Jeremy Pike

Jeremy Pike

Jeremy Pike was born in 1955. He started composing at an exceptionally early age, taking lessons with Christopher Finzi. He studied violin and piano at the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music whilst taking composition lessons with Bryan Kelly. Winning the Frances Kitching Memorial Prize enabled him to study with Sir Lennox Berkeley from the age of fifteen. He was awarded a scholarship to study Music at King’s College, Cambridge, continuing his studies in composition with Gordon Crosse. After a postgraduate year studying composition with Paul Patterson and conducting with Maurice Miles at the RAM he won a Polish government scholarship, enabling him to take lessons with Henryk Górecki at the Katowice Academy of Music.

In 1998 he was awarded a Churchill Fellowship for research into the application of new technology to the arts, based at Stanford University in the USA and at IRCAM in Paris. He has held the position of Director of Contemporary Music at Warwick University, subsequently joining the composition faculty of the Royal Academy of Music, where he directed the electro-acoustic music studios for six years. He was made an Honorary Associate of the RAM in 1990 and gained a PhD from London University in 2000.

His extensive output includes orchestral, chamber, instrumental and vocal music. It is written in a deeply personal style which combines an interest in new techniques with strong elements of tonality. Commissions include Missa Brevis for Warwick University Chamber Choir, a bassoon concerto for Graham Salvage & the RNCM New Ensemble and The Crossing Point, premièred by the City of London Sinfonia in 2005. String Quartet No. 4 won the Cambridge University Composition Prize and received a special mention in the national Clements Memorial Prize in 1977. String Quartet No. 5 was runner up for the prestigious Carl Maria von Weber International Composers’ Competition in 1985.

Recent performances of his music have included Processions for violin and piano, broadcast on BBC Radio 3 from the Wigmore Hall, Praesagium and Aphelion, broadcast on BBC Radio 3 from the Bridgewater Hall, Cascades for violin and harpsichord, premièred in Hong Kong and broadcast on national radio RTHK4, as well as A Forsaken Garden and The Cat and the Moon commissioned for the 2017 and 2018 William Alwyn Festivals. He has arranged music for performances by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and City of London Sinfonia, and composed for educational projects.

CD recordings include Three Pieces for Piano performed by Jonathan Middleton and recently broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Processions for violin and piano and Closed Circuit for clarinet, piano and live electronics, all on ASC recordings. In 2020 Divine Art Records released The Cat and the Moon, performed by the soprano Lesley-Jane Rogers, recorderist John Turner and mixed ensemble, on a CD celebrating the life and work of Sir John Manduell.

Jeremy has held the post of Head of Composition at Chetham’s School of Music since 1989 where he has inspired many young composers, enabling them to develop successful musical careers. Former pupils include many rising stars who have been winners of the BBC Young Composers’ Competition and other notable awards.

He is also a conductor and pianist, giving acclaimed recitals around the world with his daughter, the violinist Jennifer Pike. He has directed many performances of new music at Chetham’s, including the première of Chetham’s Suite by Gordon Crosse and the first staged performance of Benjamin Britten’s Plymouth Town ¬as well as numerous works by student composers. He has been a member of the judging panel on several occasions for the BASCA awards (now Ivors Academy Awards) and given masterclasses in composition. Recently he was a panel member in the BBC Radio 4 series “Tales from the Stave”, discussing the original manuscript of Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending.

He is currently working on a violin concerto commissioned by his daughter as well as completing the final part in a cycle of symphonic poems.

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