Robert Singer talks about his new work, Watercraft

Mar 28, 2019, 04:59 PM

Ahead of the London premiere of Robert Singer's new work, Watercraft, Dr Kate Kennedy interviews the composer at Wigmore Hall.

Robert Singer grew up in the English Lake District where music became an integral part of his life  from the start. When he was five, an inherited piano became his creative instrument. He attended Westmorland Youth Orchestra as percussionist, and played in the National Theatre in London as part of a school show. 

He studied music at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, where he wrote for dance and theatre,  working alongside professionals Steve Nestar and award-winning theatre director, Mark Babych.  He was asked to write the music for his graduation ceremony, hosted by Paul McCartney. 

During his Masters in Music Composition at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Robert  further studied classical and electroacoustic music. He led an independent project with external  choreographers to create and perform an original full-scale ballet with orchestra (the first to be  performed at the college). 

Since graduating Robert has worked with soprano Chanae Curtis (praised for her attractive  singing by the New York Times) and Jakob Grubbström (conductor of the Cantores Amicitiae  choir). Robert’s musical creativity continues to grow with a strongly elemental voice emerging.

Dr Kate Kennedy is the Weinrebe Research Fellow in Life-Writing at Wolfson College, Oxford. She is the Deputy Director of the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing, and she teaches in both the English and Music Faculties. She completed a PhD in 2009 at the University of Cambridge on the work of Ivor Gurney, and her biography Ivor Gurney – Dweller in Shadows will be published by Princeton University Press in 2018.

She writes for BBC Music Magazine, and gives talks at literary and music festivals around the country, and at venues such as the Wigmore Hall, the Royal Albert Hall and the Southbank Centre, and is a regular guest on BBC Radio 3, on programmes such as Essential Classics, Composer of the Week, Music Matters, and the Proms Plus series. She is the consultant to Radio 3 for their First World War programming, and has appeared on BBC 2 and 4 television.