Opus 1: Getting to know... Darius Paymai - Britten Sinfonia

Opus 1: Getting to know… Darius Paymai

Get to know Darius Paymai, who has just finished his undergraduate degree in composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

  • What are you looking forward to about being part of Opus 1?

I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to learn from and work closely with some players from the Britten Sinfonia, but I’m also really looking forward to getting to know the other composers on the scheme and hearing their pieces in September.


  • What inspires you to compose?

My aesthetic overlaps with certain strands of visual art, from which I occasionally draw inspiration, but I’m always most inspired by the different people, instruments, and situations I work with. Those material conditions tend to be the central focus of every piece I make.


  • What sort of music do you like to write?

I particularly enjoy writing chamber music. I like thinking about the nature of the relationships between instruments in an ensemble; writing for a small group of people is a great opportunity to bring that dimension of a piece to the fore.


  • What is your favourite instrument (or voice) to compose for?

I play piano and used to play brass, so bowed string instruments are still quite foreign and really intriguing to me – I especially like the double bass.


  • What’s your biggest compositional ambition?

I’d like to try writing a very long piece – at least a few hours in length. I suppose my ambition would be to get it programmed!


  • What 3 pieces of music would you have to have on your desert island?

Morton Feldman – Piano and String Quartet
Erik Satie – Socrate
Skúli Sverrisson and Óskar Guðjónsson – The Box Tree


  • What is the best snack?

Tough one…but I think it has to be pretzels.

Darius Paymai

Find out more about Darius and his work here – dariuspaymai.com


Click here to meet our other Opus 1 composers