Professor Martyn Harry is a contemporary classical composer, and music lecturer at Oxford University. He is Annie Barnes Fellow in Music at St Anne’s College Oxford and Lecturer in Music at St Hilda’s College, where he also serves as artistic director of the Jacqueline Du Pre Music Building.
Martyn studied composition with Alexander Goehr at King´s College, Cambridge and music theatre composition with Mauricio Kagel at Musikhochschule Köln on a DAAD Scholarship. His works have been performed by, among others, the London Sinfonietta, Northern Sinfonia, Broomhill Opera, Eos, the Allegri Quartet, Piano Circus, the Reg Vardy Band, the New Music Players and the BBC Singers. They have also been broadcast many times on BBC Radio 3, Classic FM, NDR 3 and WDR 3.
Martyn Harry’s most frequently-performed works include his early Heimat for double mixed chorus which was premiered by the BBC Singers under Stephen Jackson and later broadcast on BBC Radio 3´s “Music in Our Time”; Still Life for ensemble, which has been broadcast by Eos under Charles Hazlewood on Classic FM, BBC Radio 3, NDR 3 and WDR 3; Regenstimmen for solo harp, premiered in the Purcell Room as part of the PLG Young Artists Series and performed since throughout Europe; Fantasy Unbuttoned, which since its official world première from the London Sinfonietta under Markus Stenz at the State of the Nation has been broadcast numerous times on BBC Radio 3’s “Here and Now” programme; Digging Deeper, performed countless times and all over the world by Piano Circus; The Enigma Of Arrival, a powerful orchestral piece commissioned by Northern Sinfonia and premiered in the Sinfonia’s “Late Mix” series; Thugs Mansion for string quartet and muted brass band; George Meets Arnie For Tennis, which was recorded by The New Music Players for release on CD and received its English premiere at The Sage Gateshead; and Empress Quartet, which was premiered and toured throughout the Northern Arts throughout Great Britain by the Allegri Quartet.
He has also worked extensively in film and multi-media settings. His ‘instrumental theatre’ works include The End of the Line for three singers and four instrumentalists, which was premiered at the Huddersfield Festival; Keep The Plates Spinning for two percussionists, actors, ghetto blasters and applauding audience, performed by Three Strange Angels at BMIC Cutting Edge; Signal Failure for actors, ensemble and computer graphics, which has been performed many times in England, Holland and Germany, and revised at The Sage Gateshead in 2003; and the now infamous Restraint for Handcuffed Pianist and pre-recorded tape, which has been broadcast twice on BBC Radio 3’s “Here and Now” programme, and performed throughout Britain.
Martyn is particularly known for his vocal music, most notably his two song cycles, The Spell and Chamber Intimacy, both of which have were premiered in Northern Sinfonia concerts at The Sage Gateshead. His ensemble operas Scratch Card Number Opera and Icarus Drowning [Flight] join a long line of ‘avant-garde’ operas for performance to children, as well as a number of other instrumental pieces. A longstanding collaboration with the children’s theatre company Theatre Hullabaloo culminated in two national tours of his children’s opera My Mother Told Me Not To Stare in schools and theatres across the UK in 2010 and 2012.