Alastair Greig

Alastair Greig

Alastair Greig (b.1964) studied composition with Oliver Knussen prior to entering the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied composition and piano. Further study followed at Sussex University with Michael Finnissy and at the University of Birmingham with Vic Hoyland. During this last period of study his work began to attract attention and was featured at The Spitalfields and Cheltenham Festivals in the UK.  His work achieved international recognition with an award at the 1996 Kazimierz International Composition Competition in Warsaw, for A Social Contract, a work for solo violin and orchestra. This in turn led to a commission from the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. The resultant work, Play, was conducted by Sakari Oramo and was critically acclaimed by, amongst others, The Times: Here is a composer with a strong lyrical instinct... The real interest of the piece, which is skilfully and attractively written for a large ensemble, is in observing the varying degrees of freedom allowed to the linear impulse before it expires in a quiet but dramatically conceived ending.

Following this he was commissioned by Bromsgrove Mixing Music for a large scale suite for solo piano, Looking Through Mirrors, which Rolf Hind premiered and has been subsequently performed by Peter O'Hagan in London.

In 1999 his orchestral work, Here Comes Everybody, received the first prize at the Gino Contilli International Composition Competition; the judges included Hosokawa, Furrer and Manzoni. The first performance was in Messina, by the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, and further performances followed in Palermo. The work is published by Edizioni Suvini Zerboni of Milan.

Further awards and commendations followed including the Henri Dutilleux Composition Prize, France, the Eurorchestries International Composition Prize, France (for an orchestral work, Quaternion, also published by Suvini Zerboni, and shortlisted for the Venice Biennale) and first prize in the Francesc Civil International Composition Competition, Girona, Spain, for a work for solo flute and string orchestra, Echo's Refrain.

Steering for dream, for chamber ensemble, was awarded a prize at the Sesto Concorso Internazionale di Musica Contemporanea Citta di Udine. The Cantus Ensemble, based in Zagreb, performed Find me colours, a work for chamber orchestra,as part of the contemporary music festival in Pula, Croatia and Echoes and dance fragments, for flute and string trio, was performed in Bern, Switzerland.

Other commissions have come from a variety of groups and ensembles including the early music group Virelai, who recorded Songe 17 on their Sad Steps collection for riverrun records; the English Symphony Orchestra, The Lyric Quartet and most recently Allusions and distillations for Peter O'Hagan, first performed at The Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London. The work features on the CD 'Chasing Boundaries' (UHRecordings).

In October 2011 he was awarded a prize at the 12th Kazimierz Serocki International Composition Competition for his orchestral work 'L'ombre des arbres'. The first performance took place at the Lutoslawski Concert Hall, Warsaw, Poland in November, 2011 and broadcast throughout Europe. In 2013 his chamber work, Insecure Dances in Unstable Times, was awarded a prize during the inaugural international London Ear Festival Composition Competition. The piece was performed by Uroborus Ensemble at The Warehouse on London's South Bank.

In 2014 a work for solo 'cello, Neruda Fragments, won the Counterpoint-Italy International Composers' Competition and will be performed in New York, as part of the Composers Now Festival, and Lucca, Tuscany, in Spring and Summer 2015.

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Alastair Greig
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