Monday, February 9, 2009

Errollyn Wallen (b. 1958), African American Composer & Vocalist Born in Belize

[Errollyn Wallen]

Born in 1958, Errollyn Wallen is an African American composer and performer from the Central American country of Belize. She now lives in the U.K.; her website describes her as a “renaissance woman of contemporary British music”.
Born in Belize, Errollyn Wallen gave up her training at the Dance Theater of Harlem, New York to study composition at universities of London and Cambridge. She founded her own Ensemble X and its motto, we don’t break down barriers in music… we don’t see any, reflects her genuine, free-spirited approach and eclectic musicianship. She has been commissioned by outstanding music institutions from the BBC to the Royal Opera House and has performed her songs internationally.”  Recent chamber works include a quintet for flute and string quartet All the Blues I See premièred by Emily Beynon and the Brodsky Quartet, Rome Turn for viola, cello and double bass, Dervish for cello and piano and a series of piano duets and piano solo pieces, Errollyn Wallen’s very own instrument. The Schubert Ensemble commissioned and premièred Music for Tigers, a piano quintet, in October 2006. This will receive a live BBC Radio 3 broadcast in December.” 

“The on-going operatic project Another America is an exploration into the black condition, past, present and future: The Royal Opera House and Nitro commissioned Another America: Earth, premièred the opera in November 2003 at the Linbury Theatre and revived the piece in 2005, including a BBC television broadcast. Another America: Fire was commissioned by Push and first seen at Sadler’s Wells in September 2004. Errollyn Wallen’s opera The Silent Twins about the love-hate relationship of black twin girls was commissioned by Almeida Opera and first performed in July 2007.” [Full Post]

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