Born in Manchester in 1963, Cashian studied at Cardiff University, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and in 1997 received a DMus from Durham University. His teachers have included Professor Simon Bainbridge, Lukas Foss and Oliver Knussen.
He has won various awards, including the Britten Prize and the PRS Prize. Commissions have included a Chamber Concerto (1995), Night Journeys for timpani and percussion (1998) commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra, Io by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Black Venus for solo guitar (1999), Silent Steps (1995) commissioned by the Haffner Wind Quintet, A Sea of Tales for the ensemble Endymion, Tableaux for orchestra (2003) commissioned by the Northern Sinfonia, Piano Concerto (2006) for the London Sinfonietta, and Apollo for ensemble (2005).
He has served as a professor of composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London and since 2007 as its head of composition. He is also a visiting professor at the Bath Spa University College, Birmingham Conservatoire and Goldsmiths College.
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