2009 Awardee: Lliam Paterson

Thank you so much …I am delighted to be offered a Dewar Arts Award … I am very grateful to the trustees ..as this will help me a great deal with my studies.

Biography

Born and brought up in Aberdeenshire, Lliam is described as ‘a prodigious talent’ and ‘an irrepressible musician, both intellectual and practical’ possessing ‘artistic generosity’.

Lliam was a pupil first at Dyce Academy, Aberdeen and later at Edinburgh’s St Mary’s Music School where he studied composition, piano and horn. As a pianist, Lliam has been successful in competitions and festivals across the country and is considered to be a fine and gifted accompanist. He also plays the French horn to orchestral standard.

However, it is in his work as a composer where his prodigious musical talent is particularly evident. Lliam won a place on the National Youth Orchestra’s Composers’ Course for 2008-09. His compositions have been performed at the Sage, Gateshead, Leeds Town Hall, Aldeburgh, Royal Festival Hall, London and the RCM. In 2009 he won the Meadows Chamber Orchestra Commission Prize, who subsequently performed his piece at the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh. In 2008 he won the Isobel Dunlop Composition Award. Both the Meadows Commission prize and the Isobel Dunlop Award were judged by James MacMillan.

Lliam is currently studying on the Music Tripos course at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. He has performed with the Cambridge University New Music Ensemble, given a solo piano recital in the Fitzwilliam College Chapel and in early 2010 will perform his commissioned piano trio with the contemporary ensemble CB3. The Fitzwilliam College Chapel Choir performed his Ave Maria in 2009. Lliam is currently working on a large-scale choral work for the Gordon Forum for the Arts.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will support Lliam’s studies at Cambridge.

After a busy and productive year during which Lliam was awarded the Padley Repetiteur Scholarship, the second prize in the Alkan Piano Competition and received numerous commissions for new compositions, his funding has been continued for a further year. After demonstrating progress in his second year, Lliam’s funding was extended for a third and final year.

Thank you so much …I am delighted to be offered a Dewar Arts Award … I am very grateful to the trustees ..as this will help me a great deal with my studies.

2008 Awardee: Blair Mowat

Please extend my thanks to the trustees for this Dewar Arts Award. I am honoured to be a recipient.

Biography

Edinburgh-born and bred Blair studied composition from an early age, first with Kenneth Dempster and later with Eddie McGuire. It has been an ambition of Blair’s to write music for film since a young age, when he took an intensive short course in film scoring with two times Emmy award winning composer, Hummie Mann.

He studied music at Durham University before going on to pursue an MA in Composition of Music for Film and TV at Bristol University. Blair studied conducting under RSNO Associate Conductor, James Lowe, and has conducted various ensembles over the years, including the Durham University Hill Orchestra.

Blair is the co-founder of the Durham Opera Ensemble and currently Composer In Residence with the experimental theatre company, Captain Theatre. June 2007 saw the world premiere of his opera Hamlet Versus Lear, which premiered at OpFest and he has recently finished a commission for Channel 4.  He has been commissioned to write the theatre score for Jay Parini’s new play Mary Postgate, which will be premiered at the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will help support Blair through his postgraduate studies at Bristol University.

Since the Award

Blair writes that his year at Bristol “was invaluable in allowing me to progress as a composer and taught me many specific skills in how best to synchronise my music to film.” Alongside studying composing for film, Blair conducted the student orchestra, Bristol Symphonia, set up the Bristol Film Orchestra and directed a short fiction film which was subsequently shown at a number of film festivals. Blair was awarded an MA with Distinction as well as receiving a number of other accolades, including winning the Exposures Film Festival National Composing Competition and receiving a 4Talent Nomination.

Since leaving Bristol Blair has gone on to compose for over a hundred projects for film, television and theatre. Included in those are Stephen Fry reading The Happy Prince for Sky Arts, the feature film Frequencies, episodes of BBC’s flagship science documentary Horizon, and a new ballet for The English National Ballet. As a musical arranger he has found himself working on high profile projects such Doctor Who and David’ Attenborough’s Life Story. In 2012 he was nominated for a BAFTA New Talent Award and also a Creative Scotland Award for ‘ Best New Talent in the Scottish Arts’.

For Blair’s portfolio of compositions and other work, see www.blairmowat.co.uk.

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Bradley Manning Had Secrets from Animate Projects with score from Blair Mowat

Please extend my thanks to the trustees for this Dewar Arts Award. I am honoured to be a recipient.

2007 Awardee: Alasdair Spratt

"Many thanks to all at the Dewar Arts Awards for the generous award made."

Biography

Glasgow-born Alasdair Spratt is a composer and pianist. Alasdair won the Philharmonia Prize for composition in 2004.

How the Award Helped

Alasdair’s Dewar Arts Award supported him in completing his PhD studies.

Since the Award

Alasdair received his PhD in 2008. He is now an active musician and educationalist.

"Many thanks to all at the Dewar Arts Awards for the generous award made."

2007 Awardee: Alfredo Caponetto

By means of this award a window has been opened for me and has given me the concrete opportunity to complete my PhD education as the best provision for the journey of life.

Biography

For Mexican-Italian, Alfredo Caponnetto, ‘music is my life’.

Alfredo came to Edinburgh University a year and a half ago after studying composition in Italy. Building on his Italian studies in contemporary music, he has developed an exciting synthesis of his highly-approachable tonal style and a more experimental music. His mentors at Edinburgh University say of him that his work shows the emergence of a true and distinctive compositional talent.

Alfredo is now pursuing a PhD in composition at Edinburgh University. Music commissions to emerging composers are now very rare, and a PhD is becoming the established route for composers to gain experience in their art. The focus of Alfredo’s PhD will be to create links between the Renaissance counterpoint tradition and contemporary music. He writes, “I strongly believe that the combination of the clear lines of Renaissance counterpoint with the exceptionally broad writing techniques found in contemporary music could help develop the inventive language of music in the 21st century.”

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will support Alfredo for the three years of his PhD.

Since the Award

In November 2012, Alfredo was awarded the degree of PhD in Music Composition from Edinburgh University. During his PhD years, Alfredo co-founded both the Edinburgh Contemporary Music Ensemble, for the promotion of contemporary music, and Europe Edition Ltd., a publisher of new works by contemporary composers. He also set up a relationship between the Santa Cecilia Conservatoire in Rome and the historically-significant St Cecilia’s Hall in Edinburgh. His PhD supervisor says his submission is of the very highest quality which has more than fulfilled his early promise. Alfredo writes that the Dewar Arts Award allowed him to take a huge leap forward in his musical career.

By means of this award a window has been opened for me and has given me the concrete opportunity to complete my PhD education as the best provision for the journey of life.

2007 Awardee: Calum MacCrimmon

It has been a dream of mine for most of my life [to create an album of my own compositions] and … you .. will make it possible for the first time, thank you.

Biography

Canada-born Calum comes from a family of legendary pipers and composers from the Isle of Skye. In fact, when his father chooses to pass on the title, Calum will become the 11th hereditary piper to the MacLeods of Dunvegan.

After graduating from the RSAMD in Scottish Music, Calum became musical co-producer of the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland. In 2007 he was a finalist of the BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year. In the same year he was commissioned by the Celtic Connections Festival as part of the New Voices series. The performance of his music was met with critical acclaim. Calum is now working as a professional musician and plays with the four piece ‘Breabach’.

Calum is considered to be one of the finest pipers of his generation, although he considers composition to be his greatest musical strength. This is recognised by others in the music business, who consider him to be head and shoulders above his peers. Whilst steeped in the traditional art of Scottish music Calum continues to be creative and push boundaries.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will enable Calum to fulfil a dream of his to create an album of his own compositions.

Since the Award

Creating an album of his own work has been the first step in fulfilling a long-held dream and opening up more opportunities to perform his own work.  The experience of making an album has been valuable, and now Calum writes that with his own CD he can “sell my music and make a more manageable living from my career as a live performer”.

It has been a dream of mine for most of my life [to create an album of my own compositions] and … you .. will make it possible for the first time, thank you.

2007 Awardee: Euan Fulton

Biography

Hailing from Greenock, Euan Fulton was a pupil at the Douglas Academy Music School. He went on to study music at the University of Glasgow, graduating with a good degree. Euan was a member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland for four years and progressed to become pianist with the Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra.

Euan’s interest in composition developed during his undergraduate years and his composition for organ which was part of his degree work was one of the strongest student organ works his tutors had heard. He is considered to be one of the most able and artistically-committed of students that his tutors had had in recent years and displays the spark of originality in his work which they find exciting.

Euan has shown himself to have a highly reflective sensibility, intellectual motivation and a particular drive to compose which will enable him to become a thoughtful artist. The next step in his musical career is to pursue an MA in composition which will help him to develop his technical and artistic skills.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will help to finance Euan as he pursues a masters in composition at the University of Glasgow.

Since the Award

Euan gained an MA in Composition.  One of his final pieces, a Piano Duet, was premiered at the University of Glasgow ‘Sound Thought 2008’ postgraduate showcase to great acclaim.  Euan writes that, “The Masters allowed me to discover approaches to composition that will greatly aid my continuing artistic development.  I am very grateful to the Dewar Arts Awards for providing the assistance that made this possible.”

2006 Awardee: David Fennessey

Thank you very much for your offer. I can't tell you what a big difference this will make to my stay here in Frankfurt in terms of being able to concentrate fully on what I am here to do.

Biography

Originally from Ireland, David Fennessy came to Scotland to pursue postgraduate study in composition at the RSAMD, Glasgow. He was considered to be amongst the very top group of students. David – who went to the same school as Damien Rice – learned to read music relatively late in life (15) having, up until then, played electric guitar in rock bands. David’s first contact with ‘classical’ music was when he saw a man playing classical guitar in a Dublin street. He asked him to teach him classical guitar.

David’s work has already received critical acclaim. He was shortlisted twice for the International Gaudeamus Music Prize in Amsterdam. His work has been performed in Ireland, Europe, Australia, South America and the US by a huge number of orchestras and ensembles, including the RSNO, SCO and Hebrides Ensemble. His String Quartet performed by the Endymion Ensemble will receive its London premiere in the Purcell Room, South Bank in London.

David has won a place – one of only two composers to achieve this – on the brand new Masters course run by the world-renowned International Ensemble Modern Academy, in Frankfurt. This offers him an unparalleled opportunity to work with some of the finest interpreters of new music in the world today and for his music to reach wider audiences. The experience will have a profound significance on David’s development as an artist.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will help support David financially for his year’s study in Frankfurt.

Since the Award

David writes that “in terms of my development as an artist one of the biggest advantages of receiving the Dewar Award was the time it allowed me to focus solely on my own work without the commercial pressures and expectations of the ‘concert world’.”

Since returning to Glasgow, David has finished several commissions, completed a residency at the Tokyo Wonder Site, Japan and had his work performed in many venues. He writes that since studying in Frankfurt “my career has entered what I feel is an exciting new stage of development.”

Thank you very much for your offer. I can't tell you what a big difference this will make to my stay here in Frankfurt in terms of being able to concentrate fully on what I am here to do.

2006 Awardee: Diana Simpson

I am delighted that the trustees have decided to grant me a most generous award. The award means that I can plan my move to Manchester without worrying that it all might fall through

Biography

Diana Simpson is one of the very few electroacoustic composers supported by a Dewar Arts Award.

For the uninitiated, an electroacoustic composer records sounds and transforms them using computer software to create complex sound environments. A range of resources are used to realise this music, including instruments and voices, improvisation, graphic scoring, live electronic processing on laptop and surround sound.

Hailing from Glasgow, Diana started her studies at the RSAMD, Glasgow graduating with a first in composition and going on to gain a masters with distinction. She shone as one of the best and most original composers her tutor had taught in his ten years at the RSAMD.

Several of Diana’s works have already been performed in public.  For more information and to listen to samples of Diana’s work, see www.dianasimpson.org.uk.

She has won three international prizes, the most recent being the prestigious 33rd Bourges International Competition of Electroacoustic Music, part of the prize includes four weeks in a studio overseas and attendance at the 2007 Bourges festival.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Awards provided Diana’s PhD fees and essential equipment for her research.

Since the Award

As she works towards completing her PhD in 2009, Diana has had an eventful few years since receiving her Award. Her work has been performed internationally and she has been recognised in a number of prestigious competitions, including second prize in L’Espace du Son Concours de Spatialization Pour L’Interpretation des Ouvres Acousmatiques 2008 and winner of Prix SCRIME 2007. She has also completed composer residencies in North America and Sweden.

Diana takes up a full-time post at Kingston University, London in late 2009 where she plans to pursue her own composition and research as well as encouraging the next generation of young composers.

In April 2009 Diana was announced as the recipient of a Distinguished Achievement Award from the University of Manchester for ‘University Postgraduate Student of the Year’. Congratulations to Diana.

I am delighted that the trustees have decided to grant me a most generous award. The award means that I can plan my move to Manchester without worrying that it all might fall through