Kenneth Hesketh

“One of the UK’s most vibrant voices” (International Piano), Hesketh has received numerous national and international commissions and has worked with an array of important conductors and soloists including Sir Simon Rattle, Nicholas Daniel, Vasily Petrenko, Clare Hammond, Susanna Malkki, Sarah Leonard, Martyn Brabbins, Janet Sung, Ludovic Morlot and Pascal Rophé, who described Hesketh as having “a strong capacity to build shape and dramaturgy in a piece. [He] has a poetry in the way he treats the orchestra; the mixtures, and the colours”. Oliver Knussen was an important early champion of Hesketh’s music; advocates of Hesketh’s music in Britain and Europe include conductors Christoph-Mathias Mueller and Clark Rundell. He has been represented at festivals from London (Proms) to the USA (Tanglewood/Bowdoin) to China (Beijing Modern Music Festival). His Prom commission, Graven Image, elicited the observation that he is “a composer who both has something to say and the means to say it” (Tempo Magazine). Hesketh’s fascination with entropy, mutation and existentialism coexists with a notable interest in formal design based on the influence of ‘pathways’ (labyrinths and mazes) and the paradoxical notion of clarity through density. Composer in residence with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestra (2007 – 9), awards include the Shakespeare Prize (Toepfer Foundation, Hamburg), the André Chevillion-Yvonne Bonnaud Prize (France), and a British Composer Award in 2017 for his work In Ictu Oculi. The BBC Music Magazine described Hesketh’s work as ‘an exhilarating and beautiful synergy of form and expression […]” and as “a composer at the height of his considerable powers”.

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