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Sally Beamish

Sally Beamish was born in London. She began her career as a viola player with the Raphael Ensemble, Academy of St Martins and London Sinfonietta, before moving to Scotland in 1990 to focus on composition. She was appointed a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2015, and of the Royal Swedish Academy in 2022. In 2018 she won the Award for Inspiration at the British Composer Awards, and in 2020 was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours.

She has written three major oratorios. Knotgrass Elegy (text by Donald Goodbrand Saunders) was premiered by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and chorus in the BBC Proms 2001, and has recently been named in BBC Music Magazine as one of the top 6 oratorios of the 20th and 21st century. Equal Voices (text by Sir Andrew Motion) was premiered by the LSO with Gianandrea Noseda in 2014. The Judas Passion (text by David Harsent) was commissioned by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and premiered in the UK and USA in 2018. Her third full-length ballet, A Christmas Carol, with choreographer Sir David Bintley, for Finnish National Ballet, received its premiere run in December 2023, to considerable critical acclaim.

She is known for her many concertos for internationally-renowned soloists, including Branford Marsalis, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Håkan Hardenberger, Steven Isserlis and Tabea Zimmermann. Her harp concerto, Hive, was premiered at the BBC Proms in 2022, by Catrin Finch, with BBCNOW conducted by Ariane Matiakh, and shortlisted for a South Bank Sky Arts Award. Her recent concerto, DISTANS, for violinist Janine Jansen and clarinettist Martin Fröst, was co-commissioned by the Concertgebouw, LSO, Swedish Radio Symphony (who gave the premiere in 2021) and Oslo Philharmonic. It received its Dutch premiere in Amsterdam with the Concertgebouw Orkest conducted by Klaus Mäkelä in April 2023, and the London premiere at the Barbican in June 2024, with the LSO conducted by Gianandrea Noseda.

Sally Beamish

Representing Sally Beamish for promotion and PR. Performance materials can be hired or puchased from Wise Music, Norsk Musikforlag and the Scottish Music Centre.

Image © Ashley Coombes


12 June 2024 The Seafarer - Wenham Jiang (vla), BBC Philharmonic, Josephine Korda (cond.), MediaCityUK, Manchester

20 June 2024 DISTANS - Janine Jansen (vln), Martin Fröst (cl), London Symphony Orchestra, Gianandrea Noseda (cond.), Barbican, London (UK premiere)

24 June 2024 Seavaigers - BBC Concert Orchestra, Ellie Slorach (cond.), Alexandra Palace, London

Selected Recordings
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