Luke Bedford (b.1978) studied composition at the Royal College of Music with Edwin Roxburgh and Simon Bainbridge, following a Foundation Scholarship. He then gained a subsequent scholarship to study for a Masters degree at the Royal Academy of Music, again with Simon Bainbridge, with funds provided by the RVW Trust, the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, and the 2000 Mendelssohn Scholarship.
In 2001, the London Sinfonietta premièred Five Abstracts (parts of which are recorded on NMC’s Live from State of the Nation). A BBC commission followed: Rode with Darkness, for large orchestra, premièred by the Hallé Orchestra under Mark Elder in 2004. In February 2006, Slow Music and Man Shoots Strangers From Skyscraper (both for small ensemble) were performed by the Philharmonia as part of its ‘Music of Today’ series.
Also in 2006, the song cycle Or Voit Tout En Aventure – a setting of medieval poetry – was premièred by the London Sinfonietta with soprano Claire Booth conducted by Oliver Knussen. Recorded on the London Sinfonietta Label’s Jerwood Series, the work was nominated for the Large-Scale Composition Award at the 2007 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards.
Outblaze the Sky was commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra as part of its ‘Sound Adventures’ series and premiered at the Barbican in April 2007 with Daniel Harding; Wreathe,for which Bedford won his second British Composer Award in 2008, was commissioned by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and premiered in December 2007.
Bedford’s commission from the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Good Dream She Has, received its premiere in April 2008. The piece is scored for an ensemble of 15 players and three solo singers, the text being a re-writing of Milton’s Paradise Lost. Continuing the Milton theme – as part of their celebrations of Milton’s 400th anniversary – the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin premiered Bedford’s latest composition On Time, the text taken and adapted from the poem of the same name in 2008.
Luke Bedford’s accolades include an award at the 2005 International Rostrum for Composers in Vienna, the BBC Radio 3 Listeners’ Prize at the 2004 British Composer Awards, and the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Composition Prize for composers under 29 in 2000; he was recently the recipient of a prestigious Paul Hamlyn Artists’ Award. In January 2008, he was appointed as the first-ever Composer-in-Residence at the Wigmore Hall, from 2009-12
His forthcoming commissions include works for Ensemble Modern, the CBSO Youth Orchestra and the Hallé Orchestra.