Fully Funded: Sally Beamish - Soundbytes Commission

New work for clarsach for the Aberdeen Harp Book

to be performed at soundfestival 2016.

This work has been fully funded! Please consider investing in one of our other soundbytes commissions.

The Aberdeen Harp Book was the idea of one of sound’s regular supporters, Alan Carr. Alan is a late-comer to the clarsach, and the Harp Book is a collection of contemporary harp pieces specifically commissioned by sound for amateur harp players. The pieces are around grade 5 standard and are downloadable from the sound website.

Sally was the first composer commissioned by sound, way back in 2005, so we are delighted that she has agreed to compose a new work for the Aberdeen Harp Book.


Sally Beamish was born in London. Initially a viola player, she moved from London to Scotland in 1990 to develop her career as a composer. Her music embraces many influences: particularly jazz and Scottish traditional music. The concerto form is a continuing inspiration, and she has written for many internationally renowned soloists.

Her music is performed and broadcast internationally, and since 1999 she has been championed by the BIS label, who have recorded much of her work. Recent commissions include 'Dance Variations': Percussion Concerto No 2, for percussionist Colin Currie, with the Bergen Symphony Orchestra, Scottish and Swedish Chamber Orchestras, and Stanford Lively Arts, California. Her string quartet for the Elias Quartet, 'Reed Stanzas', received its premiere at the 2011 BBC Proms, and won a Royal Philharmonic Society Award.

The concerto for Scottish fiddle and harp, 'Seavaigers', was premiered in Glasgow, at Celtic Connections 2012, and a CD is now available, performed by its dedicatees, Chris Stout and Catriona McKay, and the Scottish Ensemble.

In February 2012 Beamish was BBC Radio 3 Composer of the Week; and this was repeated in 2015.