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date: 17 October 2019

Beamish, Sally locked

  • Sophie Fuller


(b London, Aug 26, 1956). English composer and viola player, active in Scotland. Though drawn to composition, she studied the violin and the viola at the RNCM and worked for around ten years as a viola player with several London ensembles. In 1986 she received her first professional commission, for Dances and Nocturnes; in 1989 she moved to Scotland where, aided by an Arts Council bursary, she began to concentrate on composition. She founded the Chamber Group of Scotland with James MacMillan and her husband Robert Irvine. Her distinctive music draws on many different sources. Motherhood has been an important inspiration, reflected in works such as Tuscan Lullaby (1989) or Magnificat (1992), in which the traditional Latin text is interspersed with poems by Elizabeth Jennings. A particularly Scottish influence can be heard in her use of pibroch in the piano trio Piobaireachd (1991...

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Contemporary Music Review