Fitkin, Graham

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Born: 1963

Country: West Cornwall, United Kingdom

Studies: University of Nottingham

Teachers: Peter Nelson, Louis Andriesson


Graham Fitkin is a UK composer who works with acoustic and electronic instruments, collaborates with dance, film and digital media alongside concert orchestral and chamber music, and is committed to involvement throughout the chain of music making - performing, conducting, publishing, producing and educating.

A ‘Composer for Dance Award’ in 1990 led to a new work for David Massingham Dance. Ever since then Graham has worked frequently with choreographers around the world with performances being given by Shobana Jeyasingh, Wayne McGregor's Random Dance, Pacific Northwest Ballet, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Bi-Ma, Sidonie Rochon, Munich Ballet and National Ballet of Portugal. He won the International Grand Prix Music for Dance Video Award in 1994.

Graham has collaborated with many of today's foremost performers of new music including the Nederlands Blazersensemble, Will Gregory, Apollo Saxophone Quartet, Smith Quartet, Piano Circus, Ensemble Bash, Combustion Chamber, Elysian Quartet and the LCO.

Between 1994 and 1996 Graham was resident composer with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra producing five new works. Since then many works have been commissioned and composed for orchestra, performances include those by the Halle, BBC Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony, RSNO, BBC NOW, Bournemouth Symphony, BBC Symphony , Nederlands Radio Orchestra etc. He has conducted orchestras in venues from Lincoln Center to South Bank to Aula Magna.

Performing has always been important to Graham. KAPLAN (based on the fictitious character in Hitchcock’s North by Northwest) used video and webcams on musicians to focus on notions of mistaken identity and toured the UK, Japan and Holland. The more recent STILL WARM for electronically manipulated harps toured UK in 2007 with visuals by Marc Silver and Nick Corrigan. Concerned with the juxtaposition of opposites, this placed early gaelic plucked instruments into new contexts with digitalia and live visuals. On both projects he performed with his partner Ruth Wall.

Over the past 10 years Graham has directed many educational projects including 3 PRS Composer in Education residencies, 9 regional community projects, university masterclasses and workshops in UK, Japan, Italy and Soweto.

Recent works include the double concerto for two Pianos and Orchestra - CIRCUIT, commissioned by the BBC and featuring soloists Kathryn Stott and Noriko Ogawa, PAWN for the Duke Quartet, LENS for the Concertgebouw in Holland (for Janine Jansen, Christian Poltera and Kathryn Stott) and SINEW for the Fibonacci Sequence. There have been recent collaborations with LCO, Powerplant, artist John Keys and Royal Ballet choreographer Jonathan Watkins.

Graham’s work has been released on CD by Decca’s Argo label, Factory Classical, Sanctuary’s Black Box and many others but more recently on his own label GFR. Circuit has just been recorded in Japan with Tokyo Symphony Orchestra for BIS. 2010 sees a new production for the Royal Ballet, a concerto for midi-harp and orchestra for harpist Sioned Williams and the BBC Symphony Orchestra and a new work for 10:10.[1]

Works for Percussion

Chain of Command - Xylosynth, Sampler
Frame - Marimba; Flute or Sop. Saxophone
Hook - Percussion Quartet - Marimba Quartet + Drums
Ostrich On The Plain - Multiple Percussion; Oboe
Shard - Percussion Quartet
Spine - Percussion Ensemble (4 to 8 musicians)