BCMG/SAM Embedded Apprentice Composer in Residence 2012: Joanna Lee
About the residency
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group has appointed Joanna Lee as BCMG/SAM Apprentice Composer-in-Residence for 2012. The rising young composer, currently studying at Birmingham Conservatoire, is widely regarded as an original new voice in the musical world. She is the recipient of a raft of awards, including the Stephen Oliver Award for her first short opera.
During the year Joanna will spend time working with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG) and contributing to the life of the ensemble. She will gain a unique insight into the way BCMG works by attending performances, rehearsals and workshops.
Joanna will also write a new work for Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. She will have the opportunity to workshop the new piece with BCMG’s players several months before its first performance - a valuable opportunity for an emerging composer.
During the year she will be mentored by BCMG’s Artist-in-Association, composer/conductor Oliver Knussen, who will conduct the World Premiere of Joanna’s work for BCMG in Birmingham in the early Spring of 2013. Joanna will also shadow the work of composer David Sawer as he writes his future commission for BCMG, The Lighthouse Keepers.
The Apprentice Composer-in-Residence scheme, now in its fifth year in its present form, is a joint initiative between Sound and Music and BCMG as part of SAM’s Embedded artist development programme. The Embedded programme is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. In addition, the BCMG/SAM Apprentice Composer Residency is supported by the Leverhulme Trust.
The residency includes:
- Open access to BCMG’s rehearsals and performances throughout the UK.
- Opportunity to develop and maintain an ongoing dialogue with the performers
- Opportunity to work with guidance from mentors
- Opportunity to develop works for the group, including a small scale chamber piece and larger ensemble work.
- Involvement in the group’s learning programme, ranging from workshops/performances in schools, at the CBSO Centre and in higher education to involvement in the composition symposium.
- Bursary towards time and writing
About Joanna Lee
Joanna Lee's compositions have been shortlisted for a British Composer Award and Arts Foundation Opera Composition Award, featured in Premieres of the Year in Classical Music magazine and her first chamber opera, developed in collaboration with Howard Skempton and Tête á Tête, received the Stephen Oliver Award. Her work has been described variously as ‘sharply witty’ (Daily Telegraph) and ‘assured and confident’ (Birmingham Post).
The young composer’s musical studies have included a degree in Composition at Birmingham Conservatoire, where she is currently a PhD student, and participation in the Britten-Pears Contemporary Composition Course, London Symphony Orchestra Panufnik Scheme and Jerwood Opera Writing Programme. She specialises in contemporary vocal music, music theatre and opera.
Joanna is currently Composer-in-Residence at Aldeburgh, writing a choral piece to celebrate 60 years since the founding of Aldeburgh Music Club by Benjamin Britten; the work will also be performed as part of Britten’s Centenary. Recent projects include a piece for the London Symphony Orchestra as part of the Panufnik scheme and a short opera for the Jerwood Opera Writing Programme at Aldeburgh.
Performances of Joanna’s work include London Symphony Orchestra, Jane Manning, CHROMA, Psappha, Joby Burgess, Tête á Tête, Sarah Leonard, Orchestra of the Swan, Omar Ebrahim, Elysian Quartet, Loré Lixenberg, the Britten-Pears Orchestra, Alison Wells, De Ereprijs and Sonya Knussen, in the Aldeburgh Festival, Tête á Tête Opera Festival, Park Lane Group Young Artists Series, BMIC Cutting Edge Series and Ultraschall Festival in Berlin. She is studying for a PhD in composition at Birmingham Conservatoire, tutored by Richard Causton and Edwin Roxburgh, and has attended the Britten–Pears Contemporary Composition Course directed by Oliver Knussen, Colin Matthews and Magnus Lindberg.
Joanna works as composer assistant to Paul Englishby, which has included music for the Oscar-nominated film An Education, and projects for the Royal Shakespeare Company, BBC and Ronnie Scott’s.
Joanna Lee’s website is at www.joannalee.co.uk.
Based at the CBSO Centre, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group is established as one of Europe’s leading ensembles, and tours in the UK and abroad. The core of BCMG's work is the performance of new music, and the group has premiered over 100 new works by leading UK and overseas composers. BCMG has won many awards for its work in attracting new audiences for contemporary music, and has an extensive learning programme, engaging a wide range of people with the composition and performance of new music.