Geoffrey Alvarez

Geoffrey Alvarez


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The conductor and composer Geoffrey Álvarez was born in London of English and Nicaraguan parents. Having been a full member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, from 1974-5, he founded his own orchestra under the patronage of Sir Colin Davis in 1979, subsequently training at the Royal Academy of Music where he was the only conductor, apart from Sir Simon Rattle, to be accepted on the postgraduate conducting course at the RAM whilst still an undergraduate. Having been awarded eight prizes for composition there, he pursued postgraduate studies at the University of York conducting and chairing the new music ensemble Anemone for two years. Returning to London in 1990, he taught Ethnomusicology and Classical Performance/ Analysis at Goldsmiths College receiving a Royal Overseas League prize and his D.Phil from the University of York. In 1993, several works including Songs My Parrot Taught Me were accepted for inclusion in the repertoire of the Banff Centre for the Arts. As a conductor he has worked with established distinguished artists such as Polish composer/pianist Zygmunt Krauze, (recently awarded the Légion d’honneur), Nicholas Daniel (the Álvarez Oboe Concerto) and Michael Collins in addition to enthusiastic committed amateurs performing with the Hampstead Adventist Chorale in concerts featuring excerpts from works such as Handel's Fireworks Music and The Messiah and Verdiʼs Aida. In 2008, he re-launched his orchestra at the Polish Embassy in London, having recently been a prize winning composer and soloist in a performance of his piano concertino with the Arthur Rubenstein Philharmonic of Łódź in the the 2006 Tansman Composition Competition. Filmmaker Tony Palmer (Wagner and All You Need is Love) attended and later wrote of his symphony for string orchestra conducted by the composer: ʻyour Sinfonia Témpano is very fine; we have been playing it here non-stop. It goes perfectly with the spectacular sunsets we get hereabouts. Congratulations...ʼ He has chaired the annual international composition competition run by The Álvarez Chamber Orchestra for the last three years with a distinguished jury consisting of professors from the Royal Academy of Music and other prestigious institutions such as Cambridge University. He is also a writer on music and inventor of Gravesian Analysis. Some of his papers are published in Gravesiana: The Journal of the Robert Graves Society, whilst he has contributed several articles for new music journal Tempo (Cambridge University Press) on the work of composers such as Michael Finnissy and Alexander Goehr. He currently assists composer/conductor Ronald Corp and recently worked on the premiere recording of Malcolm Williamsons' Piano Concerto No. 4 (Hyperion).
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