Fraser Trainer
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Fraser Trainer


"Fantastic! An original piece of work which clearly made its mark with the audience."                                                

                                                                             Nicholas Kenyon - for the living


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

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.