BCMG announces apprentice composer in residence

Robert Reid Allan

Scottish composer Robert Reid Allan has been announced as this year’s apprentice composer in residence with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG).

The east London based composer and pianist (pictured above) will work closely with BCMG over a period of ten months in his new role, writing two commissioned works – including a new work for young performers -and being supported by composer-mentors.

A graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Robert has worked with performers and ensembles including BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, percussionist Joby Burgess and cellist Oliver Coates. His hard-hitting, innovative work explores themes of violence, sexuality and politics.

Commenting on his appointment, Robert said he was ‘really pleased’, adding: ‘I’ve already been fortunate enough to have had one commission from BCMG this summer, and I’m really excited to be writing two new pieces on this residency.

‘The ensemble is so fantastically open-minded, forward-thinking, friendly and supportive and I’m very lucky indeed to have been given this opportunity.’

Stephan Meier, artistic director at BCMG said: ‘As a champion of both established and emerging composers, showcasing the music of today and nurturing the music of tomorrow has always been central to BCMG’s identity.

‘We’re excited to welcome Robert into the musical life of BCMG to write new works and to also participate in the ensemble’s wider activities. The scheme provides a young composer with a unique development opportunity but also brings to BCMG a valuable and enriching chance to build lasting relationships with some of today’s most promising young creatives.’

He added: ‘Having worked with Robert earlier this year through our Wilde Lieder Marx.Music project, we know what a brilliant talent he is and are looking forward to working with him more closely.

‘I’m particularly excited about Robert’s plans for cross-genre collaborations and how this will open up new creative paths for both him and the ensemble, allowing us to further explore the ever-changing landscape of contemporary music.’

BCMG’s apprentice composer in residence scheme is supported by The Leverhulme Trust.

Last year’s composer was Donghoon Shin, whose residency culminates in the world premiere of his specially-commissioned Sheng Concerto which will be performed by renowned Sheng player, Wu Wei, on 21 March 2019.