One of the pre-eminent composer-conductors in the world today, Oliver Knussen (born in Glasgow in 1952) is presently Artist-in-Association with both the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. The recipient of many awards, including the Nemmers Prize in 2006, he was formerly Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival (1983-98), Head of Contemporary Music at the Tanglewood Music Center (1986-93) and Music Director of the London Sinfonietta (1998-2002). Together with Colin Matthews he founded the Composition and Performance Courses at the Britten-Pears School in 1992.
Among his best-known compositions are three symphonies, concertos for horn and violin, several song cycles, works for ensembles and solo piano, and the operas Where the Wild Things Are (1979-83) and Higglety Pigglety Pop! (1984-5, revised 1999) written in collaboration with the late Maurice Sendak.
His recent 60th birthday was celebrated with special events in Aldeburgh, Amsterdam, Birmingham, London and Tanglewood.
Photo © Clive Barda