Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Black History Month Resource: Eleanor Alberga, Jamaican Contemporary Composer

Born in Jamaica, Eleanor Alberga is now a leading British composer of contemporary concert music. She has also distinguished herself as a solo pianist, and has traveled the world with her husband, violinist Thomas Bowes, performing with him under the name Double Exposure. Her talents as a composer have won her numerous commissions, leading to widely acclaimed works. She is profiled at

Eleanor Alberga was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1949. Her early musical activities are recounted in a biographical essay at her Web site http://

Born in 1949, in Kingston, Jamaica, Eleanor Alberga began her musical career learning the piano at the age of five. She later gained the only biennial West Indian Associated Board scholarship, which she took up at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she has retained links as guest lecturer / composer.”

Alberga studied both classical piano and singing at the Royal Academy of Music. Having arrived in Britain as a student in 1970, she remained in the country permanently. Her extraordinarily varied career as a composer and performer is summarized in an online biographical sketch by ABRSM Publishing:

She spent three years performing with authentic African dance company and has sung with internationally celebrated Jamaican Folk Singers. She is also a professional pianist. Her compositional activity began with writing for London Contemporary Dance Theatre. This has led to a wide range of concert music encompassing, besides electronic scores, works for orchestra, choral and chamber ensembles, and pieces for solo instruments.”

Alberga held the post of Music Director at the London Contemporary Dance Theatre. Full page

Eleanor+Alberga" rel="tag">Eleanor Alberga
Jamaican+Composer" rel="tag">Jamaican Composer
Contemporary+Composer" rel="tag">Contemporary Composer
Black+History" rel="tag">Black History
concert+pianist" rel="tag">concert pianist
Roald+Dahl" rel="tag">Roald Dahl

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