Piers Hellawell

Piers Hellawell (b. 1956)

Piers Hellawell was born in England and studied with James Wood and Nicholas Maw. At the age of twenty-four he was appointed composer-in-residence at Queen's University, Belfast, where he is now Professor of Composition.

His work has been commissioned and performed around the world, featuring special collaborations with a number of leading artists. Large projects since his 1999 Proms debut (Inside Story) have included Cors de chasse, a concerto commissioned for Håkan Hardenberger (trumpet) and Jonas Bylund (trombone) by the Philharmonia Orchestra, and Degrees of Separation, a work commissioned for the opening of The Sage, Gateshead, both in 2004. Dogs and Wolves, a commission for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra's first series in City Halls, was premièred in 2006 and recorded on the CD of the same name. In 2007 the Stockholm Chamber Brass premièred Hellawell's new work, Sound Carvings from the Bell Foundry, at festivals in Norway and Ireland, giving many later performances at festivals in Nordic countries and beyond. June of 2010 saw a new piano work, Piani, Latebre, being premièred by William Howard at the Spitalfields Festival.

Hellawell's works are represented on the ECM New Series, NMC and Metier labels as well as on three critically acclaimed discs of his music from the Metronome label; his trio Etruscan Games and other chamber works were recently recorded for future release.

Plans for 2010-11 include works for bass clarinet and piano, for vocal ensemble, and a joint project for the Scottish and Swedish chamber orchestras and Stockholm Kammarbrass, for which the composer was awarded a Leverhulme Fellowship in 2010.

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