Errollyn Wallen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Errollyn Wallen (born 10 April 1958)[1] is a Belize-born British composer. She was the first black woman to have a work performed at The Proms ("Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra").

Errollyn Wallen speaking at Other Minds Festival 20 in 2015.


Errollyn Wallen moved to London with her family when she was two.[2] While her parents moved to New York, she and her three siblings (one of whom is the trumpeter Byron Wallen) were brought up by an aunt and uncle.[3] Wallen studied composition at Goldsmiths' College and at King's College London, and earned an MPhil at King's College, Cambridge.[4][3] Her music draws on a wide range of influences, including avant-garde classical music as well as popular songwriting.

Compositions include the "multi-media song cycle"Jordan Town (2001), Dervish for cello and piano (2001), La Luga for guitar quintet (2002), the opera Another America: Earth (2003) and All the Blues I See for flute and string quartet (2004).

In 2004, Wallen recorded an album of her own songs and solo piano music, entitled Errollyn. Her opera The Silent Twins, with a libretto by April De Angelis, was first performed by the Almeida Opera in 2007.

2007- Gewandhaus Orchestra/ Leipzig Ballet- "The Tempest" choreography by James McMenemy

2008- June. World Premier "Carbon 12- A Choral Symphony" Welsh National Opera

Her CDs include: "The Girl In My Alphabet", "Meet Me at Harold Moores", featured on Brodsky Quartet "Mood Swings" alongside Björk, Sting and Elvis Costello.

In 2006 she co- wrote a song with the astronaut Steve MacLean whilst he was aboard the space shuttle STS-115.

Wallen's music is published by Peters Edition. Her work has been performed in leading concert halls/ theatres around the world.

She was made an MBE for services to music in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in June 2007

In 2012, her song "Daedalus" from the album Errollyn served as the opening and closing theme for the BBC drama One Night, and her "Principia", which has lyrics about science, was featured in the London Paralympics Opening Ceremony.


  1. ^ Sophie Fuller, "Wallen, Errollyn" (preview), Grove Music Online.
  2. ^ Sophie Fuller (1994). The Pandora Guide to Women Composers: Britain and the United States 1629–present. Pandora. pp. 319–20. ISBN 978-0-04-440897-0. 
  3. ^ a b Jessica Duchen, "Errollyn Wallen's 'Anon': Manon Lescaut for the 21st century", The Independent, 21 July 2014.
  4. ^ Jessica Duchen, "10 Questions for Composer Errollyn Wallen", ;;The Arts Desk, 16 March 2016.

External links[edit]