About Graham

Author Archive | Graham


The Penzance Youth String Orchestra are one of the best young string ensembles in the country, regularly appearing at national music events in London and Birmingham. They are lucky to have an inspired and tireless director, the viola player Tim Boulton. For a number of years now I’ve discussed with Tim the idea of composing […]

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Trio Cocteau in London

I’ve never given much consideration to self conscious questions of ‘style’, preferring instead to view each work I write as an individual musical exploration at a particular moment in time. I try to make each piece focus on certain qualities of experience, and the manner in which the notes arrange and model themselves is discovered […]

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Delfica in New York

Incredible – a year has rushed past since I last wrote a news item for this site. Not because it’s been a quiet year, rather the opposite, and there’s a lot of catching up to do. It was about a year ago that I received a commission from the pianist Michael Tsalka for a new […]

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New work for guitar

Our ears have become so conditioned by the ubiquitous nature of sonata form – organic development, the linear structuring of ideas – that it’s almost impossible to hear any piece, even a modern one, without this template at the back of one’s mind. The idea that a piece is ‘goal-driven’, that it moves towards a […]

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So far these ‘news’ items have tended to be about individual pieces, often around the time of a first performance, but I’ve been too busy to find time to write very many of these posts. Right now though, the roof is leaking, there are builders hammering away for the next week or more, and I […]

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Alba – revisiting the past

In the introduction to his play ‘Jaques and His Master’ Milan Kundera writes the following: “I often hear it said that the novel has exhausted all its possibilities. I have the contrary impression: during the four hundred years of its history, the novel has missed many possibilities; it has left opportunities unexploited, roads unexplored and […]

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Basho in Helsinki

I have a well-worn copy of the poetry and travel sketches of Basho, a book I bought from a second-hand shop when I was a student. I’ve always enjoyed his style of writing – concise, clear, and crystalline – because it resonates with the way I approach composing. So I was delighted to recently be […]

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Ay! – piano version in Toronto

The winner of the recent Open Piano Competition in London was Valentin Bogolubov. In his final prize-winning recital he included a couple of pieces from my White Book 2 – Night Journey to Cordoba, and The Sadness of the King. It’s possible to hear the detailed and imaginative performances he gave of these pieces here […]

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Three Cut-Outs for solo sax – USA

A few weeks ago the Rodriguez and Keepe duo gave a concert which included three of my pieces. They gave the first performance in a sax and piano version of In Arcadia, and they also played Alba, which Mike has performed a number of times before. And alongside these works Mike gave the premiere of […]

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