© Hanya Chlala
Brief Biography: Anthony Payne studied at the University of Durham. He began to compose professionally in 1965, having spent a number of a years as a music critic. In the 1960s and -70s he worked within a framework of Schoenbergian serialism, turning later to a new idiom that seemed to follow on from and build upon the tradition established by English composers in the first half of the twentieth century. Payne is primarily a chamber music composer, though his writing is no less self-assured in larger forms, as demonstrated in works such as Time's Arrow and his highly acclaimed completion of Elgar's Third Symphony.
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- Evening Land
(1980-1; soprano, piano)
- A Day in the Life of a Mayfly
(1981; chamber ensemble)
- The Spirit's Harvest
- Half Heard in the Stillness
- Empty Landscapes - Heart's Ease
(1994-5; chamber ensemble)
- 1966 married soprano Jane Manning for whom he has written many works
- 1981 A Day in the Life of a Mayfly marked stylistic turning point towards a new Englishness
- 1983 appointed Milhaud Professor at Mills College, California
- 1983-6 taught at London College of Music
- 1985 premiere of first full orchestral work The Spirit's Harvest
- 1998 premiere of Payne's elaboration on the sketches for Elgar's Third Symphony
Critical Acclaim: “Payne’s quiet but thoughtful presence in British music always strikes me as a kind of anchorage in sanity, confirming the continuing life of trusted values”. — Independent on Sunday
Composer, writer, lecturer and broadcaster Anthony Payne, was born in London and educated at Dulwich College and Durham University. His extensive list of compositions includes 3 major commissions for the BBC Proms: The Spirit’s Harvest (1985), ‘Time’s Arrow’ (1990) – also available on a CD recording by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Sir Andrew Davis, and ‘Visions and Journeys’ (2002) which was voted by BBC Radio 3 listeners as the winner of the Audience Award in the 2003 British Composer Awards. His commission for the London Sinfonietta, ‘Windows on Eternity’ premiered at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in March 2007, won much press and public acclaim, and was followed by the successful premiere of his Piano Quintet in July 2007, commissioned by the Cheltenham Festival.. His discography includes two CDs of his chamber music for NMC. This year’s commissions include a new orchestral work for the BBC Philharmonic and a String Quartet for the Allegri. He has published books on Schoenberg, Frank Bridge, and Elgar’s Third Symphony, the completion of which, in 1997 brought him worldwide acclaim. Its premiere at the Royal Festival Hall in 1998 gained a standing ovation. The Symphony has now had more than 200 performances, by the world’s leading orchestras, including the Philadelphia ( US premiere) , Chicago Symphony, National Symphony, Czech Philharmonic and all the major London and BBC Orchestras, and there are 6 CD recordings of it in the catalogue .Recognition for this achievement has included the South Bank Show and Evening Standard Awards. August 2006 saw the premiere , at the Royal Albert Hall Promenade Concerts, on his 70th birthday, of yet another work completed from Elgar’s sketches, the Pomp and Circumstance March no.6. He orchestrated Elgar’s ‘Crown of India’ for performance by the BBC Philharmonic in June 2009. He is also in demand as a teacher and lecturer, and has been Visiting Professor at Mills College, California and Composition Tutor at the New South Wales Conservatorium, Australia, to name but a few. His wide-ranging musical knowledge makes him a popular and frequent broadcaster for the BBC. He holds Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Birmingham, Durham and Kingston, and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Music, where he was recently given a two-year appointment as Creative Arts Fellow. With his wife Jane Manning, he formed the ensemble Jane’s Minstrels in 1988, and he regularly serves on the committees of many musical organisations, such as the Society for the Promotion of New Music, The Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust, The Musicians Benevolent Fund, and the Frank Bridge Trust. The music of Anthony Payne is published by Chester Music.