Meet the Composer: Jacob Fitzgerald

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Hear Jacob’s composition in The Clements Prize final at Conway Hall on 17 October 2021!

Find out more / book tickets here.


Tell us a little bit about your background. How did you become a composer?

I remember as a chorister when I sang some ‘new music’ for the first time and realised that not all composers were dead! After this realisation the idea of putting my name at the top of a piece of music seemed like good ambition so I started giving it a go.

I then went on to study at Aldeburgh Young Musicians and subsequently Chetham’s School of Music, am fortunate to have had some really great teachers including James Olsen, Jeremy Pike and Huw Watkins.

We are all looking forward to hearing the piece you have written for The Clements Prize 2021.  Could you say a little about it please?  We’d love to hear about the inspiration behind the music, what you think of the string trio form…

trio erasmus is all based around the theme of mistranslation. Erasmus famously mistranslated the story of Pandora’s Box from Greek into Latin with lots of mistakes and unintentional changing of meaning. I’ve written a short movement for each of the charms in Pandora’s box, each exploring mistranslation in music in different ways.

In one of the movements for example, a facsimile of some viol consort music by Thomas Lupo has been scanned in through note-recognition software, which invariably gets a great deal of notes wrong, therefore resulting in a mistranslation of sorts.

What are your plans for the future?  What are you going to write next?  Do you have any performances coming up?

This year I’m fortunate to be the bass choral scholar at Hereford Cathedral, where I sing eight services a week and with the rest of my time write lots of music, channeling my inner Elgar perhaps in the beautiful Herefordshire countryside!

I’m considering various options for the year after this, but haven’t made my mind up just yet. Upcoming performances include a piece of mine for recorder quartet murmuration  which is to be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Sunday 21st November, 2pm.

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