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Michael Small

Composition

 

Michael Small was born in Birkenhead, Cheshire in 1988. He went to Birkenhead School where his interest in music first began. As a member of the Birkenhead School Chapel Choir, he performed treble solos in Venice, Normandy and during Cathedral residency weeks at York Minster, and Salisbury Cathedral. He also performed and recorded Leonard Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms” with the RLPO and Gerard Schwarz in 2002, which was commercially released on Naxos in 2006. Michael has studied at RNCM with David Horne for the past four years, and during his time he has written for several festivals and participated in masterclasses with Rolf Hind, Graham Fitkin, Christopher Rouse and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. Michael has also written pieces for the Two Rivers Festival in 2009, and Ensemble 10/10 in 2010. Michael’s piece for 10/10, “Alacrity” was performed as part of a concert celebrating Mark Anthony Turnage’s 50th birthday, and received praise in the Guardian as “a brief but exhilarating ride”.

Recent projects include a short Piano Concerto called “Relics II” expanded from a short piano solo piece called “Relics I”. Jonathan Small, Michael’s father, a professional oboist, also performed Michael’s “Three Studies for Oboe and Piano” in Beijing in June 2011 as part of a recital. Michael was also commissioned by another Chinese group from the Hangzhou Art School for a piece incorporating Western and classical Chinese instruments.

Michael is currently working on two new song cycles. The first adds to an existing setting of a short Emily Dickinson poem (written in 2011) with two new songs on different Dickinson texts, and the second cycle will be a collaboration with a Cornell poet.