Christopher Beardsley

Little Dancers
for mezzo-soprano, oboe (ca), harp and viola

duration: 7 minutes

Christopher Beardsley lives near Longridge in Lancashire and was born in Derby in 1956. He began composing whilst studying music at Huddersfield University from 1989-92. Whilst there he won the Woods prize for composition and two works, River and A Rock: consider it were performed by the Firebird Ensemble. A year’s study with John Casken at Manchester University followed, during which time his work Amber was performed in the Whitworth Art Gallery.

Chris has enjoyed regular performances of his pieces including Aubade (1994), for oboe and string orchestra, which was performed on two occasions by Richard Simpson and the Goldberg Ensemble. Further collaboration with the latter saw first performances of a String Quartet (1994) and Vain Battle (1994) for string orchestra. In 1996 the Hilliard Ensemble performed Life's Pride and Cared-for Crown (1995) in London and at the Siljan Festival in Sweden and the following year John McCabe gave two performances of Stars in a Dark Night (1997). The work was later featured on a recording by John McCabe, which appeared on ASC Classical in early 1998.

Further performances have included a setting of Laurence Binyon’s poem Little Dancers (1999) by the group Okeanos in Manchester in October 1999, and Jubilation (1999) by the Surrey Philharmonic Orchestra in the Dorking Halls in March 2000.
More recently, Open Homage (2000) for three clarinets was performed in the Liverpool Tate Gallery during the Mersey New Sounds Day in May 2000 and First of several… Prelude (2000) was performed at the Spitalfields Festival by the Apollo Saxophone Quartet in June 2000.

Chris Beardsley has been the winner of two prestigious awards. In 1996 Divertimento for string orchestra, won first prize at the Gregynog Festival and in 1998 Septimal for oboe, french horn, harp and cello was winner of the quartet section of the 1998 Classic CD Composing Competition.

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