Debut Discs
NMC supports gifted early-career composers with its Debut Discs series

TRACKLISTINGEmily Howard Cover


1 Magnetite 10'04
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra | Andrew Gourlay, conductor

2 Threnos 7'36
Lucy Goddard, mezzo-soprano | Simon Whiteley, bass

3 Mesmerism 18'07
Alexandra Dariescu, piano | Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra | Andrew Gourlay, conductor

4 Leviathan 13'01

5 Solar 6'21
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra|Andrew Gourlay, conductor

6 Afference 23'15
Elias String Quartet


Released 2016


'A confident, major orchestral debut ... Scientific ideas brilliantly articulated in a score whose shimmering colours and essentially tonal trajectory are easily assimilated' BBC Radio 3 Record Review



Emily Howard

Emily Howard’s degree in maths and computer science has informed her work, but, as she stresses, "I’m a composer, not a mathematician. My compositions embrace a diverse range of extra-musical influences including science, mathematics, philosophy, poetry, sport and chess, often simultaneously".

Magnetite (2007) was Howard’s first major orchestral commission for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Magnetite is the oldest known magnetic substance and Howard describes this piece as "a journey deep inside one of these crystals". Continuing a similar theme, Solar (2010) creates a musical image of our sun, using luminous, resonant sonorities and bursts of energy.

Mesmerism (2011) for piano and chamber orchestra is one in a series of works inspired by Ada Lovelace, the pioneering mathematician and daughter of Byron. This piece won a British Composer Award in 2012 with the BASCA judges commenting that 'the harmonic language of the music is lucid and beautiful, sustaining at the heart of the piece a great sense of stillness. This is an original voice'.

Works for smaller forces on this album include Afference (2014) for string quartet; Leviathan (2014-15) for baritone saxophone and percussion and Threnos (2015), a three-part song for bass and soprano voices (including the bass voice in falsetto).

Visit Emily Howard's composer page for more information



With special thanks to The Ambache Charitable Trust, The Nicholas Boas Charitable Trust, Fidelio Charitable Trust and RVW Trust for their support of this recording.

Thank you to the trusts, foundations and individuals who have already invested in NMC's Debut Discs series:

The Astor Foundation

The Boltini Trust

The John S Cohen Foundation

Colwinston Charitable Trust

The Fenton Arts Trust

Nicholas and Judith Goodison

Mercers' Charitable Foundation

Stanley Picker Trust

The Radcliffe Trust

RVW Trust

Richard Thomas Foundation


Jennifer Roslyn Wingate

The individuals who donated through The Big Give Christmas Challenge December 2011