Development & Alumni Relations Office 


09 August 2016

Piers Hellawell, Professor of Composition in the School of Creative Arts at Queen’s, is among an international group of composers whose new work will be premiered as part of the 2016 BBC Proms at London’s Royal Albert Hall this month.

Professor Hellawell’s work for orchestra will headline a concert to be given on Sunday 21 August at the 2016 Proms by the Ulster Orchestra, under the baton of its exciting Venezuelan conductor Rafael Payare. The new 20-minute piece, Wild Flow opens the Ulster Orchestra’s Prom, before a performance of Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1, with soloist Narek Hakhnazaryan, and Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

Born in England and educated at Oxford University, Piers Hellawell joined Queen’s when he was 24 where, since 2002, he has been Professor of Composition. His work covers traditional instrumental, orchestral and chamber media; it has been commissioned and performed around the world, featuring special collaborations with leading orchestras and celebrated artists such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Håkan Hardenberger, Evelyn Glennie, Philharmonia Orchestra and the Hilliard Ensemble. His music is published by Edition Peters (London) Ltd.

The Proms concert, which is also a leading event in the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Ulster Orchestra, will be relayed on BBC Radio 3 and online as part of the BBC’s coverage of the Proms.

The BBC’s famous flagship concert series, billed as ‘the world’s greatest classical music festival’, has always been a celebrated platform for new music, including classical and, in recent seasons, popular, jazz and world musics. Professor Hellawell is one of a select group of composers in academic institutions to have had multiple Proms commissions, as another of his works, Inside Story, premiered in the 1999 Proms season.

Commenting on the event, recently-appointed Managing Director of the Ulster Orchestra Richard Wigley said he was delighted that the Orchestra will be showcasing Piers Hellawell’s music: “He is a major compositional figure here and we are honoured to be giving the World Premiere of his Wild Flow.”

This year also saw the premiere of another of Piers's projects: Up By The Roots, a PRS Foundation ‘Beyond Borders’ collaboration with award-winning poet and Queen's Professor Sinéad Morrissey and Fidelio Trio, which came to the Belfast Book Festival at the Crescent Arts Centre in June as part of a UK tour.

Coinciding with the Ulster Orchestra 50th Anniversary Season in 2016-17, a new creative partnership between the Orchestra and Music at Queen’s has been inaugurated. The initiative heralds a range of creative support and collaboration between the two and makes Queen’s one of just a few Russell Group institutions able to boast a full creative partnership with a symphony orchestra.

Click here to find out more about Music at Queen’s. Professor Piers Hellawell can be contacted by phone +44 (0)28 9097 5202.

Media inquiries to Queen’s Communications Office or +44 (0)28 9097 3091.






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