Charlotte Bray

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Charlotte Bray (born 1982, Oxford) is a British composer.[1]


Bray was raised in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. She studied cello and composition at Birmingham Conservatoire, graduating with First Class Honours having studied with Joe Cutler. She then completed an MMus in composition with Distinction at the Royal College of Music, where she studied with Mark Anthony Turnage.[2] She participated in the Britten-Pears Contemporary Composition Course in 2007 with Oliver Knussen, Colin Matthews, and Magnus Lindberg; and studied at Tanglewood Music Centre in 2008,[2] in 2008 with John Harbison, Michael Gandolfi, Shulamit Ran and Augusta Read-Thomas. In 2011 Charlotte is an Honorary Member of Birmingham Conservatoire and was named as their Alumni of the Year 2014 in the field of Excellence in Sport or the Arts. Awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize 2010 resulted in a piano quartet commission for Cheltenham International Music Festival for which Charlotte wrote Replay. She was also winner of the 2014 Lili Boulanger Prize.

Bray was appointed apprentice Composer-in-Residence with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group/Sound and Music for 2009/10, during which time violinist Alexandra Wood and the BCMG gave the première of her violin concerto Caught in Treetops under conductor Oliver Knussen.[2][3] Her orchestral work Beyond a Fallen Tree was performed by the London Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Harding (UBS Soundscapes Pioneers commission), 23 May 2010.[4] Her song cycle Verre de Venise (tenor, piano, string quartet), was co-commission by Aldeburgh, Aix-en-Provence and Verbier Festivals in 2010. Her Scenes from Wonderland was commissioned by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, for soloist Jennifer Pike, and violinists from London Music Masters, 2011. As inaugural Composer-in-Residence with Oxford Lieder Festival 2011 Charlotte composed a new baritone cycle for Roderick Williams.

July 2012 saw the première of At the Speed of Stillness, a BBC Proms commission, with Sir Mark Elder conducting the Aldeburgh World Orchestra.[5] Also, Invisible Cities, commissioned by Verbier Festival and performed by Lawrence Power and Julien Quentin; and Making Arrangements, a new chamber opera written for Tête à Tête Opera Festival, London.

In 2015 Bray's chamber opera 'Entanglement' will receive its premiere from Nova Music Opera. Charlotte is collaborating with librettist Amy Rosenthal on the story of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain. Also to be premiered in 2015, 'Out of the Ruins', commissioned by the Royal Opera House Covent Garden for their youth company, mezzo soprano and orchestra; Come Away for the Chester Cathedral Choir; and a new work for cellist Guy Johnston.

Bray has written for some of the world’s top musicians and ensembles, including the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble 360, Britten Sinfonia, London Sinfonietta, The Dover Quartet, Albany and Oberon Trio’s, Claire Booth, Lucy Schaufer, Jennifer Pike, Lawrence Power, Isang Enders, Johannes Thorell, Julien Quentin, Huw Watkins, and Mona Asuka Ott; and festivals, namely BBC Proms, Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Savannah, Aix-en-Provence, Festspiele Europäische Wochen Passau, Festival 3B, and Verbier. Conductors who have performed her work include Sir Mark Elder, Oliver Knussen, Daniel Harding, and Jac van Steen.

She was in residence at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire summer 2013. And following this, at the Liguria Study Centre having been awarded a Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship.

Selected works[edit]

Orchestral and Large ensemble works[edit]

Chamber works[edit]

  • Perseus (2015) cello and piano
  • Here Everything Shines (2015) flute and guitar
  • Circling Point alto saxophone & piano (2014)
  • Trading (2014) brass quintet
  • Those Secret Eyes and That Crazed Smile (2014) piano trio
  • The Barred Owl (2013) piano duet (two pianos)
  • The Sun Was Chasing Venus (2012) string quintet
  • Secret (2012) flute duet
  • Invisible Cities (2011) viola and piano
  • Replay (2011) piano, violin, viola, cello
  • Midnight Interludes (2010) clarinet and cello
  • Throw Back (2009) saxophone quartet
  • Three Rhapsodies (2009) clarinet quintet
  • Renga Miniatures (2007) flute, clarinet, horn, piano, violin, cello
  • Trail of Light (2008) flute and viola/cello

Solo works[edit]

  • Suya Dalmak (2013) cello and tape
  • Oneiroi (2013) piano
  • Off the Rails & All at Sea (2005/12) piano
  • Chapter One (2012) piano
  • Beyond (2013) violin
  • Joe (2007) violin
  • Elegy for George (2005-6) viola
  • Late Snow (2009) oboe
  • Passing Shadows (2012) guitar

Vocal works[edit]

  • Yellow Leaves (2012) soprano, piano
  • Midnight Closes soprano, piano, clarinet and cello (2010)
  • Fire Burning in Snow mezzo-soprano, oboe/cor anglais, B-flat clarinet/bass clarinet, violin, and cello (2013)
  • Verre de Venise (2010) tenor, piano, string quartet
  • Sonnets and Love Songs (2011) baritone, piano

Operatic and Stage works[edit]

  • Entanglement (2015) soprano, tenor, baritone, flute, clarinet/bass clarinet, percussion, violin, cello, double bass
  • Out of the Ruins (2014) youth chorus, mezzo-soprano, orchestra
  • Making Arrangements (2012) soprano, mezzo, tenor, baritone, flute, cor anglais, harp, violin, cello and double bass
  • The Fox and the Crow (2011) soprano, baritone, harp and cello

Choral works[edit]

  • Agnus Dei (2014) a cappella SSATTB choir
  • Come Away (2014) a cappella SATB choir
  • John, Tom, and James (2013) two-part choir and piano accompaniment
  • On the Green (2013) two-part choir and piano accompaniment
  • Walking with my Iguana (2007) choir and piano accompaniment


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c "Birmingham Contemporary Music Group Appoints Charlotte Bray As BCMG/Sound And Music Apprentice Composer-In-Residence For 2009/10". Classical Source. December 14, 2009. Retrieved August 4, 2015. 
  3. ^ Walsh, Stephen (November 15, 2010). "Turnage 50th birthday, CBSO Centre, Birmingham: Essex-boy composer in middle age is master of movement, Stravinsky and jazz". The Arts Desk. Retrieved August 4, 2015. 
  4. ^ Hewett, Ivan (May 25, 2010). "LSO / Josef Suk, Mozart and Bray, review". The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved August 4, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Clements, Andrew (July 30, 2012). "Prom 21: Aldeburgh World Orchestra/Elder". The Guardian. Retrieved August 3, 2015. 
  6. ^ Stinchcombe, Norman (February 27, 2014). "Review: CBSO Youth Orchestra at Symphony Hall". Birmingham Post. Retrieved August 4, 2015. 

External links[edit]