Sir Harrison Birtwistle

Sir Harrison Birtwistle was born in Accrington in the north of England in 1934 and studied clarinet and composition at the Royal Manchester College of Music, making contact with a highly talented group of contemporaries including Peter Maxwell Davies, Alexander Goehr, John Ogdon and Elgar Howarth. In 1965 he sold his clarinets to devote all his efforts to composition, and travelled to Princeton as a Harkness Fellow where he completed the opera Punch and Judy. This work, together with Verses for Ensembles and The Triumph of Time, firmly established Birtwistle as a leading voice in British music.

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Filmmakers: Paul Archbold & Colin Still

Sir Harrison Birtwistle and David Harsent in conversation with Fiona Sampson

Sir Harrison Birtwistle and David Harsent discuss the creation of the opera The Minotaur

Shadows and Mirrors: Birtwistle in the new millenium

Jonathan Cross introduces recent works by Sir Harrison Birtwistle, including Orpheus Elegies, The Minotaur and The Shadow of Night

Harrison Birtwistle at 80: a study day

11 May 2014

Frobisher Suite, Barbican Centre

Programme and Abstracts

Recommended by the IMR

Royal Opera House films

The Minotaur : The Myth

Ryan Wigglesworth on conducting The Minotaur with The Royal Opera

The Minotaur Sitzprobe - Royal Opera LIVE

The Minotaur Stage Rehearsal - Royal Opera LIVE

The Minotaur Trailer - The Royal Opera

The Minotaur - The Labyrinth scene extract (The Royal Opera)