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Nigel Clarke began his musical career as trumpeter in the British military, but a developing interest in composition stimulated by the New Polish School of composers took him to the Royal Academy of Music to study with Paul Patterson (1982–6). Here his striking originality and capacity for hard work were recognised with several significant awards including the Parker Manson Prize (adjudicated by Sir Michael Tippett) and the Queen’s Commendation for Excellence, the Royal Academy of Music’s highest distinction.  A British Council Scholarship (1987) enabled him to participate in the 8th Summer School for Young Composers in Poland, where he studied the work of Penderecki and Lutoslawski at close quarters.

Clarke’s ability to communicate with young musicians led to his appointment in the ‘80s as `Young Composer-in-Residence´ at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and in the early ‘90s as Associate Composer to YCAT (Young Concert Artists' Trust). In 1993 Clarke became Composition and Contemporary Music Tutor at the Royal Academy of Music. He was also Assistant Director of Music to Canford Summer School of Music from 1992–4, and from 1994 to 2000 was Composer-in-Residence to the world famous Black Dyke Mills Band. In 1996 he became Head of Brass, Wind and Percussion at the London College of Music and Media and in the same year was awarded the title of Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. Clarke was previously Head of Composition at the London College of Music and Media and is a guest professor at the Xinjiang Arts Institute in northwest China and until recently he has been Associate Composer to the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall. Clarke is currently a visiting tutor at the Royal Northern College of Music and Associate Composer to the Band of HM Grenadier Guards. In 2008 the award of Doctor of Musical Arts was conferred upon him by Salford University.

In 1997 the US Cultural Attaché nominated himfor the International Visitor Programme sponsored by the United States Information Agency. Clarke toured the country experiencing different aspects of US culture including jazz, classical and Native American music. This tour culminated in a performance of his work Samurai by the ‘Presidents Own’ United States Marine Band conducted by Colonel Timothy Foley. Recently, the Eastman Wind Ensemble on their 50th Anniversary released their recording of Clarke’s wind ensemble composition Samurai (Naxos 8.570429).

In 1998 Clarke began collaborating with the composer Michael Csányi-Wills, with whom he co-wrote the score to the feature film Jinnah starring Christopher Lee and James Fox, and The Little Vampire starring Jonathan Lipnicki, Richard E Grant and Alice Krige. Together with Csányi-Wills, Clarke has also written the score to The Little Polar Bear, the biggest Warner Bros. animation to be made outside of the USA, Ultimate Picture’s Rocket Post, and most recently The Thief Lord (Warner Bros) recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra. In 2006 Clarke and Csányi-Wills were nominated at the World Soundtrack Awards for their score to the The Thief Lord. They are currently working on the score for their sixth feature film The Grind. www.moviefonics.com.

Clarke has collaborated with British violinist Peter Sheppard Skærved since 1984 and together they have led workshops for performers and composers in China, Macedonia, Kosovo, Croatia, Turkey, and the USA.

Clarke’s music is extensively played and broadcast internationally, and he has received performances in Argentina, Australia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Canada,

China, Croatia, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Macedonia, South Korea, New Zealand, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, the United States of America, as well as throughout the European Union.

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