Ian Wilson was born in Belfast in 1964 and obtained the first D.Phil in composition to be awarded by the University of Ulster, which in 1993 commissioned his orchestral work Rise in celebration of the tenth anniversary of its foundation. His music has been performed and broadcast on six continents by artists such as the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Ulster, Belgrade Philharmonic and Norwegian Radio Orchestras, the London Mozart Players and the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the Artis, Vogler and Vanbrugh Quartets, Lontano, Avanti! and Camerata Pacifica ensembles, Catherine Leonard and Hugh Tinney. Works have been performed at many festivals including the BBC Proms, Venice Biennale, ISCM World Music Days, the Cheltenham, Spitalfields and Bath Festivals and the Ultima Festival in Oslo, where Running, Thinking, Finding for orchestra received the composition prize in 1991.
He has written over eighty pieces including two chamber operas, nine concertos, orchestral pieces, eight string quartets and many other chamber and vocal works. Recent works include Winterfinding for orchestra, commissioned by RTÉ (2005), re:play for improvising tenor saxophonist, string quartet, piano and bass (2007), premiered at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, and CassiniVoid, a concerto for clarinet and 10 instruments premiered at New York’s Carnegie Hall in October 2007.
In 1992 Ian Wilson was awarded the Macaulay Fellowship administered by the Arts Council of Ireland, and in 1998 he was elected to Aosdána, Ireland’s State-sponsored body of creative artists. From 2000 to 2003 Ian Wilson was AHRB Research Fellow in Creative and Performing Arts at the University of Ulster. His music is published by Ricordi London and Universal Edition.
- The Capsizing Man and Other Stories
I first saw the sculptures of Alberto Giacometti in 1993 and ever since I have been en- chanted by them. When I began work on my Second Quartet, I turned for inspiration to these strange, lean figures, and I chose five of them which I found particularly exciting. I used each of them to build one movement, finding musical ideas in their special forms and characters.
As well as the reflection of the personal experience of these scultptures, the Quartet can also be heard as the set of studies which further explore the expressiveness of my musical language.
Five movements have the following titles:
- The Capsizing Man
- The Forest
- The Chariot
- Seated Women
- The Cat