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Excavations | Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall | 20th March 2009

My piece for nine strings drawing inspiration from 350 year-old Henry Purcell's fantazias that was workshopped by the Manchester Camerata in October of last year and has since been heavily revised, was given a brilliant first performance at Vaganza New Music Day Deserts and Canyons: John McCabe at 70 under the baton of Robert Guy. Click here to listen to a recording from that concert.

Listings: Facebook / Last.fm / Official page
Flyer (PDF, 128kb)


Detached Thought #100 | Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall | 5th December 2008

Trio Atem (flute, voice and cello) gave a fantastic premiere of Detached Thought #100 - a setting of a brief journal entry by Lord Byron - as part of the University of Manchester's Interdisciplinary Byron Conference, 4-5 December 2008. The lunchtime concert included various settings of Byron's writings by students at the University, bringing to an end two days of presentations and discussions on the problems of adapting Byron's works.


3 Sunsets | Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall | 21st November 2008

3 Sunsets, three miniatures for solo piano was premiered by Sebastian Grand as part of new music ensemble Vaganza's day of concerts celebrating the 50th birthday of composer Kevin Malone at the University of Manchester. It featured alongside George Crumb's Ancient Voices of Children, Christopher Rouse's Surma Ritornelli and several works by students from the university.

Listings: Facebook / Last.fm / Official page


Excavations | 2nd October 2008

A recently completed string piece, Excavations, drawing on Purcell's Fantazia in A minor (Z. 740) was workshopped by the Manchester Camerata and Clark Rundell on October 2nd as part of the Camerata's Young Composers' Project.


Books of Moses | NOVARS Research Centre | 3rd June 2008

A new tape piece, Books of Moses was composed at the University of Manchester's NOVARS Research Centre for Electroacoustic Composition, Performance and Sound-Art. It is my first work for which I have undertaken a dedicated recording session from which all of the sound-material was drawn and it deals with issues of creation and re-creation, methods through which the old is assimilated and resurfaces in the new.

A private listening session and partial diffusion for postgraduate students at NOVARS Studio 1 took place on June 3rd alongside two other undergraduate works by Nicola Hicks and Joel Bankhead.

Play sample:


non vogliono, camminano | Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall | 2nd May 2008

non vogliono, camminano is an instrumental work for ensemble drawing its inspiration from a passage found in Primo Levi's Se questo è un uomo.

It was premiered as part of the University of Manchester's Student Showcase of new works on May 12th at the Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama, Manchester.

Programme Notes & Instrumentation


Bodies | Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall | 11th March 2008

Two things - a thousand things - meet face to face; two planets, the air on either side of a door, Leda and the Swan, Hemlock and Socrates, two hands, a river and the sea. Their orbits and collisions are history and life, the brushing and breaking of edges. Bodies, a new work for oboe and piano, is about these meetings and resolutions, about the border between being and not-being, where one body ends and another starts.

This was premiered by Emily Sleightholme, oboe, and Keith McAlister, piano, as part of the Distant Voices day focusing on the music of John White and Nina Whiteman.


Chris Swithinbank is a Manchester-based composer currently studying at the University of Manchester. He is a co-founder of Raise Your Voice, a contemporary music collective.

Full Biography >

Walking in a car park.

I was born in Voorburg, The Netherlands and brought up in Luxembourg before coming to Britain to study music. Since arriving in Manchester the opportunities for performance have helped me form new ideas about composition and encounters with an eclectic mix of music have fired my imagination. I have had the wonderful experience of collaborating with friends on new works and continue to pursue new avenues of possibility in the hope of creating novel and affecting experiences for audiences.

Manchester's Northern Quarter