Sebastian Black is an NZ / British musician, born in 1996 in Colchester, UK. He studied at Chetham’s School of Music and the University of Oxford, before studying with Sir George Benjamin at King’s College London. He is the current mentor composer at Péter Eötvös Foundation in Budapest, studying with Péter Eötvös and other composers including Unsuk Chin, Hans Abrahamsen, Stefano Gervasoni and Magnus Lindberg.
Recent works have included Like The Nightingale (for chamber orchestra, premiered by Danubia Orchestra Obuda), Bunte Blätter (for Ensemble ARS NOVA, premiered in Annecy, France,), What Does The Harp Suggest? (premiered at the Budapest Music Center, 2023), Cantastoria for solo cello (for Smorgaschord 2022), We Dance, We Dance (for CEME Festival in Tel Aviv, Israel), and The Mosaique of the Aire (for Het Concertgebouw’s Mahler Festival 2020).
Forthcoming projects include music for the Chor- und Orchesterakademie des WDR Sinfonieorchesters Köln, and a new orchestral song cycle for Péter Eötvös Foundation.
He runs Smorgaschord, currently based in Oxford and which consists of a Festival and a Collective. Founded straight after the pandemic, Smorgaschord Festival has seen Mark Padmore singing Harrison Birtwistle, a recital from drupadhamar, a focus on the artist Eva Frankfurther, and various informal pop-up concerts. The 2023 festival sees Danny Driver performing Ligeti, a new piece by Laurence Osborn for Ben Goldscheider, György Kurtág Jr performing the UK premiere of Zwiegespräch (written with his father, György Kurtág), music by Joshua Uzoigwe, and UK premieres from Martin Suckling and Thomas Adès. Smorgaschord Collective, in which he also performs as a pianist, is Associate Emerging Artist at Stoller Hall in Manchester.
His writing about music has appeared in publications in the UK and abroad. A new article on Hans Abrahamsen was published in TEMPO in 2023. His work is represented on SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music.
Image: © Bálint Hrotkó | Péter Eötvös Foundation