BBC Radio 3 Composer of the Week: Hannah Kendall

Posted: 13th March 2017

International Women’s Day Celebrations

BBC Radio 3 featured Hannah Kendall, renowned composer and past pupil of St Augustine’s Priory, last Wednesday 8th March, International Women’s Day, as their Composer of the Week in their series of Contemporary British Women Composers.

BBC Radio 3’s website for 11th March says:  ‘Donald Macleod speaks to five members of a new generation of British composers about their work – as they discuss the issue of women in music from a contemporary perspective. Featuring music by Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Dobrinka Tabakova, Hannah Kendall, Anna Clyne and Charlotte Bray.

Today’s featured composer is Hannah Kendall (1984-), who joins Donald Macleod to discuss the varied influences on her music: her work with the poet Rick Holland, the paintings of Turner Prize winner Chris Ofili, and her own British-Caribbean heritage.’

The link to this feature is at:  Composer of the Week,Five Under 35 – Contemporary British Women Composers

Also, as part of International Women’s Day celebrations, BBC Proms Inspire invited young, female composers to take part in a special project in February with contemporary composer Hannah Kendall and special guests, culminating in a live performance broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune. The project was open to a small group of 16 – 21 year old female composers interested in creating, experimenting with and performing a short piece in a group setting.

After A Levels Hannah studied at the University of Exeter graduating with First Class Honours in Music, having studied composition with Joe Duddell. She also completed a Masters in Advanced Composition with Distinction from the Royal College of Music studying with Kenneth Hesketh and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Royal College of Music Study Award and the RVW Trust.

Currently, Hannah also works part-time as a Director at London Music Masters, a charity that aims to enable opportunity, diversity and excellence in classical music, inspiring positive change for individuals and communities, and teaches on the Composition/General Musicianship team at Junior Royal Academy of Music.

A major contemporary composer, Hannah’s website gives an insight into her work, ‘Hannah is deeply committed to contemporary culture as a whole and often works collaboratively with artists from other art forms. She has developed a fruitful creative relationship with Poet Rick Holland, setting Fundamental for choir and brass quintet, described as being ‘a hugely accomplished work’ by Music OMH and a number of other poems from Rick’s recently-published collection Story the Flowers. Hannah also worked closely with choreographer Symeon Kyriakopoulos in creating Labyrinthine, which was premiered at The Place as part of the Resolution! Festival in 2009. Most recently, Hannah joined forces with Gallery Libby Sellers in developing ‘Middlegame’ for solo piano, which took inspiration from the Gallery’s GAMES exhibition. Commissioned by the Richard Thomas Foundation, the work was premiered at the space by Andrew Matthews-Owen and expanded into a three-movement piece, ‘On the Chequer’d Field Array’d’ that was performed by Andrew at the Purcell Room in May 2013. The work was selected as a Premiere of the Year by Classical Music Magazine.’

A visit to Hannah’s website is well worth it, as some of her work is available to listen to and appreciate.

Many congratulations, Hannah on your achievement, you are an inspiration to all aspiring musicians.

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