James Weeks is a composer of concert music and live performance installations based in Gateshead and London.
Born in Blackburn in 1978, he read Music at Cambridge before completing a PhD in Composition at Southampton University in 2005, studying with Michael Finnissy.
From 2012 he was Associate Head of Composition at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London, and from 2017 he is Lecturer in Composition at Durham University.
He is in great demand as a guest conductor and is best known for his work with EXAUDI, the vocal ensemble he founded with the soprano Juliet Fraser in 2002, specialising in experimental and avant-garde work for voices. In 2006 he co-founded the ensemble Kürbis with the composer Claudia Molitor, dedicated to the performance of contemporary and experimental chamber music and has an international reputation for his own music and his consummate performances of contemporary repertoire.
He is an active as a writer on new music broadcasting regularly on early and new music for BBC Radio 3.
Major works include Schilderkonst (mixed ensembles, 2003-4), TIDE (ensemble and electronics, 2007-10), the South London Harmonies series (for various ensembles, 2008-11), Mala punica/Walled Garden (eight voices and six instruments, 2008-9/2015), The Freedom of the Earth (chorus and instruments, 2011), Three Trios (piano trio and tapes, 2010-11) and Radical Road (voices with stones, 2014).
His work is typically focused on small groupings of voices and instruments, exploring elemental or primary musical materials and processes, sometimes layered into dense polyphonic structures.
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- Collection 2 #32
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