#12: An Introduction with Errollyn Wallen

The second in our Proms Introductions is with Errollyn Wallen MBE. Her piece This Frame is Part of the Painting is performed by Elim Chan, Catriona Morison, and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales on Thursday 15th August, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and available afterwards on BBC Sounds.

Errollyn Wallen at Snape Maltings photographer Matthew Jolly
Errollyn Wallen at Britten Studio, Snape Maltings © Matthew Jolly

Errollyn is an internationally renowned composer and performer. Her prolific output includes eighteen operas to date and awards include the Ivor Novello Award for Classical Music, British Composer Award and a FIPA D’Or for Best Music for a Television Series. She composed two large scale works for the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games for London 2012. Errollyn founded her own Orchestra X whose latest orchestral album, PHOTOGRAPHY, was voted Top Ten Classical Albums by USA’s National Public Radio. Her latest orchestral work is a BBC Proms commission for BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Catriona Morison, mezzo soprano. It will be premièred on August 15th at the Royal Albert Hall. Her Concerto Grosso (to be released on the NMC label) received its US première in September 2018 in Los Angeles by Southeast Symphony with Errollyn as pianist and NNENNA, a new work for Chineke! will receive its London première at Wigmore Hall on June 20th. Her recent chamber work, gun,gun,gun (set to a poem by Terese Svoboda) and commissioned by The Hermes Experiment,  will be broadcast on Radio 3 and a concert of Errollyn’s guitar music will take place at King’s Place on  October 27th. Her opera The Silent Twins will receive its US premiere by Catapult Opera in New York in 2022. Errollyn’s latest opera The Powder Monkey is a collaboration with brolly productions.  Errollyn Wallen’s albums (ERROLLYN, The Girl in My Alphabet, Meet Me at Harold Moores) have travelled 7.84 million kilometres in space, completing 186 orbits around the Earth on NASA’s STS115 mission. 

Errollyn Wallen was awarded the MBE in 2007 for services to music and in 2015 was inaugurated Honorary Fellow of Mansfield College, Oxford, in recognition of her distinguished contribution to scholarship in the field of British contemporary music and her exceptional achievements as a composer. In 2017 Errollyn was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from York St. John’s University, was named BBC’s 100 Women 2018, London University’s 150 Leading Women and in July was made Honorary Fellow of Goldsmiths, London University.

To find out more about Errollyn, please visit her website.

The theme tune is ‘Dusty Rag’ by May Aufderheide. Performed by Joanna Goldstein for Centaur. This podcast is licensed by PRS for Music (www.prsformusic.com).