Charlotte Bray has been rapidly recognized as an outstanding talent of her generation. She was born in Britain in 1982, and studied at Birmingham Conservatoire under Joe Cutler, and subsequently at the Royal College of Music with Mark-Anthony Turnage. She participated in the Britten- Pears Contemporary Composition Course in 2007 with Oliver Knussen, Colin Matthews and Magnus Lindberg; and attended the Tanglewood Music Centre in 2008 with John Harbison, Michael Gandolfi, Shulamit Ran and Augusta Read-Thomas. She was awarded the prestigious MacDowell Colony Fellowship and was in residence at the MacDowell Colony, New Hampshire in the summer of 2013. She was then resident at the Liguria Study Centre, Italy, having been awarded a Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship. She is an Honorary Member of Birmingham Conservatoire and winner of the 2014 Lili Boulanger Prize.

As a result of winning the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize, she was commissioned to write Replay for piano quartet for the 2010 Cheltenham Festival. She was appointed apprentice Composer-in-Residence with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group/ Sound and Music in 2009-2010, during which time she wrote Caught in Treetops, premiered by Alexandra Wood and Oliver Knussen. As the inaugural Composer in Residence with Oxford Lieder Festival 2011 she composed a new baritone cycle for Roderick Williams. Her orchestral piece At the Speed of Stillness was commissioned for the BBC Proms in 2012 and premiered by the Aldeburgh World Orchestra conducted by Sir Mark Elder, receiving its US premiere in Tanglewood’s 2014 Festival of Contemporary Music.

Other highlights from 2014 include: Black Rainbow, commissioned by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for its youth orchestra; Suya Dalmak for solo cello and tape, commissioned by cellist Isang Enders and premiered at Festival 3B in Germany; string quintet The Sun was Chasing Venus for the Dover Quartet at Savannah Music Festival, Georgia; pieces for piano trio for the Albany Trio (London) and the Oberon Trio (Berlin); and Circling Point for alto saxophone and piano, commissioned with funds from the Swedish Arts Council for saxophonist Johannes Thorell who toured the work in Argentina in August 2014. She has received commissions from of the most established performers and ensembles, including London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Ensemble 360, Britten Sinfonia, Claire Booth, Lucy Schaufer, Jennifer Pike, Lawrence Power, Julian Quentin and Mona Asuka Ott; and from the Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Savannah, Aix-en-Provence, Festspiele Europäische Wochen Passau and Verbier festivals. Notable conductors who have performed her work include Oliver Knussen, Daniel Harding and Jac van Steen.

Charlotte is currently writing a new work for the youth company of the Royal Opera House for a Gala Concert in 2015, a choral work for the Chester Cathedral Choir, and a chamber opera commissioned by Nova Music Opera in collaborating with librettist Amy Rosenthal on the story of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in England.

Image credit: 
Nicholas Dawkes