Note: the venue for this talk has changed and differs from that originally advertised.

2:45pm, Wednesday 15 May 2019
UNISON Centre, NW1 2AY

Composer Deborah Pritchard discusses her commission for this year’s live broadcast of Choral Evensong and explains her approach to composing and visualising music.


Deborah’s talk will take place in Room UG2, on your left across the atrium as you enter UNISON Centre and pass through security. Ramp access is available.

A graphic visualisation of The Heavens Declare by composer Deborah Pritchard

Deborah Pritchard

Deborah Pritchard won a British Composer Award for her solo violin piece Inside Colour in 2017. She has been broadcast by BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4 and released commercially by NMC, Signum, Nimbus and Orchid Classics. Her work has been performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, London Sinfonietta, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Singers, Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Manchester Camerata and the English String Orchestra.

Deborah is a synaesthetic composer and her large orchestral piece The Angel Standing in the Sun, after the painting by JMW Turner, was commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra (Panufnik Scheme) and premiered by Martyn Brabbins and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at the Lichfield Festival in 2016. Her violin concerto Wall of Water, after the paintings by Maggi Hambling, was performed at the National Gallery by violin soloist Harriet Mackenzie and the English String Orchestra, conducted by Kenneth Woods in 2015 and held to critical acclaim by Gramophone as a “work that will take one’s breath away”. She also paints music and has been commissioned a series of ‘music maps’ for the London Sinfonietta, described in The Times as “beautifully illustrated … paying visual homage to those wonderful medieval maps of the world”. Choral works include Benedicite for choir and trumpet commissioned to celebrate the Tercentenary of Worcester College, Oxford, premiered by Simon Desbruslais and the Worcester College Chapel Choir, conducted by Nicholas Freestone in 2014, and EXODUS, selected by BASCA for performance by the BBC Singers, conducted by James Morgan in 2018.

Deborah was awarded an entrance scholarship to study composition with Simon Bainbridge for her MMus Degree at the Royal Academy of Music, subsequently holding the post of Junior Manson Fellow, and was awarded her Dphil from Worcester College, Oxford where she studied with Robert Saxton. She currently teaches composition tutorials at the University of Oxford.

Also on Wednesday 15 May