Osborne, Nigel, English composer and teacher; b. Manchester, June 23, 1948. He received training in composition from Leighton and in 12-tone procedures from Wellesz at the Univ. of Oxford (B.Mus., 1970), and then worked in Warsaw with Rudzinski and at the Polish Radio Experimental Studio (1970–71). In 1976 he became a lecturer in music at the Univ. of Nottingham. In 1990 he became prof. of music at the Univ. of Edinburgh. His 7 Words won the International Opera Prize of the Radio Suisse Romande in 1971, his Heaven-tree received the Gaudeamus Prize in 1973, and his I Am Goya was honored with the Radcliffe Award in 1977. Osborne’s works are in a thoroughly contemporary style pointing the way to postmodernism.
dramatic: opera:Hell’s Angels (1985; London, Jan. 4, 1986); The Electrification of the Soviet Union (1986–87; Glyndebourne, Oct. 5, 1987); Terrible Mouth (1992); Sarajevo (1993–94). orch.: Cello Concerto (1977); Concerto for Flute and Chamber Orch. (1980); Sinfonia I (1982) and II (1983); Esquisse I (Bath, June 5, 1987) and II (Frankfurt am Main, April 17, 1988) for Small String Orch.; Stone Garden (London, Feb. 18, 1988); Eulogy (for Michael Vyner) for Small Orch. (London, May 6, 1990); Violin Concerto (London, Sept. 21, 1990); The Sun of Venice (1991); Hommage à Panufnik (1992). chamber:Kinderkreuzzug for Chamber Ensemble and Tape (1974); Remembering Esenin for Cello and Piano (1974); Musica da camera for Violin, Tape Delay, and Audience (1975); Prélude and Fugue for Chamber Ensemble (1975); After Night for Guitar (1977); Kerenza at the Zawn for Oboe and Tape (1978); Quasi una fantasia for Cello (1979); In Camera for Chamber Ensemble (1979); Mythologies for Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet, Harp, Violin, and Cello (1980); Fantasia for Chamber Ensemble (1983); Wildlife for Chamber Ensemble and Optional Live Electronics (1984); Zansa for Chamber Ensemble (1985); Mbira for Violin and Piano (1985); Lumière for String Quartet and 4 Children’s Groups (Devon, Sept. 24, 1986); The Black Leg Miner for Oboe, English Horn, Bassoon, and Harpsichord (Southfields, March 6, 1987); Zone for Oboe, Clarinet, and String Trio (1989); Canzona for 4 Trumpets, Horn, 4 Trombones, and Tuba (London, July 13, 1990); Adagio for Vedran Smailovic for Cello (1993). piano:Figure/Ground (1978; rev. 1979); Sonata (1981). vocal: 7 Words for 2 Tenors, Bass, Chorus, Orch., and Optional Ondes Martenot (1971); Heaventree for Chorus (1973); The Sickle for Soprano and Orch. (1975); Chansonnier for Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass, Chorus, and Chamber Ensemble (1975); Passers By for Bass Recorder, Cello, 3 Voices, and Slides (1976); Vienna. Zürich. Constance, for Soprano, Violin, Cello, 2 Clarinets, and Percussion (1977); I Am Goya for Bass-baritone, Flute, Oboe, Violin, and Cello (1977); Orlando furioso for Chorus and Chamber Ensemble (1978); Under the Eyes for Voice, Percussion, Piano, Oboe, and Flute (1979); Songs from a Bare Mountain for Women’s Chorus (1979); Poem Without a Hero for Soprano, Mezzo-soprano, Tenor, Bass, and Live Electronics (1980); Gnostic Passion for Chorus (1980); The Cage for Tenor, Chamber Ensemble, and Optional Live Electronics (1981); For a Moment for Women’s Chorus, Cello, and Optional Kandyan Drum (1981); Choralis I (1981), II (1981; rev. 1982), and III (1982) for Soprano, 2 Mezzo-sopranos, Tenor, Baritone, and Bass; Cantata Piccola for Soprano and String Quartet (1982); Alba for Mezzo-soprano, Chamber Ensemble, and Tape (1984); The 4-Loom Weaver for Mezzo-soprano and Tape (1985); Pornography for Mezzo-soprano and Chamber Ensemble (1985); Tracks for 2 Choruses, Orch., and Wind Band (Rochester, Kent, April 21, 1990).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis Mclntire