Dr. Julie Ainscough at the Frobenius organ of All Saints' Parish Church, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey (U.K.).

Dr. Julie Ainscough at the Frobenius organ of
All Saints' Parish Church, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey (U.K.).

Photograph: © Copyright 2012 Michael Harrold Artist Management.

Prize-winning composer

I studied Composition with Professor Antonín Tučapský at Trinity College of Music, London (and won the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Prize for Composition in the year before admission to Fellowship there).  I also undertook a course of study at the London International Film School whilst a student at Trinity College.  Post-graduate study followed at the University of London (Goldsmiths' College, Degree of Master of Music in Composition).

Returning to the academic world after years devoted to earning an adequate income and raising my family, I became a student again in October 2003, this time at the University of Surrey, working a Ph.D in Composition.  This entailed submission of a portfolio of original music ("demonstrating a contribution to culture"), comprehensive programme notes on all works submitted (to prove ability in musical analysis) and a dissertation on musical and symbolic aspects of the last three organ cycles of Olivier Messiaen.  Formal confirmation and conferment of my Ph.D. came in March 2012 and Graduation from the University of Surrey took place on Friday the 20th of April 2012.  I was supervised primarily by Professor Sebastian Forbes.  My secondary supervisor was Doctor Tom Armstrong.  The University of Surrey's internal examiner was Professor Stephen Goss and the external examiner was Professor Timothy Salter of the Royal College of Music, London.

The première of my Sonata for Piano was given at the Guildford International Music Festival on Friday the 20th of March 2009.  Although the "8 x 6" concert was planned to include only the first movement, the whole sonata was performed by its Composer - at only ten minutes' notice (!) - to cover alterations to other parts of the programme.  2009 also saw my "Mass In Honour Of Saint Edmund Campion" introduced into regular use.  This setting of the Common of the Mass is for congregation (in unison) and organ. A variant of the Mass setting is planned to allow its use in the Anglican Rite and a choral version (SATB) is anticipated also.  A number of settings of responsorial psalms (for cantor, congregation and organ) have been written over recent times, the aim being to cover the whole church year eventually.

I was pleased to have been awarded - in November 2005 - the University of Surrey's David Lovatt Prize for Composition, which entailed professional performance and recording of the submitted work.  The prize-winning work is titled "Virgen de la Soledad: cuatro poemas de Federico García Lorca" and is written for soprano voice, clarinet, bass clarinet and percussion.  Four of Lorca's enigmatic and surreal poems are set: "Paso", "Camino", "Deseo" and "La Luna Asoma".  The première was given in the context of the University's concert series on Wednesday, the Eighth of March 2006 at 1:10 p.m. by the University of Surrey's ensemble-in-residence, Gemini, in Studio One at the University of Surrey's School of Performing Arts.

My output of compositions include some choral settings (including some mediæval English Christmas texts, Psalm 34 - "De profundis clamavi ad te, Domine" - and "My Beloved Spake", which is based on part of the enigmatic "Song of Songs") plus numerous pieces of chamber music and song settings, of which the "Six Emily Brontë Songs" for soprano, flute and piano and the "Five Gerard Manley Hopkins songs" for baritone and piano are particularly notable.  My interest in serialism is never a barrier to expression and my music is written with commitment and - where text is set - with sensitivity to the meaning, spirit and natural rhythm of the words.  A cycle of ten songs has just been completed (again for baritone and piano - details to be published here in due course), while a piece of sacred choral music for upper voices and organ has been been written also.

"The finest composition student I have ever taught".
(Professor Stanley Glasser, now retired as Professor Emeritus of Goldsmiths' College, University of London).

"I was very delighted with your music, with your progress, with your perseverance, with your devotion...".
(the late Professor Antonín Tučapský, formerly Professor Emeritus of Trinity College London).

"Well done!  This (the David Lovatt Prize for Composition) is exciting news".
(Professor Sebastian Forbes, University of Surrey - 11/11/2005).

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