Fraser Trainer was born in Chelmsford,
Essex in 1967 and first studied composition at Huddersfield
University where he was awarded the 1989 Composition Prize.
He later attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama
as a postgraduate student where he won the 1992 Lutoslawski
Prize. His teachers have included Richard Steinitz, Simon
Bainbridge, Peter Wiegold and Robert Saxton.
Fraser already has four London Sinfonietta commissions to
his name and has firmly established himself as a composer
keen to communicate with both performers and audiences through
a vivid and direct musical language. Other ensembles to have
performed his music include the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,
the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Hallé Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Gürzenich Orchestra, the
Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Athens Kamerata, Viva, The
Scottish Ensemble, Psappha, Kokoro and London Brass.
The four Sinfonietta commissions have all been heard as part
of the “State of the Nation” series, the London
Sinfonietta’s recent platform for young British composers.
True to Life (1997) was written for an ensemble
of ten musicians and three children’s groups. Motion
Pictures (1998), is a colourful quartet for Clarinet,
Violin, Cello and Piano which has subsequently been programmed
by the Isleworth Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Music
Festival, Psappha and the 2001 Europäischer Musikmonat
in Basel. The Colour of Scars was written for saxophonist
Simon Haram who gave its memorable premiere with the London
Sinfonietta at the South Bank Centre in April 2001, conducted
by Pierre-André Valade. However his most recent LS
commission, Line-up (a unique collaboration with
Soundintermedia) was written not for the concert hall but
for the cavernous spaces of Southwark Underground Station.
Here, five players play fanfares over a pre-recorded tape,
which transforms the sound of the London Sinfonietta into
brilliant flashes of colour and texture.
Making Friends with Frankenstein, a cycle of six
monstrous songs setting children’s poems by Colin McNaughton,
was commissioned by Trinity College String Orchestra and first
performed in March 2000 before Viva and The Scottish Ensemble
gave the piece its first professional performances.
Following on from previous performances of his music in Scotland,
Pulse Fiction, a commission from the St Magnus Festival
was given its premiere in Kirkwall in June 2001 by London
Brass, before The Scottish Ensemble toured House Monsters,
a commission from The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh in August
of the same year.
ID, a recent piece for the eclectic, genre-defying
ensemble Between The Notes, incorporates elements of improvisation
and was premiered when the group gave their acclaimed London
debut performance at Bush Hall in February 2002. During the
same year, internationally renowned violinist, Viktoria Mullova
commissioned Knots, a twenty-five minute piece for
solo violin and five players based on the book (Knots) by
RD Laing. The first performance was given by Mullova and BTN
in July 2003 as part of the City of London Festival. Their
CD recording of Knots is now available on black box.
In February 2004 Time and Again, a three movement
work written for members of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
received its premiere at the Royal Festival Hall, a project
which was also documented by the period instrument orchestra
on their internet site www.oae.co.uk
for the living, a BBC commission
for a concerto for violin and orchestra was again written
for Viktoria Mullova and first heard at the 2005 Proms season
with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Martyn Brabbins.
Since then Fraser has continued to develop his interest and
passion in writing for the orchestra. Gadget,
a concerto for Between The Notes and the Gürzenich Orchestra
was given its premiere under the direction of Markus Stenz
in a concert to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the
Köln Philharmonie in September 2006, and the London Mozart
Players performed The
Eye, a commission from the Cambridge Music Festival.
In February 2009 the London Mozart Players gave the premiere of RESOUND, a work written to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the orchestra. RESOUND features fragments of Mozart's unfinished chamber music as well as excerpts of archive recording material of the LMP in their earliest years of existence and effectively blurrs the boundaries of what the listener perceives as live and recorded sound.
Projects for the future include an improvised concerto for Between The Notes for performance in Spring 2011 as well a new Double Percussion Concerto for Oliver Cox and Owen Gunnell.