4x4 Composer Residency

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4x4 Composer Residency

Since 2001, Lake District Summer Music has successfully promoted four ‘4x4’ Composer Residencies benefitting 16 young professional composers at critical periods in the development of their careers. Earlier participants have gone on to build successful compositional careers. Each 4x4 Composer Residency offers four selected emerging professional composers an intense week of study with leading British composers and performers.

So it was that in summer 2010, four composers, selected from applications from around the UK, came together to produce 4 new operatic scenas as part of Lake District Summer Music's latest 4x4 Composer Residency.

Led by composer Robert Saxton, with the internationally acclaimed vocalists Lesley-Jane Rogers and Quentin Hayes, and director Garth Bardsley all in residence, the composers had the opportunity to work intensively on the art of small scale opera/music theatre writing.

Feedback from past 4x4 participants demonstrates how important this work is in nurturing emerging professional talent. The following quote is typical of the feedback we received:

“It may seem a luxury in an age when real ideas about classical music (not just contemporary) aremarginalized by the press in favour of personalities, and when our political leaders pay scant regard to the development of the creative arts, but this kind of venture offers exactly the right kind of encouragement and motivation that young, creative minds thrive on.”

John Casken, 4x4 lead composer 2009


The legacy of 4x4

An important legacy of the residency is commissions to some of the 4x4composers to write works to be premiered at future LDSM International Festivals – highlighted recently by The Independent as one of the top 3 classical music festivals. Resulting from these courses have been joint BBC / LDSM commissions for a new Quartet from John Habron – a commission for a piano quartet from Benjamin Wallfisch for the Gould Piano Trio and Garfield Jackson, leading to a recording and a second commission for a clarinet quartet.  Quartets were also commissioned from David Bruce and Nirmali Fenn.

Phillip Cooke, from our 2009 4x4 project, has been invited to write the third and last of our Granada Foundation Commissions. A companion work to the Brahms Two Songs, Op.91, this will be scored for alto, viola and piano. This was premiered at our 2011 International Festival.


Future of 4x4

Funding is being sought to promote another 4x4 Composer Residency soon. Composers wishing to participate in the next 4x4 Composer Residency should email 4x4@ldsm.org.uk. In the meantime, please feel free to browse the application brochure for our 2010 residency below.