“She began composing only eight years ago, when 21 years old, but has already bagged an impressive series of commissions (Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Verbier among others) and emerged as one of the outstanding composing talents of her generation.”
The Evening Standard’s 1000 Most Influential Londoners
The composer Charlotte Bray has emerged as an outstanding talent of her generation. Her music exhibits an uninhibited ambition and desire to communicate and is described as vivid, exhilarating, and richly expressive with a lyrical intensity.
Born in Britain in 1982, Charlotte studied at Birmingham Conservatoire under Joe Cutler and the Royal College of Music with Mark Anthony Turnage. She participated in the Britten-Pears Contemporary Composition Course in 2007 with Oliver Knussen, Colin Matthews and Magnus Lindberg. In 2008 she was awarded a Fellowship to study at the Tanglewood Music Center with John Harbison, Michael Gandolfi, Shulamit Ran and Augusta Read Thomas. Charlotte was appointed apprentice Composer-in-Residence with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group/Sound and Music for 2009/10. In 2011 she was made an Honorary Member of Birmingham Conservatoire and appeared in the Evening Standard’s list of ‘London’s 1000 most influential people’. She was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize 2010 and the Lili Boulanger Prize 2014.
Charlotte has had works commissioned by some of the most established performers and ensembles including London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, CBSO, BCMG, Ensemble 360, Britten Sinfonia, New London Children’s Choir, Opera North, Counterpoise, Mercury Quartet, Oberon Trio, Claire Booth, Lucy Schaufer, Ben Johnson, Roderick Williams, Jennifer Pike, Lawrence Power, Isang Enders, Julien Quentin and Mona Asuka Ott; and festivals, namely Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Oxford Lieder, Aix-en-Provence, Festspiele Europäische Wochen Passau, Festival 3B, Savannah and Verbier. Conductors who have performed her work include Oliver Knussen, Daniel Harding and Jac van Steen. Her orchestral work At the Speed of Stillness was commissioned by the BBC Proms in 2012 and premièred by the Aldeburgh World Orchestra conducted by Sir Mark Elder. The piece will receive its US première in Tanglewood’s Festival of Contemporary Music in July 2014. Her first CD will be released this year as part of the NMC Debut Disc Series.
2014 premières include Shadow Game for Ensemble 360 (Music in the Round commission); Black Rainbow, a CBSO commission for their youth orchestra, composed at The MacDowell Colony, New Hampshire; string quintet The Sun was Chasing Venus for the Dover Quartet at Savannah Music Festival, Georgia; and Suya Dalmak, for solo cello and tape, in Festival 3B, Germany, commissioned by cellist Isang Enders and created with the support of a Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship.
Currently writing two pieces for piano trio, for the Albany Trio (London), and the Oberon Trio (Berlin); later this year Charlotte will be working with Swedish saxophonist Johannes Thorell, and writing a choral work for the Chester Cathedral Choir. 2015 will see the world première and UK tour of her chamber opera commissioned by Nova Music Opera and directed by George Vass; Charlotte is collaborating with librettist Amy Rosenthal on the story of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in England.
Documentary film and performance of BBC Proms commissioned work At the Speed of Stillness; Sir Mark Elder conducts the Aldeburgh World Orchestra