Mark Bowden is a British composer of chamber, orchestral and vocal music. His work is performed at festivals and events throughout the UK, Europe and the US and can be heard regularly on radio stations around the world. Mark is currently Resident Composer with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. He was the 2011-12 Music Fellow at Rambert Dance Company and the first composer-in-residence at Handel House Museum. Mark is a founder member of the critically acclaimed Camberwell Composers’ Collective and was New Music Associate at Kettle's Yard, University of Cambridge from 2008-2010. He was Composer-in-Residence in 2011 and 2012 at the Visby International Centre for Composers in Sweden.

Mark came to public attention when he was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize for his first BBC orchestral commission Sudden Light in 2006. He has composed for many leading performers and organisations including Aldeburgh Music, Arditti Quartet, Ballet Black, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Symphony Orchestra, CoMA, Huddersfield Festival, Jeremy Huw Williams, Kokoro, London Handel Festival, London Sinfonietta, Oliver Coates, Ostrava Banda, Philharmonia Orchestra, Rambert Dance Company, Richard Alston Dance Company, Spitalfields Festival, Thomas Gould, Ulster Orchestra, W11 Opera and many others.

Mark’s growing catalogue of chamber music includes Five Memos for violin and piano (London Music Masters, for Hyeyoon Park & Huw Watkins), Parables for solo saxophone (London Sinfonietta), Lines Written a Few Miles Below for violin and electronics, (Rambert Dance Company, for Thomas Gould), Airs No Ocean Keep (Fidelio Trio), Black Yew, White Cloud (Arditti Quartet) as well as a number of other works for groups with whom he has developed close partnerships, including Chroma, Kokoro, Ostrava Banda, Phiharmonia Orchestra, Spitalfields Festival, London Handel Festival and many others.

Mark studied composition with Richard Steinitz at The University of Huddersfield graduating with first class honours. Supported by awards from the Countess of Munster Trust, the RVW Trust, the Arts Council of Wales and the Rivendell Trust he subsequently completed a Master’s degree with Julian Anderson at the Royal College of Music where he won many of the major composition prizes. Mark completed his studies by participating in the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme and undertaking doctoral research with Philip Cashian at Royal Holloway, University of London where he is currently Director of Composition.

Mark’s abiding interest in dance has resulted in many collaborations with choreographers. He collaborated with Eleesha Drennan on Virtual Descent, a new work for National Dance Company Wales. During his residency at Rambert Dance Company Mark created three original works and a new realisation of Debussy’s L'après-midi d'un faune for the Company’s main tour. In 2008 Mark collaborated with Martin Lawrance to create Stealing Poison for Richard Alston Dance Company. In 2010 Mark was awarded a grant from the Cultural Olympiad to create a new collaborative music and dance project for emerging composers and choreographers.

Mark is a member of the British Section of the International Society for Contemporary Music and is also an occasional saxophonist, performing with a variety of ensembles in London and the rest of the UK including Horsebox, Camberwell Composers’ Collective and the Contemporary Consort.

Image credit: 
Kate Benjamin & Rob Orchard