A 23-year old composer from the Uckfield area will have his new work broadcast across the UK tonight (August 22) on Classic FM, the UK’s most popular classical music station.
Olly Muxworthy from Framfield is just one of seven young composers chosen by a panel of judges from Classic FM and the Royal Philharmonic Society 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 Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) and supported by The Boltini Trust, have been created to champion Britain’s outstanding young musical talent.
From almost 200 applicants, Olly was commissioned to write a five-minute piece for orchestra.
His work – titled Rigaudon – was first performed live in concert by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Welsh Proms at the end of last month, as reported by UckfieldNews.com.
Tonight from 8pm, the full concert, including Oliver’s Rigadoun, will be broadcast on Classic FM during The Full Works Concert programme. In the latest audience figures, 5.8million people tune into Classic FM every week.
Olly is a former student of Uckfield Community Technology College and is a graduate of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.
Vibrant and colourful
His compositional work, which has been described as “vibrant and colourful”, has been performed by orchestras, string ensembles, brass bands and many smaller ensembles and soloists.
During his time at Trinity Laban, he developed an interest in the link between music and colour, which culminated in an orchestral concert of his works exploring this connection, accompanied by film.
He is also a skilled pianist, having played from the age of four, and has considerable experience as a soloist.
John Halford Prize
His proficiency in piano writing won him first place in the 2015 John Halford Prize for piano composition, and has led to his piano pieces being among his most frequently performed works. He also 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.
Any person born on or after Classic FM’s first broadcast on September 7, 1992 could apply to Classic FM’s 25th Birthday Commissions.
When the station launched, its aim was to make classical music relevant to everyone, and this mission remains at the core of Classic FM today.
Entrants needed to demonstrate an ability to write accessible classical music, for varying sizes of ensemble, ranging from full orchestra, brass and choral ensembles, to flute and piano.
Each work was reviewed by a panel of distinguished judges including Debbie Wiseman, Errollyn Wallen, Paul Mealor and Stephen McNeff. From there, seven individuals were appointed as Classic FM’s 25th Birthday Composers.
Classic FM is available across Sussex on 100-102 FM, digital radio and TV, at ClassicFM.com and on the Classic FM app.
Q &A WITH Olly Muxworthy
Tell us about the piece?
“The piece is called Rigaudon. A Rigaudon is a lively baroque piece. It seemed the perfect name and it takes inspiration from baroque and medieval dance music. It’s very lively, it’s got a driving meter all the way through but a slightly contemporary twist on it… It is, of course, celebrating Classic FM’s 25th year.”
How did it feel having an orchestra like the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) perform a piece that you’d written?
“Equal parts fantastic and completely terrifying at the same time because it’s my first experience with any sort of professional orchestra, any sort of professional ensemble. To have it with the RPO was amazing.”
How was the writing process?
“The main thing was not being limited by difficulty and the ability of the players because I knew they would be able to play essentially anything, not that I’ve tried to make it as challenging as possible. Everything I really wanted the piece to sound like, I could actually write. So there were no limits apart from the odd instrumentation.”
How long did it take you to write?
“I was so excited. I got started very soon after receiving the commission and I think probably from start to finish, around about a month-and-a-half. Then of course, with the admin that comes with it, it was a little longer, but the piece was finished after about six weeks.”
What’s your ambition?
“I don’t know if I can answer that! I’d love to write for film maybe one day, and of course this will help with that, but writing for orchestras for film is such a difficult niche thing to get into. But one day maybe.”