AMELIA CLARKSON

ABOUT

         Originally from Northern Ireland, Amelia took Music at Cardiff University, graduating in 2017 with first class honours.  From 2017-19 she completed her Masters of Music in Composition at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, receiving a distinction.  There she studied under  Deirdre Gribbin, John Ashton Thomas, Errollyn Wallen CBE and Edward Jessen, as a Trinity College London Scholar and with the support of the Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust.  In November 2018, Amelia received the Worshipful Company of Musicians' 2018 Silver Medal for Trinity Laban, becoming the only female composer on their prestigious Yeomen Young Artist programme and the first composer to receive the medal for the college. 

Amelia creates dramatically-motivated works which explore potent and fragile social issues, juxtaposing classical and folk elements in her approach.  Her music has been performed at venues and events across the UK including the Southbank Centre, the Elgar Concert Hall, Blackheath Halls, the Leeds Lieder and Herne Hill festivals and broadcast on BBC Radio 3. She has crafted pieces specifically for individual performers including the Central Band of the RAF, The Hermes Experiment and the New Woods Collective. Recent projects include a commission from the Central Band of the Royal Air Force, for which she composed A Picture on the Wall, a 12-minute work based on the WWII memoir of her Great Uncle, exploring aspects of memory.  The 2020 Presteigne Festival commissioned her to write Through His Gaze, a song-set for tenor, Bradley Smith and harpist Oliver Wass. The work deconstructs three poems by W. B. Yeats, examining the speaker's simultaneous adoration and resentment of women. 

 

She is active collaborator with both musicians and artists of other forms including theatre artists, writers and  classical and contemporary choreographers and dance artists. Her lengthy collaboration with choreographer and soloist Ruaidhrí Maguire was described by industry peers as 'astounding', the fruit of which was one-act ballet Dear Francesbased on the life of the wife of gangster Reggie Kray. The work was performed by soloists from the Baltic Opera Ballet and a chamber orchestra conducted by Jonathan Mann at Blackheath Halls in June 2019.  Her collaboration with Maguire is ongoing, as they commence work on a new youth-ballet for 2021.  Beyond her work with classical musicians, Amelia has also worked with musical theatre performers, penning the music, lyrics and book for her first children's musical Bring Back Big Ben which was commissioned by the 2018 Herne Hill Festival. 


Amelia's music carries influences from her traditional folk roots and performance background as a classically trained soprano and flautist. Following winning a the Pro Youth Philharmonia's commissioning competition, the orchestra (conducted by flautist Wissam Boustany) commissioned her to write A Beacon of Hope on the theme of peace, for which she used folk material to reflect on her experience of post-Troubles Ireland. She then went on to complete a masters research project supervised by Sam Hayden, which examined the piece against other contemporary orchestral works composed in response to political issues.  Amelia's research is now predominantly centered on exploring issues related to attitudes to sexual consent through cross-collaborative practice.

Full CV available on request. 

Images by Sarah Court, Sam Hunter Photography and Juliette Koch.

©2020 Amelia Clarkson