Monday 25th January 2021

Composer Visit

Music Composer, Arranger, Conductor and Director John Holland was in Archbishop Beck Catholic College, Liverpool recently to work with the College’s Music Department and “A” Level music students.

John said that he has very much enjoyed his visits to Liverpool this term and is very impressed with the skills, determination and achievements of the students. He will be paying a number of visits to the College in the New Year.

Director of Music, Bruce Hicks said, “ This is an ongoing `Composer in Residence Project` we have had for a number of years which allows our students to have access to the very best talent in the country.”

He added,” We were delighted John could be our `Composer in Residence` this year and the students very much enjoyed his input, insight and encouragement for their own composing projects.”

BIOGRAPHY: John Holland.

Born in Hastings in 1977, but was raised in Watford, Hertfordshire.

His composing career took off when his Chamber Orchestra Piece, ‘Green Sky’ won the Making Music Award at the British Composer Awards 2008. This piece has been played on a number of occasions since and has also been broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

In 2009, the world premiere of his largest work, ‘Requiem (Opus 15)’ took place at All Saints Church, West Dulwich (conducted by Penny Whittingham of The Bach Choir) and January 2010 saw the first performance of ‘The Something In-Between’, an Oboe/Cor Anglais mini-concerto; written for and performed by Isobel Williams (conducted by Lindsay Ryan of Harmony Sinfonia).

Several premieres of his music have taken place since 2011:

The London Saxophone Choir have presented several of his new pieces over the last few years, including ‘Mission: Improbable’ (2008) and, most recently, ‘Fanfaricus’ (2010). Numerous works for chamber orchestra have been performed and recorded by the London Contemporary Chamber Orchestra; notably ‘Hustle Bustle’ (2006), ‘Elegy for my Father’ (2007) and, most recently, ‘Arise My Love, My Fair One, and Come Away’ (2012).

John has helped to bring about numerous pieces of new music as a Commissioner through BASBWE and other external organisations, ensuring that the focus stays on making music within the Community. In 2010, John worked on a Community event with Norwood School in collaboration with Lambeth Wind Orchestra and the Southbank Centre as part of the Bernstein Project; writing a new piece of music theatre with the students and band that was performed in the Clore Ballroom. This was followed up in 2011 with practical visits and composing sessions with youth members of Fairbridge, which resulted in a concert performance with the London Consorts of Winds later that year. In 2013/2014 John will be working alongside the composer Stephen McNeff as co-commissioner of a brand new work for Flute and Band, specifically designed with amateur players in mind.

He is the conductor of Lambeth Wind Orchestra and the London Consorts of Winds Clarinet Choir; often invited to conduct freelance for special events. Also a member of London Composers Forum, BASCA, PRS and BASBWE, serving on the Executive Committee. John is treasurer of Herne Hill Music Festival and interim Chair of London Composers Forum.


  • College Magazine Summer 2015
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  • College Magazine Winter 2009