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Sebastian Black is an NZ / British composer, born in 1996 in Colchester, UK. 

 

His work has featured at such organisations as the BBC, Britten Pears Arts, Budapest Music Center, Lucerne Festival, Royal Albert Hall and the WDR. Highlights of 2034/24 include the premiere with the WDR Sinfonieorchester- und Chorakademie in Cologne of These Harmonious Colonies (a cantata for choir and ensemble), a new piece for the International Ensemble Modern Academy at the Lucerne Festival, the premiere of Like The Nightingale in Budapest (conducting the Danubia Orchestra Obuda), as well as recitals in London, Oxford and Manchester’s Stoller Hall.

Forthcoming projects include a clarinet quintet for Jonathan Leibovitz and Quatuor Agate, the delayed premiere of The Mosaique of the Aire (commissioned by Mahler Foundation for Het Concertgebouw's Mahler Festival), and a large orchestral song cycle for Péter Eötvös Foundation.

 

He was educated at Chetham’s School of Music and the University of Oxford, before studying with Sir George Benjamin at King’s College London. He was the mentor composer at Péter Eötvös Foundation in Budapest, studying with the late Péter Eötvös, and participates in the Lucerne Festival Academy.

 

Other recent premieres have included Bunte Blätter (for Ensemble ARS NOVA, premiered in Annecy, France), What Does The Harp Suggest? (also for Ensemble ARS NOVA, premiered at the Budapest Music Center, 2023), as well as works for Smorgaschord, CEME Festival in Tel Aviv, Orchestra Wellington in New Zealand, and for Het Concertgebouw’s Mahler Festival 2020.

He is co-director of Smorgaschord. 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, various informal pop-up concerts, Danny Driver performing Ligeti, and a collaboration with György Kurtág Jr on Zwiegespräch (written with his father, György Kurtág Sr). The festival has welcomed world and UK premieres from Laurence Osborn, Deidre McKay, Thomas Adès and Martin Suckling. The 2024 Festival sees Mark Simpson as composer and clarinetist, and an exploration of the German Baroque with violinist Charlotte Spruit. Smorgaschord Collective, in which he also performs as a pianist, was Associate Emerging Artist at Stoller Hall in Manchester. 

 

His compositions are represented on SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music. 

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Rehearing Like The Nightingale in Budapest, October 2023. Image: © Bálint Hrotkó | Péter Eötvös Foundation 

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