Magnum Opus composers announced - Britten Sinfonia - News

Magnum Opus composers announced

Britten Sinfonia is thrilled to announce that Jonathan Brigg, Nathan James Dearden and Aileen Sweeney will spend the 2021-22 season ’embedded’ with the orchestra as the inaugural Magnum Opus composers. The scheme will culminate in a performance of their work as part of Britten Sinfonia’s London concert season in Autumn 2022, and the experience will be tailored to meet the needs of each composer.

Rachel Wilkinson, Britten Sinfonia’s Creative Learning Manager comments:
“Aileen, Jonathan and Nathan were chosen from a very strong and varied shortlist. All three have distinctive compositional voices, a deep commitment to music, and a strong sense of adventure and inquiry – qualities very much in keeping with the orchestra’s own approach. They stood out as well-rounded creatives and are all active performers as well as composers: Aileen plays the accordion, writes and performs Scottish folk music, and co-hosts a contemporary music podcast; Jonathan is a pianist and teacher with a deep love of jazz; Nathan is immersed in the choral tradition, working with professional and community choirs in Wales. We are very much looking forward to working with them across the coming year, and hope they find the experience rewarding, invigorating and enjoyable.”

Aileen Sweeney, Nathan James Dearden and Jonathan Brigg © Milly March

Aileen Sweeney, Nathan James Dearden and Jonathan Brigg © Milly March

Meurig Bowen, Britten Sinfonia Artistic Director and Chief Executive comments:
“In developing these two new strands to Britten Sinfonia’s work, we have taken a step back and taken soundings from composers: performance opportunities are of course key, but so too is the chance to engage with peers, to gain insight from the very best musicians in the business and to become immersed in a creative musical environment, with the opportunity to explore and experiment. This is especially the case for young and emerging composers.

It was abundantly clear from our selection process for these two Opus programmes how rich the seam of composing talent is in the UK. We want to do all we can to help composers develop and new music to flourish, so that the future of music is every bit as exhilarating as the past.”

Stay tuned for more updates about Jonathan, Nathan and Aileen’s year with Britten Sinfonia. Find out more about both of our Opus schemes here.