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Roger Redgate, Chetham's 1971-1976

Professor of Composition Goldsmiths, University of London, Director, Contemporary Music Research Unit, Composer


Since leaving school…

Roger Redgate graduated at the Royal College of Music, where he won prizes for composition, violin performance, harmony and counterpoint, studying composition and conducting with Edwin Roxburgh and electronic music with Lawrence Casserley. A DAAD scholarship enabled him to study with Brian Ferneyhough and Klaus Huber in Freiburg. From 1989 to 1992 he was Northern Arts Composer Fellow, where he lectured at Durham and Newcastle Universities. He was invited as guest composer and conductor at the Darmstädter Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992 and 1994 where he received the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis for composition. He is conductor and artistic director of Ensemble Exposé, with whom he has performed at many European festivals and on BBC Radio 3 and recently released a CD of music by Brian Ferneyhough.

He has worked in the fields of jazz, improvised music, film and television (including programmes for the BBC and Channel 4), and performance art. His compositions have been performed extensively throughout Europe, in Australia, the USA, China and Russia; he has received commissions from the BBC, the European Commission, the French Ministry of Culture, Fondation Royaumont, the Darmstädter Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, The Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the Venice Biennale and Ensemble 21 New York. He has published articles on music and culture, the music of Brian Ferneyhough and Michael Finnissy, including a chapter in the book Uncommon Ground: The Music of Michael Finnissy. He is Professor of Composition at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he is director of the Contemporary Music Research Unit. CD recordings of his works are available on the Coviello, Oboe Classics, NMC, Metier and Edition Zeitklang labels and further recordings are in preparation due for release on the Metier and NMC labels. His compositions are published by Editions Henry Lemoine, Paris, United Music Publishing Ltd, London, the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

What was the best thing about your time at Chetham’s?

Being in an environment where everyone was as passionate about music as I was, and inspiring teachers.

What’s your favourite memory of Chetham’s?

Running a jazz orchestra, which was unpopular with the school – how times have changed! Donald Clarke was an inspirational teacher who really helped to nurture my interest in contemporary music.

What impact did Chetham’s have on your life?

Chetham’s changed my life, moving from a very poor school in Bolton where my prospects were not good, to such an amazing environment, with opportunities to meet and perform with fellow pupils at such a high standard. The education I received at Chets formed an essential part in my development as a musician.

Instruments: Strings

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