Stevie Wishart

Stevie Wishart is a composer, performer and improviser; exploring medieval and contemporary extremes, using voices, ancient technologies such as the hurdy gurdy, and electronic music technologies of our own time. She has composed for modern orchestras and vocal groups and for her own group, Sinfonye. As a composer she works acoustically with music notation, combining improvisation and computer music systems.

Education and academic work

Stevie studied composition and electronic music at the University of York with Trevor Wishart and Richard Orton, as well as improvised and aleatoric music with John Cage and David Tudor in Edinburgh. She continued postgraduate performance studies in early music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and with a Nuffield Foundation award and a Vicente Ca”Ã’ada Blanch Junior Research Fellowship at the University of Oxford for research into medieval musical iconography. She is currently a Visiting Music Fellow at the University of Cambridge with the AHRC Research Centre for Musical Performance as Creative Practice.

Performances and other activities

Stevie has performed at London’s Wigmore Hall, BBC Proms, the Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, the ICA and Sydney Opera House, and throughout Europe, the USA, and Australia. Her concerts have been broadcast by BBC Radio3, Radio France, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ORF, German Radio Networks, and Klara Radio Belgium VRT. Performances and commissions include those for the Festival van Vlaanderen and Styriarte. Stevie has also performed her compositions for Pope Benedict XVI at St Peter’s, Rome, and for RAI tv. Contemporary music recordings include those with Fred Frith, John Tilbury, the Art Zoyd Studio, and Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles.

Recent major works

‘Iced’, for orchestra and Theremin, was given in 2005, commissioned by Belgian groups Ensemble Musique Nouvelle and Art Zoyd. ‘The Sound of Gesture’, a project developing an interface for solo violin and computer, was developed at ZKM and ADK and first performed live in Belgium in 2010 as part of an installation. For the 2011 Proms, Stevie was commissioned by the BBC to write ‘Out of this World’ premiered by the BBC Singers conducted by Robert Hollingworth, and was described in the media as ìamong the finest of this year’s new [BBC] commissions® (TheArtsDesk 2011). Recently Stevie composed ‘Vespers for St Hildegard’ in honour of the canonisation of Hildegard of Bingen. A full-length concert version for choir and instrumental ensemble was premiered in York Minster at the 2013 York Early Music Festival.

Current commissions

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Major projects include a ‘Concerto Grosso’, a double bass concerto, jointly commissioned for Chi-chi Nwanoku and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Rob Nairn and the Handel & Haydn Society, Boston, to be premiered in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, May 12, 2015.