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|Born||23 June 1948|
Nigel Osborne MBE (born 23 June 1948, Manchester, England) is a British composer, teacher and aid worker. He served as Reid Professor of Music at the University of Edinburgh and has also taught at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover. He is known for his extensive charity work supporting war traumatised children using music therapy techniques, especially in the Balkans during the disastrous Bosnian War, and in the current Syrian conflict. He speaks eight languages.
Osborne was born in Manchester, England, to a Scottish family. He studied composition with Kenneth Leighton, Egon Wellesz, and Witold Rudziński. His compositions include the opera The Electrification of the Soviet Union, Concerto for Flute and Chamber Orchestra commissioned by the City of London Sinfonia, I am Goya, Remembering Esenin, and Birth of the Beatles Symphony.
Osborne retired from his Edinburgh University position in 2012, and is now working internationally as freelance composer, arranger and aid worker.
Nigel Osborne studied composition with Egon Wellesz, the first pupil of Arnold Schoenberg (1968-9), also with Kenneth Leighton (his predecessor as Reid Professor of Music at the University of Edinburgh) at Oxford University (1969–70), and later in Warsaw with Witold Rudziński (1970–71) where he also he worked in the Polish Radio Experimental Studio. From 1983-1985 while at the IRCAM in Paris, he co-founded Contemporary Music Review with Tod Machover. He held a lectureship and Special Professorship at the University of Nottingham from 1978 to 1987, the Reid Chair and Dean of the Faculty of Music at Edinburgh University from 1989 to 2012, a Senior Professorship (C4) at the University of Hannover from 1996–98 and Head of Faculty for the Vienna-Prague-Budapest Summer Academy (ISA) from 2007–2014. He is currently Professor Emeritus at Edinburgh University, visiting Professor in the Drama Faculty of Rijeka University and Consultant to the Chinese Music Institute, Peking University. He has worked as visiting lecturer and examiner also at Harvard, UCLA, CalArts, Gedai and Toho Gakuen School of Music, Oxford, the Sorbonne and Bologna.
Osborne's works have been performed around the world by major orchestras and opera houses, including the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Symphony Orchestra, Leningrad Philharmonic, the Philharmonia of London, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Berlin Symphony, Glyndebourne, Opera Circus, Opera Factory, Scottish Opera and the Royal Opera House. He has received, among numerous awards, a Netherlands Gaudeamus prize, the Opera Prize of the Radio Sussie Romande and Ville de Geneve, and the Koussevitzky Award of the Library of Congress Washington. He also composes for theatre and film and has a "secret history" of work in popular music and rock 'n roll - he plays in a heavy metal band (The Godfather) with his son Ruaraidh.
In the 1980s, Osborne composed a series of "classic works" for choreographer Richard Alston and Ballet Rambert. He has been Master of Music at the Shakespeare's Globe (1999-2000), and is currently "house composer" for Ulysses Theatre, Istria (2000-). He has collaborated with notable directors Lenka Udovicki, Peter Sellars, David Pountney, Michael McCarthy and David Freeman, with notable writers Samuel Beckett, Craig Raine, Eve Ensler, Jo Shapcott, Howard Barker, Ariel Dorfman, Tena Stivicic and Goran Simić, with notable actors Vanessa Redgrave, Annette Bening, Lynn Redgrave, Amanda Plummer, Rade Serbedzija, Simon Callow, Ian McDiarmid and Janet Henfrey, and with notable artists and designers John Hoyland, Dick Smith, George Tsypin, David Roger, Bjanka Adzic Ursulov and Peter Mumford. Singers and soloists include pioneers of contemporary music, such as Jane Manning, Linda Hirst, Liz Lawrence and Omar Ebrahim, and long-standing collaborations with artists Florian Kitt, Ernst Kovacic and the Hebrides Ensemble. His film documentary credits include BAFTA-winning and -nominated collaborations with Director Samir Mehanović, an EMMY-winning collaboration with the BBC, and multi-award- winning films with Helen Doyle and InformAction, Montreal. He has a special interest in Arabic, Indian and Chinese music.
Osborne has pioneered methods of using music and the creative arts to support children who are victims of conflict. This approach was developed during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina (1992–95), and since then this work has been implemented widely in the Balkan region, the Caucasus', the Middle East, East Africa, South East Asia and India. He was also awarded the Freedom Prize of the Peace Institute, Sarajevo, for his work for Bosnian children during the siege of the city. He has worked actively in many human rights initiatives, including the Workers' Defence Committee in Poland (1970–89), Citizens' Forum and the Jazz Section with Václav Havel in former Czechoslovakia (1987-1989), for Syrian refugee support organisations and directly for the Government of Bosnia-Herzegovina during the genocide. In 2012–14, Osborne served as co-Chair of the Global Agenda Committee for Arts in Society for the World Economic Forum.
In 2004 he began a long term artistic relationship with Tina Ellen Lee of Opera Circus, a chamber opera and music theatre company now based in West Dorset UK. Together they developed and produced the Bosnian Sevdah Opera Differences in Demolitions with Bosnian poet Goran Simic and Scottish conductor William Conway. They toured through BiH in 2017 and in 2010 performed this first ever live opera in Srebrenica before heading for Vienna and the Hofburg.
Osborne has been active in supporting the development of new music technologies, for example the Skoog, (skoogmusic.com), and is co-inventor with Paul Robertson of X-System, an informatic modelling of the musical brain capable of predicting emotional response to music of any culture, designed for both medical and leisure applications. He is currently a field worker for SAWA for Development and Aid in Lebanon. In December 2017 he received the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors' (BASCA) Award for Inspiration. He continues to work in special education development in Scotland, Sweden, Croatia and India. He was awarded both the Queen's Prize and Music Industry Prize for innovation in education, and was recently made Honorary Fellow of the Educational Institute of Scotland. He is a Director of the Scottish educational development company, Tapestry Partnership.
In 2017, Osborne was commissioned by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra to arrange Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band for the It Was Fifty Years Ago Today concerts with the Bootleg Beatles performed to capacity crowds at the Royal Albert Hall and Echo Arena Liverpool.
Recent scientific and scholarly publications
- Osborne, Nigel. (23 February 2017). Handbook of Musical Identities - 'The Identities of Sevda: from Graeco-Arabic medicine to music therapy'. Editors: MacDonald, Hargreaves and Miell. ISBN 9780199679485. Oxford University Press. (Oxford, UK and New York, USA).
- Osborne, Nigel. (21 February 2017) Love, Rhythm and Chronobiology in Rhythms of Relating in Children’s Therapies - 'Connecting Creatively with Vulnerable Children'. Editors: Daniel and Trevarthen. ISBN 9781784502843. Jessica Kingsley Publishers. (London, UK and Philadelphia, USA).
- Osborne, Nigel. (2014). 'The Plenum Brain in Unbribable Bosnia and Herzegovina'. Page 174. Editor: D. Arsenijević South East European integration perspectives. ISBN print: ISBN 978-3-8487-1634-0, ISBN online: ISBN 978-3-8452-5674-0. Nomos Verlag. (Baden-Baden, Germany).
- Trevarthen, Colwyn; Gratier, Maya; Osborne, Nigel (2014). "The human nature of culture and education". Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science. 5 (2): 173–192. doi:10.1002/wcs.1276. ISSN 1939-5078. PMID 26304307. (Hoboken, New Jersey, USA).
- Osborne, Nigel. (July 2013). 'Resilience and recovery - violence, disasters and the arts, presentation, Global Alliance for Arts and Health'. APPG on Agriculture and Food for Development. Library of Congress. (Washington DC, USA).
- Osborne, Nigel. (23 April 2012). 'Neuroscience and real world practice: music as a therapeutic resource for children in zones of conflict'. New York Academy of Sciences. Neurosciences and Music. (New York, USA).
- Osborne, Nigel. 2009. 'Music for children in zones of conflict and postconflict: a psychobiological approach. In Communicative Musicality'. Editors: S. Malloch & C. Trevarthen. ISSN 0077-8923. Oxford University Press and New York Academy of Sciences. (Oxford, UK and New York, USA).
- Klempe, Hroar (2009). "How to Understand Communicative Musicality?". Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science. 43 (3): 260–266. doi:10.1007/s12124-009-9096-9. ISSN 1932-4502. S2CID 144409675.
Nigel Osborne House composer
- The Painters in my Garden for three flutes
- A Prayer and Two Blessings for SATB choir
- Botanical Studies for oboe and percussion
- Concertino for Violin and Orchestra for solo violin and orchestra
- Differences in Demolition (A Sevdah Opera)
- I am not here for voice and piano (only available in Songs for the Twenty-First Century)
- Journey to the End of the Night for oboe, percussion and electronics
- SMTBarBar for soli, clarinet, percussion, violin, viola, cello, accordion and machine sounds Stargazing string quartet
- The Birth of Naciketas guitar concertante for guitar, Indian violin, tabla, string quartet,double bass and percussion
- Afro-Scottish for children's choir, SATB choir and jazz orchestra
- Angel-Nebulae for TTTB soli
- East for symphony orchestra
- La Belle Hélène for three flutes (doubling alto flute and piccolo) and cello
- Naturtöne / Abschied SATTBarB choir
- Queens of Govan for chamber opera for mezzo soprano, recorded voices and 15 instruments
- Rock Music for 12 instruments and electronic materials
- 7 Words, 7 Icons, 7 Cities for SATB choir (with divisi) and string orchestra
- Stone Garden for 2 cellos and accordion
- Tiree string quartet
- Transformations for 2 solo oboe d'amore 2009 Dialogue oboe and harp
- Concerto for Viola and Orchestra
- Roma Diary for cello and piano
- Balkan Dances and Laments for oboe, piano, violin, viola and cello
- Sarajevo for clarinet, piano and cello
- Transformations for 1 two violas 2007 Taw-Raw solo violin
- The Piano Tuner for piano trio
- Pulsus for CtTTBar soli and monochord
- String Quartet No. 1 'Medicinal Songs and Dances'
- Concerto for Oboe and Chamber Orchestra
Catalogue of works > Komponisten und Werke > Nigel_Osborne > Werkliste
Osborne performing Balkan dances and
- Adagio für Vedran Smailović für Violoncello
- After Night | 1977: für Gitarre | 8
- Figure/Ground für Klavier solo
- For a Moment für Frauenchor, Violoncello und Kandyan Drum (ad lib.) | 15
- Remembering esenin für Violoncello und Klavier
- Espionage | 2013: 3 miniature sonatas, studies in Poussin and happenstance | für Violine solo | 8
- The Art of Fugue | 1993: für Violoncello und Instrumente | 20 2 2 2 2 - 2 2 0 0 - Schl - Str
- Hommage à Panufnik | 1993: für Streichorchester | 8
- Terrible Mouth | 1992 Musiktheater | 120
- Albanian Nights | 1991: für Ensemble | 12 2 2 2 2 -2 0 0 0
- Graffiti after Cy Twombly | 1991: on the musical letters of Alfred Schlee | für Streichquartett
- Schleedoyer II | 1991: für Streichquartett | 1 30
- The Sun of Venice | 1991: für Orchester | 25 - 30' 3 3 3 3 - 3 3 2 1 - Schl(3) - 2 Hf, Cel, Klav - Str - 2 konzertante Gruppen
- Canzona – Procession of Boats with Distant, Smoke, Venice | 1990: für Horn, 4 Trompeten, 4 Posaunen und Tuba | 12
- Eulogy | 1990: für Kammerensemble | 8 1 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 0 - Schl, Klav, StrQuint
- Tracks | 1990: für 2 gemischte Chöre, Orchester und Blasorchester | 30 4 4 5 5 - 6 4 4 1 - Pk, Schl(4), Hf, Klav, Str; 3 4 6 5 - 6 4 6 1 - Schl(6), 6 Kor, 4 Euph
- Violin Concerto | 1990: für Violine und Orchester | 22 2 2 2 2 - 3 2 2 0 - Schl(3) - Hf, Klav - Str
- Esquisse 2 | 1988: für 11 Solostreicher | 10 Vl(6), Va(2), Vc(2), Kb(1)
- Stone Garden | 1988: für Kammerensemble | 15 Fl, Ob, Kl, Fg, Hr, Trp, Pos - Schl - Hf - StreichQuint
- The Electrification of the Soviet Union | 1987: Oper in 2 Akten | 120
- Esquisse 1 | 1987: für 11 Solostreicher | 7 Vl(6), Va(2), Vc(2), Kb(1)
- Hell's Angels | 1985: Kammeroper in 2 Akten | 120 Kaufausgabe
- Pornography | 1985 für Mezzosopran und Kammerensemble | 13
- Zansa | 1985: für Kammerensemble | 20 1 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 0 - Schl, Klav, "Zansa" - 2 Vl, Va, Vc, Kb
- Alba | 1984: für Mezzosopran, Kammerorchester und Tonband | 17 1 1 1 0 - 1 1 1 0 - Schl - Hf - 2 Vl, Va, Vc, Kb
- Wildlife | 1984: für Kammerensemble | 20 Fl, Kl - Hr, Trp - Schl - Hf - Vl, Va, Vc, elektrischer Kb - Elektronik
- Fantasia | 1983: für Kammerensemble | 12 1 1 1 1 - 1 0 0 0 - Klav, Vl(1), Va(1), Vc(1), Kb(1)
- 2. Sinfonia | 1983: für Orchester | 19 4 4 4 5 - 4 4 4 1 - Schl, Vib, Hf, Cel, Klav, T-T, Str Kaufausgabe
- Cantata piccola | 1982 für Sopran und Streichquartett | 10
- 1. Sinfonia | 1982: für Orchester | 23 4 3 4 3 - 6 4 4 1 - Schl(2) - Hf - Str(16 12 10 8 6)
- The Cage | 1981: für Tenor und Kammerensemble | 14 Afl(G), Ob, Kl, Fg, Hr, Trp - Vl, Vl, Vc
- Choralis 1-2-3 | 1981-1982: für Sopran, 2 Mezzosoprane, Tenor, Bariton und Bass
- Piano Sonata | 1981: für Klavier | 25
- Concerto | 1980: für Flöte und Kammerorchester | 16 Ob(2), Hr(2), Str: Vl.I(6), Vl.II(4), Va(3), Vc(2), Kb(1)
- Mythologies | 1980: für Kammerensemble | 15 Kaufausgabe
- Poem without a Hero | 1980: für Sopran, Mezzosopran, Tenor, Bass und Live-Elektronik | 20
- In Camera | 1979: für Kammerensemble | 19
- Madeleine de la Ste. Baume | 1979: für Sopran und Kontrabass
- Songs From a Bare Mountain | 1979: für Frauenchor | 6
- Under the Eyes | 1979: für Stimme, Schlagzeug, Klavier, Oboe (auch EH) und Flöte (auch Altfl.) | 9
- Cello Concerto | 1977: für Violoncello und Orchester | 17
- I am Goya | 1977: für Bassbariton, Flöte, Oboe, Violine und Violoncello | 12
- Orlando Furioso | 1977: für gemischten Chor und Bläserensemble | 35
- Vienna – Zurich – Constance | 1977: für Sopran, Violine, Violoncello, 2 Klarinetten und Schlagzeug | 10
- Passers By | 1976: für Bassblockflöte, Stimme, Violoncello, Elektronik und Bilder
- Chansonnier | 1975: für gemischten Chor und Kammerensemble | 16
- Prelude and Fugue | 1975: für Kammerensemble | 17
- The Sickle | 1975: für Sopran und Orchester | 11 2 2 2 2 - 2 2 0 0 - Schl - Hf, Git - Str(6 6 4 4 2)
- Kinderkreuzzug | 1974: für Kinderchor (Vokalisen) und Instrumentalensemble | 22
- 7 Words | 1971: Kantate | für 2 Tenöre, Bass, gemischten Chor und Orchester | 24 4 3 4 2 - 3 3 3 0 - Schl, Ondes Martenot, Hf, Sax(3), Str(4 4 4 4 2)
Reviews by Nigel Osborne:
- Osborne, Nigel (1989). "Reviewed work: Stockhausen on Music, Robin Maconie; Stockhausen: Eine Biographie, Michael Kurtz; Stockhausen: Samstag aus Licht; Stockhausen: Klavierstücke XII, XIII, XIV, Bernhard Wambach". Tempo (171): 37–39. JSTOR 945245.
- Osborne, Nigel (1983). "Reviewed work: 'East-West Encounters' McPhee: Balinese Ceremonial Music; Young: Trajet/Inter/Lignes; Messiaen: Cantéyodjaya; Crumb: Vox Balaenae, Dreamtiger, Douglas Young, Colin McPhee". Tempo (146): 45–47. JSTOR 944975.
- Osborne, Nigel (1983). "Reviewed work: Douglas Young: The Hunting of the Snark, Peter Easton, Leicestershire Chorale, Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra, Peter Fletcher". Tempo (145): 38–39. JSTOR 945042.
- Osborne, Nigel (1983). "Reviewed work: Michael Nyman. Bird Anthem; in Re Don Giovanni; Initial Treat/Secondary Treat; Waltz; Bird List Song: M-Work, the Michael Nyman Band". Tempo (144): 40–41. JSTOR 945899.
- Osborne, Nigel (1983). "Reviewed work: Louis Andriessen: De Tijd (Time), Ensemble of the Royal Conservatory of the Hague, Reinbert de Leeuw; Diderik Wagenaar: Tam Tam. Cornelis de Bondt: Bint, Louis Andriessen". Tempo (144): 38–40. JSTOR 945898.
- Osborne, Nigel (1979). "Recent Polish Music". Music & Letters. 60 (1): 117–120. doi:10.1093/ml/60.1.117-b. JSTOR 733569.
- Through Our Eyes - composer
- A Story of Three Islands - composer
- I am Swimming - composer
- The Fog of Srebrenica - composer
- Dans un océan d'images - composer
- The Way We Played - composer
- Les messagers - composer
- View from the Bridge - composer
- The Electrification of the Soviet Union - composer
- Wildlife - composer
- The Sea of Faith (6-part documentary series) - composer
- British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors Award (BASCA) (2017)
- BH Radio 1 Prize (2016)
- Honorary Fellow of the Educational Institute of Scotland (2015)
- DLitt Queen Margaret University (2013)
- Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2011)
- Freedom Prize of the Peace Institute Sarajevo (2007)
- MBE (2003)
- Queen's Anniversary Prize (1996)
- Fellow of the Royal College of Music (1996)
- Thorn EMI Prize for Music Education (1993)
- Koussevitzky Award of the Library of Congress Washington (1985)
- Radcliffe Award (1977)
- Netherlands Gaudeamus Prize (1973)
- International Opera Prize of Radio Suisse Romande and Ville de Geneve (1971)
- Osgood Award University of Oxford (1970)
- Scottish Arts Council profile article
- The Guardian – "The riddle of the rocks" – on his 2008 trip to Uganda
- The Independent – Right of Reply: "The composer Nigel Osborne defends his opera trilogy, Sarajevo"
Citations and references
- Arts & Ents. (21 June 2012). 'The professor who rocked the establishment'. Herald Scotland. (United Kingdom)
- Carmack, Elizabeth. (January 2005). "Balkans’ Summer Music Camp 2004". Cambridge Music Conference. (Puntižela/Pula, Croatia)
- Osborne, Nigel. (24 July 2013). 'Nigel Osborne - Music and Trauma'. The Musical Brain 2013 Conference. YouTube.
- Morris, Christian. (30 January 2018). 'Nigel Osborne Interview'. Composition Today.
- Bradley, Jane. (8 December 2015). 'Composer brings music to children in refugee camps'. The Scotsman. (Scotland, UK).
- (8 December 2015). 'Nigel Osborne'. Cambridge Music Conference. (United Kingdom).
- Bunting, Madeleine. (1 October 2008). 'The riddle of the rocks '. World music. The Guardian. (United Kingdom).
- O'Mahony, John. (9 July 2002). 'Notes from the underground '. The Guardian. (United Kingdom).
- Osborne, Nigel. (1980). 'Nigel Osborne: Concerto'. Universal Edition. City of London Sinfonia. (United Kingdom).
- Osborne, Nigel. (1977). I am Goya / 'Nigel Osborne (text by Andrei Voznesensky ; English translation by Nigel Osborne)'. National Library of Australia.
- Osborne, Nigel. 'Nigel Osborne: Remembering esenin'. Universal Edition.
- Jones, Catherine. (14 January 2018). 'Review: Celebrating Sgt Pepper Live at Echo Arena'. Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Echo Arena. (Liverpool, England).
- Błaszczyk, Bolesław. (11 February 2014). ‘Polish Radio Experimental Studio: A Galaxy of Writings, Prints, and Sound’. (Poland)
- (1985). 'A Poetry of Reality Composing with Recorded Sound'. Contemporary Music Review]. (Paris, France)
- (19 December 2012). 'The Sound of Peking University Resounding through Scotland'. 北京大学中国音乐学社. Douban. (Scotland and China).
- Seckerson, Edward. (13 October 2004). 'The Piano Tuner, Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House, London'. The Independent. (United Kingdom).
- 'Richard Alston Choreochronicle'. Richard Alston.
- ‘THE TEMPEST (2000)’. Shakespeare's Globe. (London, UK).
- 'Nigel Osborne, Composer'. IMDb
- Colwyn Trevarthen, Maya Gratier, Nigel Osborne. 'The human nature of culture and education'. Wiley Online Library.
- Nickalls, Susan. (23 July 1995). 'Music, the food of love'. The Independent. (United Kingdom).
- 'LOLA WAR CHILD powerpoint'. SlideShare.
- 'An Interview with Nigel Osborne'. Voices (a world forum for Music Therapy)]
- 'History'. War Child Holland.
- 'Composer brings music to children in refugee camps'. The Scotsman. (Scotland)
- 'Indian classical music is powerful in therapeutic processes'. The Times of India
- 'Scots composer to be honoured for peace work'. Sunday Herald. (Scotland)
- (28 February 2016). 'Nigel Osborne sutra u sarajevskom "Zvonu"'. Bosnian National Network.
- 'Nigel Osborne Interview'. Composition Today.
- 'Nigel Osborne'. World Economic Forum.
- 'X-System: The Affect of Music'.
- Tapestry Partnership. (Scotland).
- (1 June 2017). " ‘It Was Fifty Years Ago Today’ A Concert celebrating Sgt Pepper and the Summer of Love". Bootleg Beatles. Royal Albert Hall. (London, UK)
- Osborne, Nigel. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band 'It Was 50 Years Ago Today'". Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. YouTube. (England, UK).
- Jones, Catherine. (1 June 2017). Review: It Was 50 Years Ago Today ****. Arts City Liverpool. (United Kingdom).
- Osborne, Nigel. 'Nigel Osborne House composer'. University of York Music Press
- Osborne, Nigel. 'Nigel Osborne biography'. Universal Edition
- Osborne, Nigel & Clein, Natalie. 'Adagio for Vedran Smailovic'. BBC Music. (United Kingdom).
- Osborne, Nigel. Through Our Eyes. IMDb
- Osborne, Nigel. The Fog of Srebrenica. IMDb
- Osborne, Nigel. Dans un océan d'images. IMDb
- Osborne, Nigel. The Way We Played. IMDb
- Osborne, Nigel. Les messagers. IMDb