Alexander Campkin with Sam Gladstone, Director of Music, and pupils at The Portsmouth Grammar School

With a national reputation for commissioning new works and giving pupils the opportunity to work alongside living composers, The Portsmouth Grammar School is delighted to announce the appointment of Alexander Campkin as Associate Composer for 2015-16.  His first piece, a new Christmas Carol, was premiered at St Thomas’ Cathedral during the school Carol Service in December 2015.

“The opportunity for our pupils to work with Alexander over the next year is going to be truly inspirational,” says Sam Gladstone, Director of Music at The Portsmouth Grammar School.  “As well as the composition of a new Christmas Carol for the school, Alexander will be running composition workshops with our aspiring young composers at the school.   We are also thrilled that Alexander will be working with us on the Schools’ Choral Day in May when hundreds of school pupils will be coming together for the day to work with Alexander and Dominic Peckham, one of the UK’s finest young and dynamic choral conductors.” 

The piece composed for the Schools’ Choral Day will then be performed by the school Chamber Choir when they visit Italy in 2016, including during a concert at St Mark’s Basilica in Venice.

Described as ‘fresh and attractive’ by Gramophone, Alexander’s music has attracted the attentions of some of the top ensembles.  His work has been performed or broadcast in over thirty countries and features on 15 CDs, one of which was Classic FM ‘Christmas CD of the Year’.  Alexander has received over sixty commissions from organisations including The Royal Opera House, The London Mozart Players, The Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Aldeburgh Music, The BBC Performing Arts Fund, The Swedish Arts Council, Ampersandance Contemporary Dance Company, New London Children’s Choir, The Theatinerkirche Vokalkapelle Munich, The Fulham Camerata Choir and Orchestra and Neresheim Abbey in Germany. He has been elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music for services to music. Alexander studied at Oxford University, the Royal Academy of Music and the University for Performing Arts in Vienna.

“I am immensely looking forward to writing music for the talented pupils at The Portsmouth Grammar School. I hope to inspire them and explore with them the exciting world of contemporary choral music. I plan to compose music for the school in a contemporary and modern yet accessible idiom, which I believe will move and inspire both performers and audiences for years to come.” says Alexander. 

Alexander’s tenure will end with the performance of a new work that he will be writing for the school’s annual Remembrance Concert in 2016. 

“Over the last few years we have commissioned incredibly moving new works for our pupils to perform alongside London Mozart Players for Remembrance.  This year the pieces centred on the commemoration of the Gallipoli campaign and previous to that we were honoured to premiere a new work by Jonathan Dove to commemorate the First World War,” concludes Sam Gladstone.  “For us to be able to work closely with Alexander over the coming year as his piece develops is a great privilege and huge opportunity for our pupils.”