AMELIA CLARKSON

ABOUT

         Originally from Northern Ireland, Amelia currently works between Belfast, London and Gdansk. Amelia creates dramatically-motivated works which explore potent and fragile social issues, juxtaposing folk and classical 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 Presteigne, 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. Amelia's work is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. 

 

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, which premiered at Presteigne Digital in August 2020. The work deconstructs three poems by W. B. Yeats, examining the speaker's simultaneous adoration and resentment of women. Amelia's research is predominantly centered on exploring issues related to attitudes to sexual consent through cross-collaborative practice, and she is currently working on a vocal work which marries evidence from the 2018 Belfast Rape Trial with classic Shakespeare text. She also uses her music to reflect on her experience of post-Troubles Ireland, completing her masters research project under Sam Hayden on the use of illusion and appropriation in politically-centered contemporary orchestral music.

 

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.  Her collaboration with Maguire is ongoing, as they commence work on a new youth-ballet for performance 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. 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. She also was the recipient of the  the Pro Youth Philharmonia's commissioning competition in conjunction with the college, resulting in the tour A Beacon of Hope in the porchestras 2019 Uk tour. 

 

Full CV available on request. 

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

©2020 Amelia Clarkson