Riot Ensemble composers to be premiered on BBC Radio 3

Presented by Kate Molleson and Tom Service, the show airs the best and latest in cutting-edge and experimental new music.

Maya Radcliffe
  • By Maya Radcliffe
  • 14 Aug 2020
  • min read

As part of a collaboration between PRS for Music, The Riot Ensemble, and conceptual project, Zeitgeist, six contemporary classical composers will have new solo commissions broadcast across BBC Radio 3’s New Music Show.

In November last year, PRS announced that it was joining forces with Riot Ensemble as part of their ongoing Zeitgeist project to offer composers the chance to take part in development and recording workshops.

With COVID-19 social distancing measures in place, a bespoke commissioning project emerged allowing the partnership to go ahead in a virtual context, encouraging music creation to continue during the pandemic.

Ensemble sessions instead became solo online workshops, with an added focus on individual coaching support. Composers were paired with a musician from The Riot Ensemble to create new solo works, recorded at their homes while navigating the challenges that come with collaborating on a piece of work remotely.

Three works will be played at 10pm tomorrow (Saturday 15 August) and three the following week (Saturday 22 August). 

Composer and soloist pairings are: Joe Bates for Marianne Schofield (double bass), Oliver Brignall for Ruth Rosales (bassoon), Lola de la Mata for Ausias Garrigos (bass clarinet), Carmen Ho for Claudia Racovicean (piano), Zoë Martlew for Ruth Rosales (bassoon) and Aidan Teplitzky for Sam Wilson (percussion).

Composers were selected by an expert panel featuring artist and composer, Mira Calix, Artistic Director of The Riot Ensemble, Aaron Holloway-Nahum, composer and ethnomusicologist, Soosan Lolavar, and percussionist and composer, Sam Wilson. 

Zoë Martlew, composer, said: ‘At a time when the majority of the music profession was put on hold, being given this magical opportunity to write a solo piece for one of the fabulous Riot Ensemble musicians has been a fantastic way for me to keep the creative fires burning. It’s a wonderful reminder that while the outer world turns on its head and we all adapt within, music will always find its way. An enormous thank you to PRS for Music, The Riot Ensemble and bassoonist Ruth Rosales for keeping the flame alive!’

Harriet Wybor, classical relationship manager, PRS for Music, said: ‘It has been a privilege to work with such an innovative group of composers and musicians, and the results are testament to their creativity and resilience. We’re delighted that this collaboration with The Riot Ensemble has brought new music to life during this challenging time.’

Watch a short film on the composers, soloists and the commissions below.