Gavin Bryars

Biography

Born: January 16, 1943; Goole, Yorkshire, England  
Gavin Bryars displays nearly all the trademarks of late twentieth/early twenty-first century classical music: versatility, integration of visual arts and multimedia, explorations of non-traditional approaches, and extensive collaborations with other composers and arts organizations. Like several of his contemporaries, he has attracted popular attention through the combined innovation and approachability of his compositions, and writes Read more articulately on a wide variety of music and musicians. His first love in music was jazz, and he performed as a bassist with Derek Bailey and Tony Oxley. Some of this influence shows in his use of improvisation. In the late 1960s, he began to study and work with several other innovative composers, including John Cage and Cornelius Cardew. In 1969, he began teaching at the Portsmouth College of Art, where he helped found the Portsmouth Sinfonia, and also wrote his first major composition, The Sinking of the Titanic. This first foray into musical conceptual art was inspired by his considering what the sounds of the band that continued to play as the ship sank would have been like in the watery environment. Two years later, he composed Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet, a work in which he combined a tape looping the voice of a man in a homeless shelter, singing the title phrase, and a musical background. In 1981, he followed on the success of the Portsmouth Sinfonia by creating the Gavin Bryars Ensemble. Rather than following traditional ensemble structures based on a group of instruments, Bryars chose instead to make it a group of musicians who would work well and creatively together. This resulted in constant changes in the ensemble's musical textures and capacities, though low strings have tended to predominate its sound. He wrote his most famous opera, Medea, in 1984 and it premiered at the Opera de Lyon. In 1988, he wrote his first work for the Hilliard Ensemble, Glorious Hill, beginning a long-standing collaboration, as well as material for the opening of the Tate Gallery in Liverpool. He wrote The War in Heaven for the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 1993. In 1998, the English National Opera premiered his second opera, Doctor Ox's Experiment, based on a story by science fiction writer Jules Verne, and he also began his First Book of Madrigals for the Hilliard Ensemble, completed in 2000. 1999 marked his first incursion into film music, with his score for Unless the Eye Catch Fire, a striking series of variations on a chorale theme. In 2002, he wrote his Second Book of Madrigals (Bryars plans five more books) for the Trio Mediaeval Sextet and also appeared as bassist in By the Vaar at the Vancouver Jazz Festival. He also collaborated with choreographer Carolyn Carlson on Writing on Water, which premiered in Venice, and wrote his third opera, G. In the early 1990s, after Point Music recorded The Sinking of the Titanic and Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet, both recordings became classical best-sellers. Read less
Bryars: The War In Heaven / Leenaars, Lubman, Sahler
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Gb Records  
Catalog: 19   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 42 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Bryars: The War In Heaven / Leenaars, Lubman, Sahler
    Label: Gb Records   Catalog: 19 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gavin Bryars
    Performer:  Maarten Engeltjes,  Elmar Andree,  Anja-Nina Bahrmann,  Hans Otto Weiss
    Conductor:  Brad Lubman,  Gils Leenaars,  Gernot Sahler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Choir,  Netherlands Chamber Philharmonic,  Staats Philharmonie Mainz
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  • 2.
    Laid Bare: Love Songs
    Label: Nonclassical   Catalog: 16 Release Date: 07/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dawn Penn,  Andy Bell,  Huddie Ledbetter,  Crystal Johnson  ... 
    Performer:  Matthew "Majiker" Ker
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  • 3.
    Gavin Bryars: Heroes Meet: Music From The Faroe Islands
    Label: Gb Records   Catalog: 20 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gavin Bryars
    Performer:  Rúni Brattaberg,  Eivør Pálsdottír
    Conductor:  Gavin Bryars
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eystanljóð,  Alúbaran
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  • 4.
    Label: Delphian   Catalog: 34121 Release Date: 08/13/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Jackson,  Graham Fitkin,  Mark-Anthony Turnage,  Nikki Iles  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  McKenzie Sawers Duo
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  • 5.
    Around Britten / Matthew Barley
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 318 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten,  Gavin Bryars,  John Tavener,  Matthew Barley
    Performer:  Matthew Barley
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  • 6.
    Cold Blue Two
    Label: Cold Blue   Catalog: 36 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Daniel Lentz,  Ingram Marshall,  Phillip Schroeder,  Rick Cox  ... 
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  • 7.
    Julian Marshall: Out Of The Darkness
    Label: Music & Media   Catalog: 101 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Julian Marshall,  Gavin Bryars,  Arvo Pärt
    Performer:  Lucy Railton,  Melanie Pappenheim,  Sophie Harris,  Ian Belton
    Conductor:  Howard Moody
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  • 8.
    A Worcester Ladymass / Trio Mediaeval
    Label: Ecm   Catalog: 001529802 Release Date: 03/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Gavin Bryars
    Performer:  Anna Maria Friman,  Linn Andrea Fuglseth,  Torunn Ostrem Ossum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trio Mediaeval
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  • 9.
    Gavin Bryars: Piano Concerto, After Handel's Vesper / Ralph Van Raat
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572570 Release Date: 02/22/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gavin Bryars
    Performer:  Ralph van Raat
    Conductor:  Otto Tausk
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic,  Cappella Amsterdam
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  • 10.
    Sentieri Selvaggi Plays Gavin Bryars & Philip Glass
    Label: Cantaloupe   Catalog: 21048 Release Date: 02/22/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gavin Bryars,  Philip Glass
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  • 11.
    Gavin Bryars: Madrigals, Vol. 1
    Label: Gb Records   Catalog: 16 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gavin Bryars
    Performer:  Luciano Zampar,  Gianluca Ferrarini,  Barbara Zanichelli
    Conductor:  Massimiliano Pascucci
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  • 12.
    Gavin Bryars: New York
    Label: Gb Records   Catalog: 17 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gavin Bryars
    Conductor:  Dominique Debart
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  • 13.
    Gavin Bryars: Epilogue From Wonderlawn; Eight Irish Madrigals; The Church Closest To The Sea
    Label: Delphian   Catalog: 34058 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gavin Bryars
    Performer:  Rick Standley,  Susan [Soprano Vocal] Hamilton,  Nicholas Mulroy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mr. McFall's Chamber
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  • 14.
    Gavin Bryars: I Send You This Cadmium Red
    Label: Gb Records   Catalog: 6 Release Date: 05/11/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gavin Bryars
    Performer:  Melanie Pappenheim,  Gavin Bryars,  Sophie Harris,  Bill Hawkes  ... 
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  • 15.
    Gavin Bryars: Live At Punkt
    Label: Gb Records   Catalog: 15 Release Date: 05/11/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gavin Bryars
    Performer:  Gavin Bryars,  James Woodrow,  Nick Cooper,  John Potter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gavin Bryars Ensemble
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  • 16.
    I Have Heard It Said That A Spirit Enters: Music Of Gavin Bryars
    Label: Gb Records   Catalog: 12 Release Date: 05/11/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gavin Bryars
    Performer:  Gavin [Composer/Double Bass] Bryars,  CBC Radio Orchestra,  Gwen Hoebig,  Holly Cole
    Conductor:  Owen Underhill
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  • 17.
    Bryars: Silva Caledonia, Double Bass Concerto, Etc;  Tulev: O Oriens / Putnins, Et Al
    Label: Gb Records   Catalog: 11 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gavin Bryars,  Toivo Tulev
    Performer:  Baiba Berke,  Mareks Lobe,  Daniel Nix
    Conductor:  Kaspars Putnins
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian National Male Choir
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  • 18.
    Bryars, Lang: Amjad / Thiessen, Giroux, Et Al
    Label: Gb Records   Catalog: 10 Release Date: 02/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gavin Bryars
    Performer:  Jill Van Gee,  Jennifer Thiessen,  Njo Kong Kie,  Elisabeth Giroux
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  • 19.
    O'Regan: Scattered Rhymes / Hillier, Orlando Consort
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 807469 Release Date: 04/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Tarik O'Regan,  Guillaume de Machaut,  Guillaume Dufay,  Gavin Bryars
    Conductor:  Paul Hillier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir,  Orlando Consort
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  • 20.
    Hommages
    Label: Ltm   Catalog: 2503 Release Date: 01/15/2008  
    Composer:  Gavin Bryars
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  • 21.
    Surprised By Beauty - Minimalism In Choral Music
    Label: Cd Baby   Catalog: 5637231595 Release Date: 01/15/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  William Walker,  William Duckworth,  Ruth Lomon,  Arvo Pärt  ... 
    Conductor:  Jane Ring Frank
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Secession
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  • 22.
    Bryars: Glorious Hill, Cadman Requiem, Etc;  Vasks, Esenvald
    Label: Gb Records   Catalog: 9 Release Date: 01/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gavin Bryars
    Conductor:  Kaspars Putnins
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Latvian Radio Choir
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  • 23.
    The Marvellous Aphorisms Of Gavin Bryars - The Early Years
    Label: Mode   Catalog: 177 Release Date: 10/23/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gavin Bryars
    Performer:  Seth Josel
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  • 24.
    Ghost Stories / The Smith Quartet
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 88 Release Date: 09/25/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gavin Bryars
    Performer:  Ian Humphries,  Nic Pendlebury,  Darragh Morgan,  Deirdre Cooper
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  • 25.
    Lockerbie Memorial Concert / Bryars, Hilliard Ensemble
    Label: Gb Records   Catalog: 3 Release Date: 03/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Jenkins,  Gavin Bryars,  Nicolas Gombert,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Performer:  William Hunt,  Wendy Gillespie,  Julia Hodgson,  Susanna Pell  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fretwork,  Hilliard Ensemble
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