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(b 1959 )

Jonathan Dove was born in London in 1959. His early musical experiences came from playing the piano, organ and viola. He studied composition with Robin Holloway at Cambridge University and, after graduation, worked as a freelance accompanist, repetiteur, animateur and arranger. As a composer his breakthrough commission was the airport comedy Flight. Originally commissioned for Glyndebourne Touring Opera in 1998, Flight was soon produced as part of the main festival and broadcast on network television, and has since gone on to achieve astounding success, with some thirteen productions to date in Europe, the United States and Australia. The community opera Tobias and the Angel and The Palace In The Sky, commissioned by English National Opera, followed.

Dove’s natural sense for theatre often finds its way into his instrumental compositions. Stargazer, a concerto for trombone and orchestra commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra has been described by him as an opera for the solo instrument—the initial stimulus being a typically theatrical image of the trombone as a kind of musical telescope. In The Magic Flute Dances, a concerto for flute and orchestra, Dove imagines the life of Mozart’s eponymous instrument once the opera has ended. Moonlight Revels, a double concerto for trumpet and saxophone describes the volatile relationship between Shakespeare’s Titania and Oberon.

Other highlights include a BBC Radio 3 commission for their sixtieth anniversary, Hojoki, a ‘concert scena’ for counter-tenor and orchestra. The inauguration by Her Majesty the Queen of the Millennium footbridge across the Thames was celebrated with Handelian aplomb in Fanfares Across The Thames, with groups on each bank of the Thames and on a barge on the river firing musical volleys at each other. In 2010 A Song of Joys for chorus and orchestra opened the festivities at the Last Night of the Proms. He has received a Royal Philharmonic Society award, two British Composers Awards and an Ivor Novello Award for his compositions.

Courtesy of Neil Ferris

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