Venables wins Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award

Venables wins Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award

The British composer Philip Venables has received a Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award in the “large scale composition” category for his music theatre work “4.48 Psychosis”. The Royal Philharmonic Society Awards are the highest recognition for live classical music-making in the United Kingdom. Philip Venables already received a UK Theater Award for “4.48 Psychosis” in the past year.

The music theatre work “4.48 Psychosis” was co-commissioned by the Royal Opera House and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. The world premiere took place in 2016 at the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith in London. The composition is based on the final work of the radical British playwright Sarah Kane. Detailing the experience of clinical depression, the play reveals, through poetry, anger and dark humor, an individual’s struggle to come to terms with their own psychosis. Philip Venables’ composition was highly acclaimed by the press:  “The work confirms Philip Venables’ reputation as one of the finest of the younger generation of composers working today” (The Guardian). “The revelation is how Venables has enriched Kane’s play through music.” (The Observer) “Venables manages to enhance Kane’s groundbreaking format with his own unbuttoned imagination.” (Financial Times)

Philip Venables is one of the most important young British composers. Performers and commissioners of his music include the Royal Opera House, the BBC Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Wigmore Hall and the London Sinfonietta. He was born in Chester, England, in 1979 and studied at Cambridge University, the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. His music is often concerned with violence, politics and speech It has been described as “brutally effective” (Times) and “duly playful and occasionally disturbing” (Guardian). In 2017 Philip will have a residency at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire. Philip Venables lives in London and Berlin.

composer profile: Philip Venables

Photo: Simon Jay Price