Patrick Nunn


Biography (547 words) (word doc)

Biography (374 words) (word doc)

Biography (249 words) (word doc)

Score brochure (currently updating)


Patrick Nunn (b.1969, Kent, UK) studied composition with Frank Denyer at Dartington College of Arts, Gary Carpenter at the Welsh College of Music and Drama, and Simon Bainbridge and Jonathan Harvey whilst completing his PhD in Composition at the Royal Academy of Music (funded by a PRS Scholarship).

He has been the recipient of many awards including the Birmingham New Millennium prize for Sentiment of an Invisible Omniscience (2010), the Alan Bush prize for Transilient Fragments (2008), and the BBC Radio 3 Composing for Children prize for Songs of Our Generation (1995). His work Mercurial Sparks, Volatile Shadows was awarded a BASCA British Composers Award (solo/duet category) in 2006 and chosen by the jury “for its clarity of concept, imaginative textures and its integrity”. Pareidolia I for bass clarinet, electronics and sensors (finalist, Sonic Arts category, 2012) was the most recent of seven shortlisted works for the BASCA British Composers Awards.

Patrick’s music has been performed widely in the UK and on the continent and has featured at more than sixty festivals worldwide, most recently at IRCAM in Paris and at the Royal Albert Hall (BBC Proms 2018). He has worked with a diverse range of collaborators, including the BBC Concert Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and Bellowhead, Kreutzer Quartet, Mark Simpson, Thalia Myers, Zubin Kanga, Piano Circus, Icebreaker, Ballet Rambert, Gogmagogs, New London Children’s Choir and the Tempest Flute Trio.

Under the auspices of Tod Machover (MIT) and in his role as Hyperbow Researcher at the Royal Academy of Music, Patrick completed two works incorporating Diana Young’s (MIT) Hyperbow design: Gaia Sketches for solo cello and live electronics (finalist in the New Media category, BASCA British Composers Awards 2006); and Fata Morgana for cello, ensemble and live electronics. The collaborative process between composer and engineer was presented in a research paper alongside Young at the 2006 NIME conference at IRCAM.

His recent collaboration, Morphosis with Zubin Kanga, incorporated 3D sensors on the pianist’s hands and was presented at the 2015 ‘Inventing Gestures’ symposium as part of IRCAM’s Manifeste Festival. The work has since been performed many times worldwide receiving critical acclaim as “a show stopper... both beautiful and incredibly fascinating” (Performing Arts Hub) and “uncanny music… given eldritch life with every waver and flick of the hand… uncomfortable, unearthly and borderline Lovecraftian - but genuinely gripping” (Shetland Times).

As part of his extensive work as an educator, Patrick held the position of Lecturer in Composition at the Royal Academy of Music for ten years. His music is published by ABRSM, Cadenza (Chester Music) and Composers Edition and features on several CDs: 21st Century Bow (Royal Academy of Music), Music of the Spheres (Red Sock Records), Prism (NMC) and A Bassoonist’s Cabinet of Curiosities (sfz Music). His latest album, titled Morphosis (Red Sock Records, 2016) showcasing small-scale and electronic works, has been described as "an immersive world of shifting colours [with] a deep, organic link between instrument and the electronics, one which explores the affinity between the two rather than imposing one upon the other" (Shock Of The New).

© Patrick Nunn (Jun 2020)