Former Uckfield Community Technology College student Olly Muxworthy was in the audience last week as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra played a piece he composed to mark the 25th anniversary of Classic FM.
His Rigaudon was played at the Welsh Proms and also recorded for broadcast by the radio station.
Olly, 23, who graduated from Trinity Laban Conservatoire last year, was invited on to the stage to take a bow at the end of a performance which he described as “fantastic”.
“I couldn’t be happier with how it went,” he told Uckfield News. “It was my first time of having a professional orchestra playing my music. It was very exciting, and very terrifying as well.”
Olly said he arrived in Cardiff to see the Royal Philharmonic rehearse and listened to them play Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No 2 before they turned to his piece. “I was amazed by how they played it exactly how I imagined.”
Olly, was joined in the audience by his family – mother Karen, father Simon and sister Emily who live at Framfield.
From an Uckfield News story first published on May 5, 2017:
This is Olly’s first big commission since graduating from Trinity Laban Conservatoire last year where he studied composition.
He is one of seven young composers chosen by a panel of judges from Classic FM and the Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) to write a new piece of classical music to celebrate the radio station’s 25th birthday.
The Classic FM 25th Birthday Commissions, in partnership with the RPS, have been created to champion Britain’s outstanding young musical talent.
They are part of a year of celebrations for the UK’s most popular classical music station.
Nearly 200 applied for the opportunity and now Olly has been commissioned to write a five-minute piece for orchestra.
His compositional work, described as “vibrant and colourful”, has been performed by orchestras, string ensembles, brass bands and many smaller ensembles and soloists.
He is also a skilled pianist, having played from the age of four, and has considerable experience as a soloist.
His proficiency in piano writing won him first place in the 2015 John Halford Prize for piano composition and his piano pieces are among his most frequently performed works.
Olly regularly performs as a jazz pianist and singer in some of London’s five star hotels, including the Dorchester, Waldorf, Royal Automobile Club and the American Bar at the Savoy.
He said it was Classic FM that got him listening to classical music in the first place. He still listens from time to time, but more often streams music via Spotify and so had missed the announcement of the competition.
It was a friend who mentioned it as she got on a bus and Olly managed to get his entry in a couple of days before the deadline.
“To enter, I had to provide two pieces of music (scores and recordings). They were specifically looking for people who had experience writing for orchestras or larger ensembles, which I think helped me out a lot. Fortunately I have two good recordings of orchestra pieces, which I submitted.
“I’m very excited about the whole thing, but I have to admit writing for the RPO does seem daunting. From everything I’ve heard though, they’re fantastic to work with, so I can’t wait to get started.”
Olly who now lives in London says his ambition for the future is to write music for film.
He’s written for a few independent, zero-budget films and really enjoyed the process, especially seeing the finished product with the music and visuals working in tandem.
“Being able to write orchestral music for a larger budget film would be incredible though,” he said.