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Medway lecturer joins elite list of composers

A University of Kent at Medway lecturer has scored a notable success in a national search for fresh musical talent. Paul Fretwell, a lecturer at the Centre for Music Technology, was selected by judges at spnm – the Society for the Promotion of New Music – for a place on its prestigious shortlist of composers. The organisation pledges to promote the work of its composers for three years through national seasons of concerts and events, which introduce outstanding new musical works to audiences throughout the country.

Paul’s original piece, a 12-minute composition called Antihero, featuring piano and electro-acoustic sounds, was selected from more than six hundred entries in response to spnm’s annual ‘Call for Works’ from musicians across the country.

Many of the United Kingdom’s leading composers – including the likes of Peter Maxwell Davies, Alexander Goehr and James MacMillan – received their first professional performances through spnm’s backing. Thirty composers are chosen each year for a place on the spnm shortlist, in line with the organisation’s mission to seek out the best talent among the next generation of composers.

Paul, from Gillingham, said he was elated with the news that he was now on the coveted shortlist. ‘It is very gratifying that the society think my piece is worthy of bringing to the attention of the public,’ he said. ‘I’m especially pleased that the society will be marketing and publicising my work for the next three years. Composing is very close to my heart and this backing from spnm also offers me the chance to branch out into other new musical projects.’

Paul brought a wealth of musical experience with him when he joined the University’s Centre for Music Technology in 2005, where he is now developing a range of degrees and research programmes. His pieces have been performed in festivals and concerts around the world and he has taught composition in a variety of institutions, including the Royal Academy of Music.

He also has encouraging words for the University’s Music Technology students who have an eye on making the grade themselves as one of the spnm’s chosen composers. ‘I don’t think age matters. Students learn a great deal on the course about composition, from technical to creative issues, and we are keen to develop excellence in this area,’ he said.

‘We will encourage students to submit their best pieces for national and international performances. I’m excited at the prospect of helping students achieve real success in composition.’

Nick Ellwood | alfa
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