Gabriel Prokofiev

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Composer, Producer, and DJ Gabriel Prokofiev in St Petersburg, Russia

Gabriel Prokofiev (born 1975 in London, UK) is a British composer, producer, DJ, and founder of the Nonclassical record label and club night who creates music that both embraces and challenges western classical traditions.[1]

Gabriel Prokofiev was born in 1975 to an English mother and Russian father Oleg Prokofiev,[2] and is the grandson of the 20th-century composer Sergei Prokofiev. He studied composition at both Birmingham and York universities, but eschewed classical music for electronica,[3] and became a composer of garage music.[4] and producer of Dance, Electro & Hip-hop music under a variety of guises. His work in merging classical with electronica has been recognized by the Financial Times as being “in the vanguard of redefining classical music conventions.”[5] He was one of the producers of Lady Sovereign's album Public Warning,[6] under the name Medasyn.[7]

He founded the independent record label Nonclassical in 2003 and returned to his classical roots, composing String Quartet No. 1 for the Elysian Quartet [1], which he released on NONCLASSICAL, complete with remixes of the original quartet. His other compositions include 2nd and 3rd String Quartets, a collection of piano pieces, Piano Book, for Russian virtuoso GéNIA, and Concerto for Turntables & Orchestra (2006) which was premiered by DJ Yoda at the 2011 BBC Proms, with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain under Vladimir Jurowski and toured by the BBC Concert Orchestra as part of its educational programme. His Concerto for Trumpet, Percussion, Turntables and Orchestra (2014), was premiered by Marie Bédat (trumpet), Chantal Aguer (percussion), DJ Mr Switch (turntables) and the fr:Orchestre de Pau Pays de Béarn: under Faycal Karoui at the fr:Palais Beaumont Centre de Congrès, Pau, France. Prokofiev’s work as a composer, producer and founder of the Nonclassical label has capitalized on a growing interest to develop a fresh approach to the presentation, dissemination and consumption of classical music.[8]

Other recent works include a saxophone concerto for Branford Marsalis, commissioned by Naples Philharmonic under Andrey Boreyko and Detroit Symphony[9] as well as Concerto for Turntables No. 2, which premiered at Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto at Casa da Música with his longtime friend and collaborator DJ Mr Switch,[10] both of which premiered in 2016. Concerto for Cello No. 1 (2013), commissioned by Alexander Ivashkin and premiered in St. Petersburg by Ivashkin and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic under Sabrie Bekirova [2], Concerto for Bass Drum and Orchestra (2012), premiered in the US by percussionist, Joby Burgess [3] and the Princeton Symphony Orchestra under Rossen Milanov, (IMPORT/EXPORT) (2008), for Joby Burgess's group PowerPlant, using Global Junk objects, and Sleeveless Scherzo (2007), a piece for solo violin and solo dancer for Rambert Dance Company (choreographer Patricia Okenwa [4]). Prokofiev made his conducting debut with his concerto for 'dancing' viola, string orchestra, trombones & percussion, in the Paradiso, Amsterdam in 2008. In March 2009, his NONCLASSICAL club made its debut in New York at the cutting-edge Wordless Music series [5] in New York, and at the Rock festival SXSW to favourable critical response.

Prokofiev has also composed for ballet. His first full-length ballet work, Ein Winternachtstraum, was written in 2011 and is in 2 acts, including Concerto for Turntables & Orchestra, and extracts from Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream. The ballet was commissioned by Bern Ballett and was premiered in Stadttheater, Bern, Switzerland by Bern Ballett with choreography by Cathy Marston [6]. In 2013 Karole Armitage choreographed extracts and remixes from his Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra, in her production 'Mechanics of the Dance Machine'[7]. More recent works for dance include two ballets for electronics; Howl (2013), which premiered in Lucerne, Switzerland by Tanz Luzerner Theater [8] and choreographer Maurice Causey [9], Strange Blooms (2013), which premiered at the Northcott Theatre, Exeter, UK by Shobana Jeyasingh Dance with choreography by Shobana Jeyasingh, and received its capital premiere at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank, London; and "Swipe" (2011), choreographed by Val Caniparoli, premiered by Richmond Ballet, and also performed by Smuin Ballet and Singapore Dance Theatre.

Selected works[edit]


  • Ein Winternachtstraum, 2011
  • Howl, 2013
  • Strange Blooms, 2013


  • Concerto for Turntables & Orchestra, 2007
  • Dance Suite for Viola, String Orchestra, Trombones & Percussion, 2008
  • Beethoven 9 Remix, 2011
  • Concerto for Bass Drum & Orchestra, 2012
  • Spheres for violin and string orchestra, 2013
  • Cello Concerto No 1 for cello and orchestra, 2013
  • Ruthven's Last Dance two dances for orchestra, 2013
  • Concerto for Trumpet, Percussion, Turntables and Orchestra, 2014
  • Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, 2014


  • String Quartet No 1, 2003
  • Three Dances for String Trio, Bass Clarinet, Piano & Scratch DJ, 2004
  • String Quartet No 2, 2006
  • Stolen Guitars suite for electric guitar and 2 laptops, 2008
  • Bogle Move for string quartet, 2009
  • Cello Multitracks suite for solo cello and multitracked cellos, or cello nonet, 2010
  • String Quartet No 3, 2010
  • The Ghost of Gunby Hall, a golden fable for 2 actors, chamber ensemble, laptop & optional SATB choir, 2012


  • Sleeveless Scherzo for solo violin and solo dancer, 2008
  • Three Dances for String Trio, Bass Clarinet, Piano & Scratch DJ, 2004
  • String Quartet No 2, 2006
  • IMPORT/EXPORT large-scale percussion piece for global objects, 2008
  • Pianobook No 1 for solo piano, 2006


  • Simple Songs for Modern Life, 6 songs for female a capella vocal trio, 2009
  • The Lonely Giant mini opera for baritone and bass clarinet, 2009


  • Pig Alley, soundtrack to US silent film, for bass clarinet, trumpet, percussion and cello, 2008
  • "White Rooms", soundscape production, composition and design for collaboration with filmmakers Giada Dobrzenska and Laura Jennings. Project commissioned by The Sonic Arts Network, premiered at The Institute of Contemporary Art, London 1998


  1. ^ "Gabriel Prokofiev | Sozo Artists". Retrieved 2016-12-14. 
  2. ^ "PRS for Music Foundation - Gabriel Prokofiev". PRS for Music Foundation. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  3. ^ Colborne, Femke (2008-06-13). "Gabriel Prokofiev's Nonclassical club night breaks with tradition". The Times Online. Archived from the original on 7 September 2008. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  4. ^ Coffey, Russ (2004-03-02). "Prokofiev goes clubbing". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  5. ^ "OUT NOW! - Float Dance EP2 by Gabriel Prokofiev + Peter Gregson". NONCLASSICAL. Retrieved 2016-12-14. 
  6. ^ Richards, Sam (2012-01-13). "Clubs picks of the week". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-05-13. 
  7. ^ Richards, Sam (2006-12-15). "Odd one out is now in". The Age. Retrieved 2012-05-13. 
  8. ^ "Redefining classical music conventions". Financial Times. Retrieved 2016-12-14. 
  9. ^ "Marsalis and Prokofiev on a first performance — learning others' instruments, working against time". Retrieved 2016-12-14. 
  10. ^ "Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música Concert Setlists". Retrieved 2016-12-14.