New work for BBC National Orchestra of Wales

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The BBC National Orchestra of Wales celebrates its 90th birthday in April 2018.

As part of the 90th anniversary celebrations at BBC Hoddinott Hall, the orchestra looks back at works that have been commissioned for BBC NOW over the years. The two concerts (21 February and 28 March) each feature music by former Composers-in-Residence.

Mark is currently writing a new set of short orchestral pieces, which will be premiered in the February concert. Watch this space for further info!

Lines Written a Few Miles Below at Time Unwrapped

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Later in the season, Thomas Gould will perform Mark’s work for solo violin and track Lines Written a Few Miles Below as part of the King's Place Time Unwrapped season.

The concert is on 28th February and also features music by Michel van der Aa, Nico Muhly and Michael Gordon. Further info here.

New work: The Breaking Wheel

Mark Simpson and Richard Uttley
The Breaking Wheel, Mark’s new three-movement work for clarinet and piano, commissioned by the Little Missenden Festival, will be premiered by Mark Simpson and Richard Uttley at the festival on Monday 16th October.

The Festival has written an article about the inspiration behind the piece. For further info and to book tickets visit the festival website.

If you can't make it to Little Missenden, Mark and Richard will give a second performance of the piece at the Picture Gallery at Royal Holloway, University of London on Saturday 21st October, details here.

Five Memos to receive US premiere

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Five Memos for violin and piano will receive its US premiere in New York on Saturday 14th October, performed by Esther Noh and Jacob Rhodebeck of Lost Dog New Music Ensemble.

The concert kicks off a season-wide exploration of contemporary music from the UK, including music by James Macmillan, Jonathan Harvey and Michael Finnissy.

Lost Dog will also be performing more of Mark’s chamber works in early 2018 - watch this space!

Further information and tickets here www.lostdognewmusic.org

GCSE Music

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Mark’s Five Memos is featured in a new online teaching tool from Rhinegold Education.

In partnership with NMC, the resource includes works by Judith Weir, Howard Skempton and Tansy Davies.

Addressing the composition component in the GCSE Music syllabus, the pieces are the starting points for practical lessons and student exercises, with each work exploring a key compositional technique in detail.  

You can find out more by visiting the Online Music Classroom website.

GCSE Dance


Mark’s piece Airs No Oceans Keep forms part of a new teaching resource for GCSE Dance. Developed in partnership with Rambert Dance Company, the free teaching resource focuses on music by past Rambert Music Fellows.

The resource pack is designed to be used for the GCSE Dance choreography component, and provides teachers with guidance notes written with Rambert’s Artistic Director Mark Baldwin, for encouraging students to use contemporary music in creating new dance.

Featuring five pieces by the Rambert Music Fellows, plus five selections from NMC’s back catalogue, downloadable audio extracts for all ten pieces and detailed programme notes written by the composers are also included.

PRS Foundation Composers Award

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Mark has been awarded the PRS Foundation Composers’ Fund enabling him to work on a large-scale project over the next two years.

We can't reveal too much about the project yet, but suffice to say it will be Mark’s largest piece to date and we hope to be able to share details with you very soon. Watch this space!

Airs No Oceans Keep released on NMC

Flux cover
Mark’s piano trio Airs No Oceans Keep has been released on a new disc Flux from NMC, which features music by Rambert Dance Company's first five music fellows: Gavin Higgins, Mark, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Kate Whitley and Quinta.

Airs was recorded by the brilliant Fidelio Trio and the disc has been attracting some great reviews. BBC Music Magazine described it as a: 'marvellous evocation of water, from light dancing on waves to bristling sea shanties'

For more information and to have a listen, (or even buy the CD!) visit NMC.

National Youth Orchestra of Wales: Young Composers

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Following four successful years, the National Youth Orchestra of Wales will again run the Young Composers programme as part of this summer’s NYOW residency.

Successful applicants will receive tuition in compositional technique, orchestration and analysis, all delivered by Mark.

In addition, composers will have the opportunity to write new music for groups of musicians drawn from within the ranks of the NYOW itself. The young composers will work with Wales’ foremost young musicians to develop and rehearse their music before presenting it in a series of stand-alone performances across Wales.

For more information and to apply click here.

BBC National Orchestra of Wales: Composition Wales

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Mark returns to work with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales on the Composition Wales 2017 project. Eight composers have been selected to take part in a series of workshops which began in January and will culminate in a concert in March conducted by B Tommy Andersson. This year the composers were briefed to create a work that could serve as a concert opener or an encore for a BBC National Orchestra of Wales concert. Follow the story on twitter via #CompositionWales