Composer Emily Howard came to critical attention with Magnetite, commissioned by Liverpool European Capital of Culture 2008 for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Vasily Petrenko. Magnetite is the first in a series of strongly imagined and acclaimed works which have placed her at the forefront of contemporary composition. The Financial Times wrote of her 2010 UBS Soundscapes: Pioneers commission for the London Symphony Orchestra, Solar, that it “manages to suggest galactic power on a compact scale”. Howard’s mini-opera, Zátopek!, commissioned by Second Movement and part of New Music 20x12 for the London Cultural Olympiad, received widespread critical acclaim including a 4 star review in The Guardian and being described as 'a tremendous opera' on BBC 2's The Review Show.
Howard’s concert music is regularly performed and broadcast and highlights include international composer-focus at music festival Wien Modern 2011 featuring performances in the Musikverein (Tonkünstler Orchestra / Andrés Orozco-Estrada) and Wiener Konzerthaus (Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra / Sir James MacMillan). WM Festival Commission Calculus of the Nervous System was given its UK premiere by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andris Nelsons at the 2012 BBC Proms. Also in 2012, Ada sketches (Loré Lixenberg) received performances at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio Theatre and Mesmerism, a Diamond Jubilee commission for the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra conducted by Mark Heron with pianist Alexandra Dariescu, won the Making Music Category of the 2012 British Composer Awards.
Poetry, philosophy and science have a strong influence on Emily Howard’s work. The Lovelace Trilogy comprises three works – Calculus, dramatic vocal work Ada sketches and Mesmerism for piano and chamber orchestra – linked by her interest in the inner world of Ada Lovelace, pioneering mathematician and daughter of Byron. In 2012, Ada sketches received its first staged performance (Loré Lixenberg) at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio Theatre. Mesmerism, a Diamond Jubilee commission for the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra and pianist Alexandra Dariescu, won the Making Music Category of the 2012 British Composer Awards.
Chamber works include Masquerade for basset clarinet and piano (Mark Simpson / Ian Buckle) and clarinet quintet Zugzwänge (Quatuor Danel / Nicholas Cox). In 2015 string quartet Afference for the Elias String Quartet premiered at London’s Wigmore Hall and Leviathan for Paris‐based duo scapegoat received several performances including at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and as part of a North American Tour in May 2015.
Emily Howard studied mathematics and computer science as an undergraduate at Lincoln College, Oxford University. She holds a Doctorate in Composition from the University of Manchester and is a Lecturer in Composition at the Royal Northern College of Music. In 2008, Howard received the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Composers. In 2010 she became the inaugural UBS Composer in Residence in conjunction with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Bridge Academy, Hackney. 2015 will see the premiere of a new work for the Elias Quartet and an orchestral work for the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra. She is currently working on her first full-length chamber opera and preparing scores for a portrait disc on NMC for release in 2016.