Composer Deborah Pritchard
Deborah Pritchard is a British composer known for her concert works, synaesthesia and collaborative work with visual artists, most notably Maggi Hambling. She also paints music in the form of visualisations and music maps. The BBC National Orchestra of Wales premiered her large orchestral work The Angel Standing in the Sun in 2016, she won a British Composer Award for her solo violin piece Inside Colour (commissioned by the London Sinfonietta) in 2017, and her new violin concerto Calandra was premiered by Jennifer Pike and the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican in 2022.
'Edge' by Deborah Pritchard performed by violinist Harriet Mackenzie and harpist Catrin Finch
The Angel Standing in the Sun by Deborah Pritchard
Pritchard has written several works in collaboration with the contemporary artist Maggi Hambling. The first of this series was her violin concerto Wall of Water, premiered by violinist Harriet Mackenzie and the English Symphony Orchestra at LSO St Luke's during the 2014 Frieze Art Fair. Reviewed by Gramophone as a ‘work that will take one’s breath away’, it was subsequently performed at the National Gallery in 2015 as Hambling exhibited. This was followed by her double concerto Edge (on the theme of global warming) premiered at the 2017 Aldeburgh Festival, and her solo violin piece March 2020 for the 2021 Salisbury Festival. Her own visual art and music maps have been widely exhibited, described in The Times as ‘beautifully illustrated...paying visual homage to those wonderful medieval maps of the world.’
Her music has been performed, broadcast and recorded worldwide by ensembles including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Philharmonia, BBC Singers and the Choir of New College Oxford. Deborah completed her MMus in composition with Simon Bainbridge at the Royal Academy of Music and was awarded her DPhil from Worcester College, Oxford where she studied with Robert Saxton. She has recently completed a tenure as Visiting Research Fellow at Keble College, Oxford, and is Associate of the Royal Academy of Music and the Faculty of Music, Oxford.
Recent works include Everyone Sang for soprano and piano due for premiere by Carolyn Sampson and Joseph Middleton at the Wigmore Hall in December 2023, The Light Thereof commissioned and premiered by The Gesualdo Six and Matilda Lloyd at Dunkers kulturhus, Sweden in November 2022, and Peace for soprano and string quartet commissioned and premiered by Ruby Hughes and the Manchester Collective at the Wigmore Hall in 2021.
"Music comes from a deeply personal place and has the potential to communicate in ways that words can’t, engaging with what it means to be human and finding a more spiritual narrative. There are many advantages to having your own musical style: for me, it helps my voice have greater expression and meaning.." Deborah Pritchard, Classical Music, April 2022
"Every now and then a new work comes along that simply takes one’s breath away. The Violin ConcertoWall of Water(2014) by Deborah Pritchard is one such." Guy Richards, Gramophone
"Deborah Pritchard’s violin concerto, Wall of Water, was inspired by a visit to Hambling’s studio... The concerto exhibited a spontaneity and vibrance that echoed Hambling’s freedom across the canvas." Guardian April 2017
Wall of Waterfor solo violin and string orchestra
A film aboutWall of Water, written after the series of paintings by contemporary artist Maggi Hambling. First performed by violinist Harriet Mackenzie and the English String Orchestra, conducted by Kenneth Woods at LSO St Luke's during the 2014 Frieze Art Fair and at the National Gallery as Hambling exhibited in 2015. Recorded by Nimbus and broadcast by BBC Radio 3.
‘Gethsemane’ - music by Deborah Pritchard, performed by Greta Mutlu, film by Theresa Thomas
The Light of the World for solo violin and choir
Commissioned by Keble College, Oxford. Written after the painting by William Holman Hunt and premiered by violinist Greta Mutlu and the Keble College Chapel Choir conducted by Christopher Bucknall in 2022.
Wall of Water by Deborah Pritchard
Gethsemane for solo violin
Performed by Greta Mutlu with a film by Theresa Thomas. Written over lockdown,Gethsemane portrays hope in the Garden of Gethsemane during the approach to Easter. Premiere broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Easter Day 2021.
Light of the World by Deborah Pritchard