Lockdown Composing: Four Scottish-based Composers Awarded Commissions

Following our recent call for composers in response to the current COVID-19 lockdown and its impact on music creators, we are thrilled to announce that we have been able to offer four freelance Scottish-based composers who are not in regular employment a skills development opportunity and a small commission fee of £250. 

The newly commissioned works will be written specifically so that they can be performed online by musicians from local new music ensemble Any Enemy who will be situated in separate spaces. 

The process will be supported by composer Pete Stollery and the new works will be performed online on Zoom during June. 

Many thanks for the generous donations which have made this opportunity possible. We are enormously grateful for this support.

The four selected composers who we are looking forward to working with are: 

Rufus Isabel Elliot 

Rufus Isabel Elliot is a musician originally from Tower Hamlets, now based in Glasgow. Rufus has written funerary music for doomed spaceships and orchestral music about rotting seaweed. In 2019, it was composer-in-residence with Scotland’s street orchestra, the Nevis Ensemble, creating a new work for their summer tour of the Outer Hebrides. Current projects include a recording project with composer/violinist Harry Gorski-Brown and a collaborative vocal work with mezzo-soprano Lea Shaw. Rufus also produces Glasgow-based concert series OVER/AT, which focus on the diverse voices of the trans community.

Rufus’ masters studies with David Fennessy at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland were supported by an RCS Trust scholarship and the EMI Sound Foundation. In 2017, Rufus graduated from the University of Oxford with first class honours in English Language and Literature.

Rylan Gleave

Rylan Gleave (b.1997) is a composer and vocalist from the north of England, currently based in Glasgow, Scotland.

His compositions have recently included pieces for d/Deaf actors in morality-tale style narratives, chamber works about navigating neurodiversity, defiantly Queer sound art, duets for out-of-tune piano and snoring, and relaxed concert music for children with Additional Support Needs.

Recent successes have included being selected from three worldwide Call for Scores, issued by Nevis Ensemble, Rolf Hind, and Red Note Ensemble, the Nevis Call for Scores culminating in a new commission for their Year of Coasts and Waters Tour, 2020.

Rylan performs as lead vocalist with theatrical black metal band Ashenspire, and as a live and recording artist for contemporary vocal works. He also sings as a baritone with Wellington Church Choir, in the West End of Glasgow.

Rylan is currently studying a Master of Music degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, supported by an RCS scholarship.

Lisa Robertson

Lisa Robertson is a composer from the West Highlands of Scotland particularly interested in combining sounds from nature and folk music; examining relationships between people and the landscape and highlighting environmental concerns. 

Her pieces were scheduled for performances including by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Thomas Dausgaard, the Slovak Sinfonietta and Nordic Viola. Previous performances include by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Red Note Ensemble, Hebrides Ensemble, Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra, Cappella Nova, Rolf Hind, Lucy Schaufer and Huw Watkins, among others, and at festivals such as Cheltenham Music Festival, Sound Festival, West Cork Chamber Music Festival, and on BBC Radio 3 as well as performing her own solo violin piece at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2019. 

Her pieces were shortlisted for the Scottish Awards for New Music in 2019 and 2020 and she was joint-winner of the West Cork Chamber Music Festival Composers’ Competition 2018. 

She is undertaking a PhD at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with Emily Doolittle and Bill Sweeney. She is also currently participating in the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain Young Composers Scheme.

Aidan Teplitzky

Aidan graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with a First-Class Honours degree and the winner of the Patrons Fund Prize (Royal College of Music) in Composition in 2018 and the Craig Armstrong Prize for 2018/19. 

Aidan believes the modern composer should work for the benefit of others, and that classical music is an art form where it does not exist without a community coming together. Aidan's work explores the relationships between individuals and larger society, questioning the societal mechanisms that ostracise the other, and how we establish our identities. 

Aidan has worked with a wide range of organisations including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Glasgow Barons Orchestra, the Riot Ensemble, Psappha Ensemble, RCS MusicLab, the Glasgow New Music Expedition, the Brodick Quartet, The Edinburgh Quartet and The Ear (New York). Aidan has also worked with world-renowned performers Sinae Lee, Pascal Gallois, Yann Ghiro, Milos Milivojevik, traditional singer/songwriter Ainsley Hamill, and conductor Jessica Cottis.

We were overwhelmed by the response to this call and impressed by the quality of applicants. 

If you have the means please do consider donating towards other funds in order to help composers through this really difficult and challenging time. 

Here are some suggestions: