Julian Anderson is among the most esteemed and influential composers of his generation. Anderson was born in London in 1967 and studied composition with John Lambert, Alexander Goehr and Tristan Murail. He was awarded an RPS Composition Prize in 1992 for his two movement work Diptych (1990), launching his career. His success as a composer has also fed a prominent teaching career: he was Head of Composition at the Royal College of Music (1999-2004), Professor of Composition at Harvard University (2004-7) and currently holds the post of Professor of Composition and Composer in Residence at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

Residencies with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra have contributed to Anderson’s significant orchestral output. Fantasias (2009) for The Cleveland Orchestra won a British Composer Award, and The Discovery of Heaven (2011), co-commissioned by the LPO and the New York Philharmonic won a Southbank Sky Arts Award. Recent works include a violin concerto for Carolin Widmann, In lieblicher Bläue (2014-15) premiered by the LPO under Vladimir Jurowski, Incantesimi (2016) premiered by the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle, and a piano concerto for Steven Osborne, The Imaginary Museum (2017), premiered by BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Ilan Volkov at the BBC Proms.
Anderson’s strong relationships with ensembles including BCMG, the Nash Ensemble, London Sinfonietta, and Asko|Schönberg Ensemble have resulted in many commissions. Among them, Book of Hours (2004) written for BCMG and Oliver Knussen won an RPS Award in 2006 and the Gramophone Award for its recording on NMC in 2007, and Van Gogh Blue (2015) won a BASCA Award and an RPS Award in 2015.

Alongside this impressive catalogue of instrumental works is a rich body of choral music and an opera Thebans (2013-14), written for English National Opera. His most recent orchestral work, Litanies for cello and chamber orchestra, was written for Alban Gerhardt and premiered in February 2020. 

Image credit: 
Maurice Foxall