Luke Bedford was born in 1978 and studied composition at the Royal College of Music with Edwin Roxburgh and Simon Bainbridge, following a Foundation Scholarship. He then gained a subsequent scholarship to study for a Masters degree at the Royal Academy of Music, again with Simon Bainbridge, with funds provided by the RVW Trust, the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and the 2000 Mendelssohn Scholarship.
His works range from chamber groups to ensemble, sometimes with voice, and full orchestra. Bedford was the recipient of a prestigious Paul Hamlyn Artists’ Award in 2007, and in 2008 Wreathe won a British Composer Award. Other accolades include 'best piece by a composer under 30' at the 2005 International Rostrum for Composers in Vienna, BBC Radio 3 Listeners’ Prize at the 2004 British Composer Awards and the Royal Philharmonic Society’s 'Composition Prize for composers under 29' in 2000.
2010 saw the world première ofAt Three and Two by the Hallé Orchestra. Bedford’s first opera, Seven Angels, based on Milton’s Paradise Lost, was premiered in 2011 by the Opera Group and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. He was the first-ever composer in residence at the Wigmore Hall, which has earned him several commissions, including the string quartet Nine Little Boxes, All Carefully Packed (2011). Other major commissions have come from the London Sinfonietta, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Society, Philharmonia, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.
In February 2012 Wonderful Two-Headed Nightingale, a double concerto for violin, viola and small orchestra, was given its world première by the Scottish Ensemble. Bedford was awarded the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung Composer’s Prize in music in the same year, and the premières of Wonderful No-Headed Nightingale and Three Intermezzi took place. In October 2013 the Arditti String Quartet gave the première of Wonderful Four-Headed Nightingale at Wien Modern. In 2014, his highly-acclaimed opera Through His Teeth was premièred at the Royal Opera House. On 1 August his Proms commission Instability will be premiered by the BBC Philharmonic.
*See the panel on the right for details of his commissioned piece and related pre-concert talk in the 2015 LDSM festival.