Jocelyn Pook

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Jocelyn Pook
Born (1960-02-14) 14 February 1960 (age 59)
Birmingham, England
OccupationComposer, pianist, viola player
Spouse(s)Dragan Aleksic[1]

Jocelyn Pook (/ˈɒslɪn pʊk/; born 14 February 1960) is an English composer, pianist and violist.[2][3]

Life and career[edit]

Pook graduated in 1983 from London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she studied the viola. She has performed with many pop artists including The Communards and Massive Attack, and has worked extensively with dance companies such as DV8 Physical Theatre and Shobana Jeyasingh Dance[4]

In 1983 Jocelyn appeared in the ABC movie Mantrap as one of many string players for the album The Lexicon of Love.[5]

Pook has recorded with pianist Jeremy Peyton Jones for Rough Trade and Century XXI. About a year later, she joined Anne Stephenson and Audrey Riley to accompany Virginia Astley both on stage and record. She co-founded neoclassical chamber quartet Electra Strings alongside Australian violinist Sonia Slany, recording an album on the Village Life label. Following the departure of Slany, the group was rebranded as the Brilliant Strings.

As a solo recording artist, Pook released several albums, including Deluge (1997), Flood (1999) and Untold Things (2001).

In 2002 she was commissioned by The Proms to write a piece for The King's Singers, in collaboration with Andrew Motion.

Her career as a film composer took flight when cuts from her album Flood were used in Stanley Kubrick's film Eyes Wide Shut. The piece Masked Ball,[6] which incorporates a fragment of an Orthodox Liturgy played backwards and lyrics sung (or chanted) in Romanian, underscored the masked ball sequence.[7][8]

Further scores have subsequently been contributed to several European films, notably the 2004 film version of William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, Peter Kosminsky's film on David Kelly, The Government Inspector, Brick Lane and 2007's Caótica Ana.[9][10]

Pook was commissioned to write a short opera, Ingerland,[11] for ROH2 (the contemporary producing arm of London's Royal Opera House) which was performed in the Royal Opera House's Linbury Studio Theatre in June 2010.[12]

On 3 December 2012 her work "Hearing Voices", was performed in premiere by Melanie Pappenheim with Charles Hazlewood conducting the BBC Concert Orchestra at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in a concert on the theme of hysteria.[13] In June 2014 the English National Ballet made their Glastonbury debut on the iconic the Pyramid Stage on the Sunday morning with their performance of Akram Khan's First World War-themed Dust, with Music composed by Jocelyn Pook. The performance was broadcast by the BBC on BBC2. The same year she also composed the score for King Charles III, a new play by Mike Bartlett performed at Wyndham’s Theatre, London and Broadway, New York. [14] In April 2018 Jocelyn Pook won a BAFTA for her score for the 2017 TV film version of King Charles III.[15]

Pook won an Olivier Award for the National Theatre’s production of St Joan [16], and a British Composer Awards (Currently named the Ivors Composer Awards) for her music-theatre piece Speaking in Tunes ,[17]. She won a second British Composer Award for her soundtrack to Akram Khan’s dance production DESH [18]. Her most recent ballet for English National Ballet, M-Dao choreographed by Yabin Wang, premiered in 2016 at Sadler’s Wells.[19] In 2018 she composed the soundtracks for The Wife [20], feature film starring Glenn Close, and for The Staircase, by director Jean-Xavier Lestrade. [21]

In 2019 Jocelyn Pook was commissioned by The Proms to write a new piece for the Prom 49 : The Lost Words. "You need to listen to us" sets words from speeches by environmental activist Greta Thunberg to music [22] . The same year she has composed the soundtracks for Kingmaker, documentary centering on the controversial political career of Imelda Marcos, the former first lady of the Philippines, directed by Lauren Greenfield[23]


Studio albums[edit]

  • 1997 – Deluge
  • 1999 – Flood
  • 2001 – Untold Things

Albums with ensembles[edit]

Live theatre[edit]

  • 2012 – Desh – For the dancework of the group Akram Khan
  • 2016 - 'Macbeth' - For Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
  • 2018 – Memorial – For Chris Drummond, the director of 'Memorial''

Soundtracks (film and TV)[edit]


  • 1997 – "Blow The Wind" – Virgin Records
  • 2003 – "Sacrum" (12-inch) – Additive

Various collaborations[edit]

Awards and honours[edit]

  • Bafta (Original Music, 2018) for King Charles III
  • British Composer Award nomination (Stage Works, 2012) for DESH
  • Special Mention of the Jury, Karlovy Vary Film Festival (Best Music, 2011) for Room 304
  • Olivier Award (Best Music and Sound Design, 2008) for St Joan
  • ASCAP Award for Brick Lane
  • BAFTA TV Award nomination (Best Original TV Music, 2006) for The Government Inspector
  • Classical BRIT Award nomination (Soundtrack Composer, 2005) for The Merchant of Venice
  • British Composer Award (Multi-Media, 2003) for Speaking in Tunes
  • ASCAP Award for Eyes Wide Shut
  • CFCA Award nomination (Best Original Score, 2000) for Eyes Wide Shut
  • Golden Globe nomination (Best Original Score – Motion Picture, 2000) for Eyes Wide Shut
  • OFCS Award nomination (Best Original Score, 2000) for Eyes Wide Shut


  1. ^ Biography of Pook
  2. ^ Jocelyn Pook on IMDb
  3. ^ Untold Things
  4. ^ Jocelyn Pook's homepage at Chester Music
  5. ^ Jocelyn Pook on IMDb
  6. ^ Kubrick’s Approval Sets Seal on Classical Crossover Success: Pook's Unique Musical Mix – International Herald Tribune
  7. ^ Changing Tunes: The Use of Pre-Existing Music in Film by Phil Powrie, Robynn Jeananne Stilwell
  8. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Eyes Wide Shut". Allmusic. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  9. ^ Albums of Pook
  10. ^ Caótica Ana.
  11. ^ Jocelyn Pook on her football opera, Ingerland
  12. ^ O'Mahony, John. "Operas about wags? Why not, says the Royal Opera House". The Guardian, 10 June 2010.
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  24. ^ "Jocelyn Pook". Songlines. April–May 2013. p. 10.

External links[edit]