Portrait of Mark Bowden under some lights
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Bitesize biography

A composer of chamber, orchestral, and vocal music, Mark Bowden’s music often comes with a bundle of extra-musical connections, embracing far-reaching literary and philosophical ideas, but its impact is a physical one. He creates music of great expressive power and his confidence handling large forces and forms is unmistakable. Mark’s work has been described as ‘an exceptional and absorbing pleasure’ (the Guardian), ‘invigorating’ (the Times) and ‘powerfully dramatic’ (BBC Radio 3).

Mark studied at Huddersfield and the Royal College of Music and has enjoyed residencies and fellowships with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Rambert Dance Company, Aldeburgh Music, Handel House Museum, Kettle’s Yard, University of Cambridge, Visby International Centre for Composers in Sweden, and the MacDowell Colony in the US.

Mark received the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize for his orchestral work Sudden Light (BBC Symphony Orchestra), and a British Composer Award for Five Memos (Hyeyoon Park and Huw Watkins). His saxophone concerto, Sapiens (London Sinfonietta), was nominated for an Ivor Novello Award in 2019. Mark is Professor of Music at the Royal College of Music and is currently writing his first full-length opera for Welsh National Opera, which will premiere in the 2024/25 season.

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