Rebecca Saunders

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Rebecca Saunders (born 19 December 1967) is a London-born composer[1] who lives and works freelance in Berlin.


Saunders studied violin and composition at the University of Edinburgh, earning a PhD in Composition in 1997. As a DAAD scholar, she studied with Wolfgang Rihm from 1991 to 1994 at the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe; Nigel Osborne[1] supervised her doctoral thesis.

Her awards include the Mauricio Kagel Music Prize (2015), the Busoni Prize of the Berlin Academy of the Arts, the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize for composition (1996), the Hindemith Prize of the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival (2003), and the composition prize of the ARD. In 2010 and 2012, she taught at the Darmstadt International Summer Courses[1] and was composer-in-residence at the Konzerthaus Dortmund from 2005-2006,[2] Staatskapelle Dresden from 2009-2010,[3] and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in 2010.[4]

Fabio Luisi and the Staatskapelle Dresden gave the UK premiere of Saunders' revision of traces at the 2009 Proms.[5]


  • Behind the Velvet Curtain (1991–92), for trumpet, harp, piano and cello
  • Trio (1992), for clarinet, violoncello and piano
  • Mirror, mirror on the wall (1993–94), for piano
  • The Under Side of Green (1994), for clarinet, violin and piano
  • Molly's Song 1—crimson (1995), for twelve soloists, metronome, whistle, music box and conductor
  • Molly's Song 2—a shade of crimson (1995), for voice, viola, flute, steel string guitar and shortwave radios
  • Molly's Song 3—shades of crimson (1995), for alto flute, viola, steel-stringed guitar, four radios and music box
  • Duo (1996), for violin and piano
  • Into the Blue (1996), for clarinet, bassoon, cello, double bass, piano and percussion
  • dichroic seventeen (1996), for piano, two percussionists, two double basses, accordion and electric guitar
  • G and E on A (1996–97), for orchestra and 27 music boxes
  • String Quartet (1997)
  • QUARTET (1998), for piano, B-flat clarinet/bass clarinet, double bass and accordion
  • cinnabar (1999), for violin, trumpet and ensemble
  • duo four – two exposures (2000–01), for solo trumpet, solo percussion and orchestra
  • albescere (2001), for twelve instruments and five voices
  • Chroma (I–XIX) (2003–13), for twelve to sixteen performers
  • vermilion (2003), for clarinet, electric guitar and cello
  • insideout (2003), for woodwinds, brass, timpani, percussion, piano, strings, accordion, electric guitar — music for the choreographic installation by Sasha Waltz
  • blaauw (2004), for double-bell trumpet
  • Choler (2004), for piano duo
  • Miniata (2004), for accordion, piano, choir and orchestra
  • Crimson (2004–05), for piano
  • Fury I (2005), für Kontrabass
  • Blue and Gray (2005), for two double basses
  • rubricare (2005), for strings and organ
  • rubricare (2005), for baroque string orchestra
  • A Visible Trace (2006), for seven soloists and conductor
  • Traces (2006–09), for orchestra
  • Soliloquy (2007), for six voices a cappella
  • Stirrings Still I (2007), for alto flute, oboe, clarinet, piano and bowed crotales
  • Stirrings Still II (2008), for six players: alto flute, oboe, clarinet in A, crotales, piano and double bass
  • Company (2008), for counter tenor, trumpet, violoncello, accordion and electric guitar
  • Disclosure (2008), for five players: bass clarinet (doubling clarinet), trumpet, trombone, piano and violin
  • murmurs (2009), Collage for ten players
  • Fury II (2010), Concert for double bass and ensemble
  • To and fro (2010), for violin and oboe
  • Stratum (2010), for orchestra
  • Stasis I (2011), a special collage for 16 soloists
  • Stasis collective (2011–16), a special collage for 23 musicians
  • Stasis II (2011–14), quartet for trumpet, oboe, percussion and piano
  • Caerulean (2011), for bass clarinet
  • Dialogue (2011), for viola and percussion
  • Neither (2011), for 2 double bell trumpets
  • Stirrings (2011), for nine players: alto flute, clarinet in A (boehm system), oboe, crotales (top octave with 2 violoncello bows), piano (grand), harp, violin, violoncello (IV scordatura), double bass (with five strings, V scordatura)
  • Still (2011), for violin solo und orchestra
  • Ire (2012), Concerto for violoncello, strings and percussion
  • Fletch (2012), for string quartet
  • Shadow (2013), for piano
  • ...of waters making moan (2013), for accordion
  • Solitude (2013), for violoncello
  • Stasis II (2013), quartet for trumpet, oboe, percussion and piano
  • Void (2013–14), for two percussionists and chamber orchestra
  • Alba (2014), for trumpet und orchestra
  • Six for AK (2015), for 2 percussionists, piano (2 players), guitar (steel strings) and harp
  • White (2015, revised 2016), for double bell trumpet solo
  • Skin (2016), for soprano and ensemble
  • Myriad (2015–2016) sound installation of 2.464 identical musical box mechanisms


  1. ^ a b c "Rebecca Saunders biography (in English)". Edition Peters. Retrieved 13 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "Erstes Konzert Rebecca Saunders—Composer in Residence (in German)". Konzerthaus Dortmund. Retrieved 23 January 2010. 
  3. ^ "Capell-Compositeur 2009/10 (in German)". Staatskapelle Dresden (in German). Archived from the original on 7 March 2009. Retrieved 23 January 2010. 
  4. ^ "Pulling Threads of Sound: Rebecca Saunders interviewed". Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. Archived from the original on 22 September 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2010. 
  5. ^ "Prom 56: Staatskapelle Dresden". BBC Proms 2009. Archived from the original on 20 April 2009. Retrieved 23 January 2010. 

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