Errollyn Wallen

Featured Composer

Errollyn Wallen is an award-winning composer and lyricist. Her works include symphonies, ballets, operas and chamber music. Recent large-scale commissions include two works featuring the London Symphony Orchestra for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games – PRINCIPIA, for massed choirs and orchestra, and Spirit in Motion, for soprano and orchestra. The event was broadcast to a billion people around the world. Other recent works include Diamond Greenwich for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, One Night, BBC drama series (winner of the 2013 FIPA d’Or for Best Music for a Television Series) and her hit opera for children, Cautionary Tales (commissioned by Opera North). Her on-going project, the Another America opera series has been performed at Royal Opera House and Sadler’s Wells.

She has produced albums as singer/pianist (ERROLLYN and Meet Me at Harold Moores) and The Errollyn Wallen Songbook is published by Edition Peters. As well as the critically acclaimed portrait CD, The Girl in My Alphabet, Errollyn’s music appears on numerous compilations including her arrangement of her song Daedalus on The Brodsky Quartet’s Moodswings, featuring a range of artists including Björk, Sting and Elvis Costello. A new recording project is underway which features a range of singers performing Errollyn’s songs.

Errollyn herself has performed her music all over the world, most recently in New York and Belize, and will be performing her songs at Other Minds festival in 2015 alongside artists such as Laurie Anderson and Meredith Monk.

Three Wallen operas were performed in July – ANON (a commission for Welsh National Opera) received its London première at the Tête à Tête festival in July, Cakehead received its world première there and Cautionary Tales was performed at Latitude festival in a new production by the Errollyn Wallen Company. Other recent premières include the anthem See That I Am God for St Paul’s Cathedral Consort to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the priesting of women in the Church of England, and the London première of her Cello Concerto. Are You Worried About the Rising Cost of Funerals? (Five Simple Songs) performed by Mr. McFall’s Chamber with Susan Hamilton (soprano) was part of the PRSF New Music Biennial 2014, broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and will be on a forthcoming NMC release.

Errollyn is co-producer of forthcoming American short film DIVE for which she also composed the music and is currently working on her fourteenth opera, Sabina, a collaboration with David Pountney. Errollyn’s music was played in outer space on the NASA STS-115 mission.

Errollyn Wallen has won numerous awards, including the British Composers Award, and she was the recipient of the 2013 Ivor Novello Award for Classical Music, the first woman to receive this honour. Errollyn was awarded an MBE for her services to music in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in June 2007 and has been elected Honorary Fellow of Mansfield College, Oxford ‘in recognition of her distinguished contribution to scholarship in the field of British contemporary music and her exceptional achievements as a composer.