Douglas Seville

I studied for my first degree at University of Huddersfield School of Music, where I won the composition prize for an abridged setting of a magical tale, told in forty-two poems of various lengths, by Roger McGough called Summer with Monika (1978). A central, male character immediately adds a sense of “theatre” to the performance as he narrates the poems to tell the story, accompanied by a small ensemble. As my fascination with “music theatre” began to develop, I studied for an M.A. in composition with Roger Marsh, an advocate of the technique, at Keele University. Several compositions were written and performed here, alongside songs and music for a successful production at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1984.  

After several years as an instrumental teacher and freelance performer, both in classical and contemporary music as a cellist and jazz music as a pianist, I continued my studies at Birmingham Conservatoire, under the supervision of the composers Robin Grant and Philip Cashian. Among my compositions was a large work for soprano, tenor and orchestra called A Simple Love Song (2002) which was inspired by the poem: To His Lost Lover (1993) by Simon Armitage. The work has a strong sense of “music theatre” in the setting of the main characters as the graceful soprano soloist and a sardonic male member of the orchestra. My Ph.D. was awarded in March, 2004.

In recent years, my compositions have been performed in Birmingham and London and several new works are scheduled for performance over the next twelve months, including a setting of five poems for tenor, piano and cello.

In this video clip, [click here] you can see Douglas talking about his experience with Jazz & Classical music in composing for different genres.



CCA Composer of the Month – MARCH 2014

Douglas Seville is our 16th CCA Composer of the Month in a series in which you will learn more about each of our composers and hear music that they’ve chosen to represent their output. You will also...