Alwynne Pritchard is a British artist, composer and performer living in Norway. She was born in Glasgow and studied composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Academy of Music in London. During this time she also studied voice with the mezzo-soprano Linda Hirst. In 1997, Alwynne was awarded a research scholarship by the University of Bristol and in 2003 received a PhD in composition.
In 2002 the BBC Symphony Orchestra gave the first performance of Alwynne’s orchestral work Critical Mass, and in 2007 her piano concerto Map of the Moon was premiered by Nicolas Hodges and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Decoy, created at the Heinrich Strobel Stiftung, Freiburg, in 2005 for the Donaueschingen Musiktage, was awarded the special prize given by the Foundation Ton Bruynèl, STEIM and the Foundation GAUDEAMUS. Commissions in the last ten years have seen Alwynne’s work move more frequently in the direction of music-theatre, and have included Frame, for the Athelas Sinfonietta Denmark, live electronics, tape and film as part of the European Integra project, premiered at the Sound Around festival, Copenhagen, 2007; Don’t touch me, you don’t know where I’ve been, for her own voice, Norwegian flautist Bjørnar Habbestad, asamisimasa ensemble and live electronics (developed by Thorolf Thuestad at BEK, Bergen) premiered at the Borealis festival, 2008; Flutterby, for electric guitar and two computers for Luc Houtkamp’s POW ensemble; Objects of Desire, for ensemble recherche, premiered at the Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam, 2010; Oslo Emmaus, for Ensemble Fanfaronner, premiered at the Borealis festival, 2011; and Erika Married the Eiffel Tower, premiered by ensemble recherche at the Ultima festival, Olso, 2013.
In recent projects, Alwynne has also explored the realms of choreography and dance, performing as a dancer in her own music-theatre work Hospice Lazy. In 2013, she also worked with the French director and actor Philippe Vincent on a project for Marseille European City of Culture 2013, for which she made onstage video, as well as participating as an actor and vocalist.
in 2015, Alwynne commissioned nine new music-theatre miniatures for her solo DOG/GOD project from Adam de la Cour, Vinko Globokar, Hollie Harding, Felix Kubin, Helmut Oehring, Trond Reinholdtsen, François Sarhan, Gerhard Stäbler and Øyvind Torvund. She premiered the pieces at the Bergen International Festival and will perform selected works from the project at festivals in London, Trier and Weimar in 2016 and 17.
As well as developing three projects for Neither Nor (The Art of Violin Playing (full version), Heiner Müller’s Die Hamletmaschine and Kafka Underground, the latter two both with Scènes Théâtre Cinéma, Lyon) Alwynne’s current projects include a new work for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and her own voice, for Ilan Volkov’s Tectonics festival in Glasgow, 2016.
From 2001 until 2008 Alwynne taught composition at Trinity College of Music in London; from 2008 until 2014 she was artistic director of the Borealis festival in Bergen and in January 2016, she took up the post of artistic director of the BIT20 ensemble. Her music is published by Verlag Neue Musik, Berlin.
Photo: Thor Brødreskift.