Gordon Crosskey and Craig Ogden, graduating with honours in 2002. As a student he received scholarships from both the Countess of Munster Trust and the Musicians Benevolent Fund.

Tom is now greatly sought after as a new music specialist, often performing with the UK’s leading groups including Psappha, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Ensemble 10:10, Gemini, Auricle and Continuum. He has performed as a soloist and chamber musician at Aldeburgh Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Spitalfields Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Buxton Festival, St.Magnus Festival, Warwick Festival, Lancaster International Concert Series and City Music Society, and in the last five years Tom has been astounding audiences with his solo recitals of works for guitar and live electronics. He is a founder member of the exciting experimental group the house of bedlam and a member of the sensational Tango 5 quintet dedicated to the authentic performance of the music of Astor Piazzolla.
Formed in 1991 by Artistic Director Tim Williams, Psappha specialises in the performance of work by living composers and in music of the 20th and 21st centuries. Psappha has an extensive and varied repertoire of hundreds of works and a reputation for technical assurance and interpretive flair.
Psappha's recording of Peter Maxwell Davies's '8 Songs for a Mad King' (Text © Psappha)
Psappha is unique in its artistic offering as the North of England’s only stand-alone, professional contemporary classical music ensemble. A National Portfolio Organisation for Arts Council England and a Talent Development Partner for PRS Foundation, Psappha is based at St Michael’s, the former Italian Chapel in Ancoats, an inner-city area of Manchester that was once the cradle of the Industrial Revolution.
Psappha continually seeks to develop new audiences and break fresh ground. Through its websites Psappha provides more than 160 free-to-view films of live performances. The ensemble’s YouTube Channel had over 70,000 views in the last 12 months making Psappha one of Europe’s leading providers of new music online.

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