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Knussen, (Stuart) Oliver free

CBE 1994

Born Glasgow 12 June 1952; s of Stuart Knussen and Ethelyn Jane Alexander; m 1972, Susan Freedman (d 2003); one d ; died 9 July 2018

composer and conductor; Music Director, London Sinfonietta, 1998–2002, then Conductor Laureate


Watford Field Sch.; Watford Boys’ Grammar Sch.; Purcell Sch.


Private composition study with John Lambert, 1963–68; Countess of Munster Awards, 1964, 1965, 1967; Peter Stuyvesant Foundn Award, 1965; début conducting Symph. no 1 with LSO, 1968; Watney-Sargent award for Young Conductors, 1969; Fellowships to Berkshire Music Center, Tanglewood, 1970, 1971, 1973; Caird Trav. Schol., 1971; Margaret Grant Composition Prize (Symph. no 2), Tanglewood, 1971; study with Gunther Schuller in USA, 1970–73; Koussevitzky Centennial Commn, 1974; Composer-in-residence: Aspen Fest., 1976; Arnolfini Gall., 1978; Instr in composition, RCM Jun. Dept, 1977–82; BBC commn for Proms 1979 (Symph. no 3); Co-Artistic Dir, Aldeburgh Fest., 1983–98; Berkshire Music Center, Tanglewood: Guest Teacher, 1981; Composer-in-residence, 1986; Co-ordinator of Contemporary Music Activities, 1986–90; Richard Rodney Bennett Prof. of Music, Royal Acad. of Music, 2014–. Arts Council Bursaries, 1979, 1981; winner, first Park Lane Gp Composer award (suite from Where the Wild Things Are), 1982; BBC commn for Glyndebourne Opera, 1983. Frequent guest conductor, Philharmonia Orch., many other ensembles, UK and abroad, 1981–; Dir, Almeida Ensemble, 1986; Associate Guest Conductor, 1989–, Artist in Association, 2009–12, BBC SO; Artist in Association, Birmingham Contemp. Music Gp, 2006; Associate Artist, S Bank Centre, 2006. Mem. Exec. Cttee, SPNM, 1978–85; Member: Leopold Stokowski Soc.; International Alban Berg Soc., New York; Hon. Mem., AAAL, 1994. RPS Conductor Award, 2010; Ivor Novello Classical Music Award, 2016. Queen’s Medal for Music, 2016. Publications include: Symphony no 1 op. 1, 1966–67; Symphony no 2 op. 7, 1970–71; Symphony no 3 op. 18, 1973–79; Where the Wild Things Are—opera (Maurice Sendak), op. 20, 1979–83 (staged, Glyndebourne at NT, 1984); Higglety Pigglety Pop!—opera (Sendak), op. 21, 1983–85 (staged Glyndebourne, 1984 and 1985); Horn Concerto, 1994 (commnd for Barry Tuckwell); numerous orchestral, chamber, vocal works; articles in Tempo, The Listener, etc


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