|Born||Tarik Hamilton O'Regan
1 January 1978
London, United Kingdom
|Education||Royal College of Music (Junior Department), Pembroke College, Oxford and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge|
|Known for||Musical composition|
|Notable work||See works list|
Tarik Hamilton O'Regan (/ /; born 1 January 1978) is a British composer. His compositions number over 100 and are partially represented on 32 recordings which have been recognised with two Grammy nominations. He is also the recipient of two British Composer Awards. O'Regan has served on the Faculties of Columbia University as a Fulbright Chester Schirmer Fellow, The Radcliffe Institute of Harvard University as a Radcliffe Fellow, Yale University, Trinity College in the University of Cambridge and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton as Director's Visitor.
O'Regan's compositions incorporate the influence of Renaissance vocal writing, the music of North Africa, British rock bands of the 1960s and 1970s, jazz and Minimalist music. His music is often rhythmically complex and employs varying approaches to tonality.
- 1 Life and career
- 2 Music
- 3 Critical reception
- 4 Publications and works list
- 5 Discography
- 6 Awards and recognition
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Life and career
Early life and education (1978–2001)
Tarik O'Regan was born in London in 1978. He grew up predominantly in Croydon in South London, to an English father of Irish descent and an Algerian mother, spending some of his early childhood in Algeria and Morocco, the latter where his mother was born. He was educated at Whitgift School then Pembroke College, Oxford, where he studied music and, in 1997, he received his first commissions from the Choir of New College, Oxford (conducted by Edward Higginbottom) and James Bowman. During this time, he studied composition privately with Jeremy Dale Roberts. Following the completion of his undergraduate studies in 1999, O'Regan began serving as the classical recordings reviewer for The Observer newspaper, a position he held until 2003. At the same time he also worked for JPMorgan Chase, the investment bank. He completed his postgraduate studies under the direction of Robin Holloway at Cambridge, where he was appointed Composer in Residence at Corpus Christi College in 2000 and formally began his career as a composer, with his first published works appearing in 2001 on the Finnish Sulasol imprint.
Early compositional career (2002–2008)
2002 marked two important London premieres: those of Clichés with the London Sinfonietta and The Pure Good of Theory with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. In 2004 O'Regan moved to New York City to take up the Chester Schirmer Fulbright Fellowship at Columbia University and subsequently a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship at Harvard. During this period, his composition Sainte won the Vocal category of the 2005 British Composer Awards and his debut disc, VOICES was released on the Collegium label. From 2007 O'Regan began dividing his time between the UK and the US when he was appointed Fellow Commoner in the Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge, a position he held until 2009. During his tenure at Cambridge, his composition Threshold of Night won the Liturgical category of the 2007 British Composer Awards and Scattered Rhymes, his first CD on the Harmonia Mundi label, performed by the Orlando Consort and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir conducted by Paul Hillier, was released in 2008.
Threshold of Night and broadcasting (2008–2011)
O'Regan's second disc on the Harmonia Mundi label, Threshold of Night, appeared in late 2008 and awakened a wider interest in his work, demonstrated by the CD garnering two GRAMMY Award nominations in 2009: Best Classical Album, Best Choral Performance. After this, he increased his output as a music commentator in print and on air, especially on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4. This aspect of his career broadened with the broadcasting in 2010 on BBC Radio 4 of Composing New York, a documentary written and presented by O'Regan. In the same year, he was appointed to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton as a Director's Visitor and made his BBC Proms debut with Latent Manifest performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. O'Regan's third album on the Harmonia Mundi label, Acallam na Senórach: an Irish Colloquy (based on the 12th century Middle Irish narrative of the same name) was released in October 2011.
Heart of Darkness (2011–present)
- For the full article on the opera, see Heart of Darkness (opera)
In 2011, Heart of Darkness, O'Regan's chamber opera in one act, with an English-language libretto by artist Tom Phillips, based on the novella of the same name by Joseph Conrad was premiered at the Linbury Theatre of the Royal Opera House. The idea for the opera first came to O'Regan in 2001. It received wide critical attention and marked his first foray into operatic writing. A suite for orchestra and narrator was extrapolated from the opera and was given its London premiere by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and actor Samuel West in April 2013. In May, 2015, Heart of Darkness received its North American premiere in a production by Opera Parallèle, presented by Z Space in San Francisco, California. Since the opera, O'Regan composed several pieces influenced by North Africa, which include his first collaborations with both the Dutch National Ballet and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Recently some of his output has formed the focus of festivals such as the 2014 Vale of Glamorgan Festival and New Music for New Age from The Washington Chorus. O'Regan's first full-length ballet score (Mata Hari, based on the life of Margaretha Zelle MacLeod), commissioned by the Dutch National Ballet with choreography by Ted Brandsen, is scheduled to open in 2016 in Amsterdam.
In various radio and print interviews, O'Regan has stated that he "came to music quite late", mentioning the age of 13 as when he first was able to read music, and has listed five primary influences on his work:
- Renaissance vocal writing: from some of the repertoire performed by the College choirs at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge where he was educated, although O'Regan describes himself as being "a pretty bad singer".
- The music of North Africa: from his own maternal heritage and time spent in Algeria and Morocco during his youth.
- British rock bands of the 1960s and 1970s: such as The Who and Led Zeppelin, first encountered in his mother's LP collection.
- Jazz: predominantly artists recorded on the Blue Note label in the 1950s and 1960s jazz, an interest first explored in his father's LP collection.
- Minimalist music
An article in The Irish Times on 23 November 2010 suggested that O'Regan is also interested in his Irish heritage. Published on the occasion of the first performance of Acallam na Senórach (a setting of The Middle Irish narrative of the same name), the article stated that Sir William Rowan Hamilton is a direct ancestor of O'Regan (his great-great-great-grandfather), whose middle name is Hamilton.
- His 2006 debut disc, VOICES (Collegium Records COL CD 130), recorded by the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, was released to critical acclaim, heralding O’Regan as one of the most original and eloquent of young British composers (The Observer, London), breathing new life into the idiom (The Daily Telegraph, London). International Record Review declared the recording a committed, persuasive and highly accomplished performance of an exceptional composing voice of our time, while BBC Music Magazine gave the disc a double five-star rating.
- After the June 2006 premiere of Scattered Rhymes at the Spitalfields Festival, Geoff Brown, in The Times (London), described O’Regan’s gift for lyric flight [as] boundless. You might have to reach back to Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music, or even Tallis, to find another British vocal work so exultant.
- Scattered Rhymes (2008), O'Regan's first disc from Harmonia Mundi, was described as a stunning recording (BBC Radio 3 CD Review), exquisite and delicate (The Washington Post), a fascinating disc (The Daily Telegraph, London) and typically unfaultable (BBC Music Magazine).
- The 2008 release of Threshold of Night marked O'Regan's international breakthrough. The disc debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard chart and garnered two GRAMMY nominations in 2009 before going on to receive wide critical acclaim.
- The 2010 BBC Proms premiere of Latent Manifest performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Andrew Litton, was widely reviewed in London: [a] personal canvas, taking us a long way from a literal reworking into the realms of evanescent fantasy, with delicately evocative results (The Guardian, London), ...a beguiling response to response itself – a mirage of intimations and allusions to [O’Regan’s] own experience of hearing Bach’s third solo Violin Sonata (The Times, London), a gracefully-controlled meditation on a single Bach phrase (The Independent, London).
- The premiere production of O'Regan's first opera, Heart of Darkness (2011), opened to largely positive reviews, both in print an online. Anna Picard described the opera as an "audacious, handsome debut" in The Independent on Sunday and Stephen Pritchard, in The Observer, explained that "the brilliance of [the] opera lies in its ability to convey all that horror without the compulsion to show it – the ultimate psychodrama – and to employ music of startling beauty to tell such a brutal tale". Pritchard also described the music as "a score of concise originality". For a full account of the critical response to the opera, see Heart of Darkness (opera).
Publications and works list
Tarik O'Regan’s earliest works were published by Oxford University Press and Sulasol; since 2004 his music has been exclusively published by Novello & Company, part of the Music Sales group of companies.
- (2013) The Wanton Sublime (monodrama)
- (2011) Heart of Darkness (opera)
Orchestra with soloist
- (2014) Corsair for oud and orchestra
- (2000) The Pure Good of Theory for violin and orchestra
Orchestra with chorus
- (2015) A Letter of Rights
- (2014) A Celestial Map of the Sky
- (2012) After Rain (Petrichor)
- (2011) Solitude Trilogy
- (2011) The Ecstasies Above (orchestra version, arranged by Daniel Moreira)
- (2008) Care Charminge Sleepe (orchestra version)
- (2008) Martyr
- (2007) Stolen Voices
- (2005) And There Was a Great Calm
- (2005) Triptych
- (2004) Threnody
- (2013) Virelai: Douce Dame Jolie (recorder quartet version)
- (2012) Fragments from a Heart of Darkness (chamber ensemble version)
- (2012) Suite from Heart of Darkness for narrator and chamber ensemble
- (2011) A Ducal Fanfare
- (2010) A Drifting Life
- (2008) Darkness Visible
- (2008) The Woven Child
- (2006) Raï
- (2005) Fragment for String Quartet
- (2005) Fragments from a Gradual Process
- (2002) Lexington 767
- (2000) Clichés
Chamber ensemble with chorus
- (2013) Blessed are they
- (2010) The Night's Untruth
- (2009) The Eyes of the Stars
- (2009) Where all is buried
- (2008) Threshold of Light
- (2007) The Taxi
- (2006) The Ecstasies Above
- (2015) Itself is all the like it has
- (2014) Tell me
- (2014) Love Reckons By Itself Alone
- (2012) All Creation Slept
- (2012) Ecce Puer
- (2012) Night City
- (2011) Beloved, all things ceased
- (2011) fleeting, God
- (2010) Acallam na Senórach
- (2010) Death is gonna lay his cold icy hands on me
- (2010) Swing Low, sweet chariot
- (2009) Jubilate Deo (Latin setting)
- (2009) Martyr Dei (Martyr of God) from Sequence for St Wulfstan
- (2009) No Matter
- (2009) The Great Silence
- (2009) That music always round me
- (2008) Nunc Dimittis (for double chorus)
- (2008) Se lamentar augelli
- (2008) The Spring from Acallam na Senórach
- (2008) The St Andrews Responsories
- (2008) Voce mea
- (2007) A Light Exists in Spring
- (2007) Ipsa vivere
- (2007) Jubilate Deo (English Version)
- (2007) Puer natus est
- (2007) Tal vez tenemos tiempo
- (2007) Two Emily Dickinson Settings
- (2007) Virelai: Douce dame jolie
- (2006) Hymnus de Sancte Andree Apostole (Hymn of Saint Andrew the Apostle) from Sequence for St Wulfstan
- (2006) I sleep, but my heart waketh
- (2006) Israfel
- (2006) Scattered Rhymes
- (2006) Threshold of Night
- (2006) The Windows
- (2005) Haec deum celi (Thou the true Virgin Mother of the Highest) from Sequence for St Wulfstan
- (2005) Lamentation
- (2005) We Remember Them
- (2004) Alleluia, laus et gloria
- (2004) Bring rest, sweet dreaming child
- (2004) De Sancto Ioanne Baptista
- (2004) Dorchester Canticles
- (2004) Gloria
- (2003) Beatus auctor sæculi (Blest author of this earthly frame) from Sequence for St Wulfstan
- (2003) O vera digna hostia (O Thou from whom hell's monarch flies) from Sequence for St Wulfstan
- (2003) Tu claustra stirpe regia (O Thou, from regal ancestry) from Sequence for St Wulfstan
- (2003) Tu, trinitatis unitas (You oneness of the Trinity) from Sequence for St Wulfstan
- (2002) Cantate Domino
- (2002) Surrexit Christus
- (2001) Agnus Dei
- (2001) Corpus Christi Service
- (2001) I Saw Him Standing
- (2001) Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis
- (2000) Care Charminge Sleepe
- (2000) Gratias tibi
- (1999) Ave Maria
- (1999) Columba aspexit
- (1999) Locus iste
- (2014) Alice Changes
- (2013) Fallen words
- (2012) Eminent Domains
- (2010) Parsing Variations
- (2008) Postlude for organ from Threshold of Light
- (2005) Lines of Desire
- (2004) Textures
- (1999) Colimaçon
- (1999) Three Piano Miniatures
- (2012) Now Fatal Change
- (2009) The Sorrow of True Love
- (2009) Love raise your voice
- (2005) Three Motion Settings
- (2002) Sainte
- (1999) The Appointment
- (1998) The Tongue of Epigrams
- (2014) Scattered Rhymes (dance version; collaboration with Nick Wales)
- (2013) The Wanton Sublime (monodrama)
|Date of release||Title||Performers||Works contained||Label|
|June 2015||Song of the Stars||Wells Cathedral School Choralia (Christopher Finch)||A Light Exists in Spring; Alleluia, laus et gloria; Columba aspexit||Naxos
|September 2014||Hodie! Contemporary Christmas Carols||Portsmouth Grammar School Chamber Choir (Sam Gladstone)||Ecce Puer||Convivium
|November 2013||Bright Shadows||Concanenda||Locus iste||Concanenda
|September 2013||There is No Rose||Les Sirènes Female Chamber Choir||Bring rest, sweet dreaming child||Nimbus Alliance
|November 2012||The Organ of Guildford Cathedral||Katherine Dienes-Williams and David Davies||Colimaçon||Herald HAVP371|
|September 2012||The OPERA America Songbook||Various artists||My House, I Say||CD Baby 884501791311|
|June 2012||Variations for Judith||Melvyn Tan||Diomedes||NMC DL3009|
|March 2012||Winter: an evocation||Polyphony: Voices of New Mexico (Maxine Thévenot)||Bring rest, sweet dreaming child||Raven
|December 2011||Love Raise Your Voice||Christine Howlett (soprano), Patrick Wood Uribe (violin), Holly Chatham (piano)||Love Raise Your Voice; Sainte||MSR Classics
|November 2011||The Spirit of Christmas Present||Elysian Singers (Sam Laughton)||Bring rest, sweet dreaming child||Meridian
|October 2011||Acallam na Senórach: An Irish Colloquy||National Chamber Choir of Ireland (Paul Hillier)||Acallam na Senórach: An Irish Colloquy||Harmonia Mundi
|September 2011||Sing Freedom!||Conspirare (Craig Hella Johnson)||Swing low, sweet chariot||Harmonia Mundi
|April 2011||O Guiding Night||The Sixteen (Harry Christophers)||fleeting, God; Beloved all things ceased; O vera digna hostia||Coro COR16090|
|April 2011||Absolute Masters, Volume 2||Brno Philharmonic Orchestra||Maybe we have time||Smith & Co|
|January 2010||Talescapes||YL Male Voice Choir (Matti Hyökki)||Lamentation||Ondine ODE1155-2|
|June 2009||New Horizons||Ebor Singers (Paul Gameson)||Beatus auctor sæculi; O vera digna hostia||Boreas BMCD901|
|May 2009||A Company of Voices||Conspirare (Craig Hella Johnson)||Triptych (version for percussion)||Harmonia Mundi
|April 2009||The NMC Songbook||Andrew Watts (countertenor), Benjamin Hulett (tenor), Lucy Wakeford (harp)||Darkness Visible||NMC D150|
|March 2009||Songs of the Sky||Britten Sinfonia||Raï||Signum Records SIGCD149|
|November 2008||A Song More Silent||The London Mozart Players (Nicolae Moldoveanu)||And there was a great calm||Avie AV2147|
|October 2008||Sanctum est verum lumen||National Youth Choirs of Great Britain (Michael Brewer)||I sleep, but my heart waketh||Delphian DCD34045|
|September 2008||Threshold of Night||Conspirare (Craig Hella Johnson)||Two Emily Dickinson Settings: Had I Not Seen the Sun / I Had No Time to Hate; The Ecstasies Above; Threshold of Night; Tal vez tenemos tiempo; Care Charminge Sleepe; Triptych||Harmonia Mundi
|April 2008||Scattered Rhymes||The Orlando Consort, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir (Paul Hillier)||Scattered Rhymes; Douce dame jolie||Harmonia Mundi
|November 2007||Fiddlesticks||Madeleine Mitchell (violin), ensemblebash (percussion quartet)||Fragments from a Gradual Process||Signum Records SIGCD111|
|July 2006||The Quiet Room||John Lenehan (piano)||Lines of Desire||Sony Classical 82876821452|
|July 2006||MacMillan and his British Contemporaries||The Choir of New College, Oxford (Edward Higginbottom)||Surrexit Christus||Avie
|March 2006||Regina Caeli||The Choir of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (Daniel Soper)||Sub tuum praesidium||Lammas LAMM188|
|February 2006||Tarik O'Regan: VOICES||The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge (Timothy Brown)||Three Motets from Sequence for St Wulfstan: Beatus auctor sæculi / O vera digna hostia / Tu claustra stripe regia; Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis: Variations for Choir; Two Upper Voice Settings: Bring rest sweet dreaming child / Columba aspexit; Dorchester Canticles: Cantate Domino / Deus Misereatur; Four Mixed Voice Settings: Gratias tibi / Ave Maria / Care Charminge Sleepe / Locus iste; Colimaçon for organ.||Collegium COLCD130|
|November 2005||New French Song||Alison Smart (soprano), Katharine Durran (piano)||Sainte||Metier MSVCD92100|
|September 2005||St John the Baptist||The Choir of St John's College, Oxford (Ryan Wigglesworth)||De Sancto Ioanne Baptista||Cantoris CRCD6080|
|February 2005||Love and Honour||The Choir of Queens' College, Cambridge (Samuel Hayes)||Cantate Domino; Tu claustra stirpe regia||Guild
|March 2004||Carmina Saeculi||The Elisabeth Singers, Hiroshima, Japan (Timo Nuoranne)||Gratias tibi||Brain Music OSBR20025|
Solo album covers
- The artwork for O'Regan's 2008 disc, Threshold of Night, is by Ed Ruscha.
- The artwork for O'Regan's 2008 disc, Scattered Rhymes, is by Günter Fruhtrunk (1923–1982).
- The artwork for O'Regan's 2006 disc, VOICES, is by Tom Phillips, librettist of the opera based on Joseph Conrad's novella Heart of Darkness written in collaboration with O'Regan.
Awards and recognition
- 2005 British Composer Award (Vocal category) for Sainte
- 2007 British Composer Award for (Liturgical category) for Threshold of Night
- 2009 Two Grammy Award nominations (Best Classical Album and Best Choral Performance) for Threshold of Night
- 2009 NEA Artistic Excellence Grant for Heart of Darkness
- 2011 Bronze Award at the 2011 World's Best Radio Programs Awards in New York.
- "''The Irish Times'', 23 November 2010". The Irish Times. 11 November 2010. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- www.ArtsAtl.com, 26 March 2011
- "Works list at Chester Novello publisher". Chesternovello.com. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- "Chester Novello discography for Tarik O'Regan". Chesternovello.com. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- 51st GRAMMY Awards Nominations List
- Music Sales Classical press release, 12 December 2005
- British Academy of Composers and Songwriters press release, 6 December 2007
- "Fulbright Commission notable alumni". Fulbright.co.uk. 22 September 1948. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- 2004-5 List of Radcliffe Fellows
- "Press release announcing O'Regan at Yale". Schirmer.com. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- "Press release announcing O'Regan at Trinity College, Cambridge". Chesternovello.com. 1 October 2007. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- "IAS Faculty and Members". Ias.edu. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- Article in Epsom Sutton Cheam Time & Leisure Magazine which mentions O'Regan as having "resided in Croydon"
- Music Sales Classical Long Biography which mentions O'Regan as having studied with Jeremy Dale Roberts
- Interview with Bernard Clarke on RTÉ Nova on 21 November 2010
- "''The Fountain Magazine'' of Trinity College, Cambridge". Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- Music, Birmingham Post (12 July 2007). "''The Birmingham Post'', 12 July 2007". Icbirmingham.icnetwork.co.uk. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- "Cambridge University press release". Admin.cam.ac.uk. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- "Sulasol catalogue". Sulasol.fi. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- Tarik O'Regan (6 February 2009). "article by Tarik O'Regan". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- "BBC Radio 3: 27 December 2009". BBC. 27 December 2009. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- "BBC Radio 3: 24 March 2010". BBC. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- "BBC Radio 4: 3 January 2010". BBC. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- "''Composing New York'' page at BBC website". BBC. 20 July 2010. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- "Press release on O'Regan's media work". Chesternovello.com. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- Heart of Darkness production details, Royal Opera House
- Tom Service (31 October 2011), "Off the map: Heart of Darkness gets the opera treatment", The Guardian (London)
- Suite from Heart of Darkness first London performance, Cadogan Hall
- Joshua Kosman (2 May 2015), "Opera review: A shadowy plunge into Heart of Darkness", San Francisco Chronicle
- Present/s 1 Festival, Het Nationale Ballet Hall
- News item on new work, Chaâbi, for the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Music Sales Classical
- News item about 2014 Vale of Glamorgan Festival, Music Sales Classical
- Press release by The Washington Chorus, including details of New Music for a New Age (PDF), The Washington Chorus
- Press release by Music Sales Classical about Mata Hari, Music Sales Classical
- ArchivMusic.com review mentioning "layers of melodic/rhythmic fragments"
- SACD-net review mentioning "rhythmic invention"
- Stereophile review mentioning "O'Regan's music is primarily tonal, and complex, with much going on at all times"
- Culture (28 April 2007). "''The Daily Telegraph'' (London), 28 April 2007". The Daily Telegraph (UK). Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- Interview with John Aielli for KUT radio, Austin, TX on 28 September 2008
- Interview with Dianne Donovan for KMFA radio, Austin, TX on 11 September 2008
- The Observer (London), 12 March 2006
- The Daily Telegraph (London), 11 March 2006
- International Record Review, April 2006
- BBC Music Magazine, May 2006
- "''The Times'' (London), 26 June 2006". The Times. 4 November 2011. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- BBC Radio 3 CD Review, 3 May 2008
- The Washington Post, 26 June 2008
- The Daily Telegraph, 10 May 2008
- BBC Music Magazine, June 2008
- "Billboard chart for 29 September 2008" (PDF). Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- "''Threshold of Night'' press". Thresholdofnight.com. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- "BBC Prom 39: 14 August 2010". BBC. 14 August 2010. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- George Hall (15 August 2010). "''The Guardian'', 15 August 2010". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- The Times, 16 August 2010
- The Independent, 17 August 2010
- "Collected press, hosted by American Opera Projects". Operaprojects2.wordpress.com. 17 August 2010. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- Anna Picard (6 November 2011), "Heart of Darkness: Tarik O'Regan's Conrad adaptation is an audacious, handsome debut", Independent on Sunday (London)
- Stephen Pritchard (5 November 2011), "Heart of Darkness", The Observer (London)
- SHELL, Daggett, California, gelatin-silver photograph from Twentysix Gasoline Stations, 1962, Ed Ruscha
- http://www.nea.gov/grants/recent/09grants/09aae.php?CAT=Access&DIS=Opera 2009 NEA Artistic Excellence Grants
- Tarik O'Regan's Novello & Company works catalogue (2004–present)
- Tarik O'Regan's Oxford University Press works catalogue (1999–2003)