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date: 21 September 2019

Ayres, Richard locked

  • Christopher Fox


(b Cornwall, Oct 29, 1965). English composer, resident in the Netherlands. At the age of 18 he began theatre studies but abandoned them. Encounters with Morton Feldman at the 1986 Darmstadt and Dartington summer schools led him to the decision to make music a full-time occupation and he studied first at Huddersfield Polytechnic (1989), and then with Andriessen family, §4 at The Hague Royal Conservatoire. Since 1989 Ayres has made his home in the Netherlands. He has worked with all the leading Dutch ensembles, and his work has been recognized with a number of prizes, most notably the International Gaudeamus Prize for Composition (1994) and the Vermeulen Prize (2003), the highest award for composition in the Netherlands. Between 2004 and 2006 he taught composition at The Hague Royal Conservatoire; since 2007 he has taught composition at Amsterdam Conservatoire.

Ayres’s early works were generally conceived as blocks of instrumental activity in which a limited repertoire of figures was obsessively reiterated. The music is challenging not only because of the demands it makes on performers but also because its syntax and continuity are often hard to grasp. The thirty-minute-long ...

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