Berkeley, Michael (Fitzhardinge)

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Berkeley, Michael (Fitzhardinge)

Berkeley, Michael (Fitzhardinge), English composer, son of Sir Lennox (Randall Francis) Berkeley; b. London, May 29, 1948. He was a chorister at Westminster Cathedral under the tutelage of George Malcolm. He also studied with his father at the Royal Academy of Music and then privately with Richard Rodney Bennett. He received the Guinness Prize for his Meditations for Chamber Orch. (1977). Berkeley was assoc. composer to the Scottish Chamber Orch. (1979) and composer-in-residence at the London Coll. of Music (1987–88). From 1994 to 1997 he was co-artistic director of the Spitalfields Festival. In 1995 he became artistic director of the Cheltenham Festival. His anti-nuclear oratorio Or Shall We Die? (1982) brought him to international attention. His music is austere while still projecting a firm relationship to the English New Romantic movement.

Works

DRAMATIC: The Mayfly, children’s ballet (London, Sept. 30, 1984); Baa-Baa Black Sheep, opera (Cheltenham, July 7, 1993). ORCH: Meditations for Chamber Orch.

(1977); Fantasia Concertante for Chamber Orch. (1977); Concerto for Oboe and Chamber Orch. (Burnham Market, Aug. 20, 1977); Primavera (London, May 18, 1979); Uprising, sym. for Chamber Orch. (Edinburgh, Dec. 18, 1980); Flames (1980; Liverpool, Jan. 10, 1981); The Vision of Piers the Ploughman for Chamber Orch. (1981); Gregorian Variations (London, April 22, 1982); The Romance of the Rose for Chamber Orch. (1982); Concerto for Cello and Chamber Orch. (London, Feb. 20, 1983); Concerto for Horn and Chamber Orch. (Cheltenham, July 17, 1984); Organ Concerto (Cambridge, July 23, 1987); Coronach for Strings (1988); Entertaining Master Punch for Chamber Orch. (1991); Clarinet Concerto (1991); Elegy for Flute and Strings (1993); Viola Concerto (1994); Secret Garden (1997); Garden of Earthly Delights (1998). CHAMBER: String Trio (1978); Violin Sonata (1979); American Suite for Flute or Recorder and Cello or Bassoon (1980); Chamber Sym. (London, Aug. 1, 1980); 5 string quartets (1981, 1984, 1987, 1995, 1997); Piano Trio (1982); Music from Chaucer for Brass Quintet (1983); Clarinet Quintet (1983); Fierce Tears for Oboe and Piano (1984); A Mosaic for Father Popieluszko for Violin and Guitar (1985); For the Savage Messiah for Piano Quartet and Bass (1985). solo instruments:Strange Meeting for Piano (1978); Organ Sonata (1979); Iberian Notebook for Cello (1980); Worry Beads for Guitar (1981); Guitar Sonata (1982); The Snake for English Horn (1990). VOCAL: The Wild Winds for Soprano and Small Orch. (London, Dec. 19, 1978); Rain for Tenor, Violin, and Cello (1979); At the Round Earth’s Imagin’d Corners for Chorus (1980); The Crocodile and Father William for Chorus (1982); Or Shall We Die?, oratorio for Soprano, Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (London, Feb. 6, 1983); Songs of Awakening Love for Soprano and Small Orch. (Cheltenham, July 15, 1986); Verbum carofactum est for Baritone, Chorus, and Organ (1987; Birmingham, Jan. 7, 1988); The Red Macula for Chorus and Orch. (Leeds, May 5, 1989); Stupendous Stranger for Chorus and Brass (1990).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Berkeley, Michael (Fitzhardinge)

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Berkeley, Michael (Fitzhardinge)