Composer Judith Weir was born into a Scottish family and grew up in Cambridge. Originally an oboist, she was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, but also studied composition with John Tavener during her schooldays. Later she studied with Robin Holloway at Cambridge University and Gunther Schuller at Tanglewood. During a period spent teaching in Scotland she began writing a series of operas, including Blond Eckbert, which was commissioned by ENO in 1993.

She was appointed Master of the Queen’s Music in 2014, composing pieces for national and royal occasions as well as new works for community groups and schools. Earlier this year she was one of 12 composers asked to write for the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla, with her “Brighter visions shine afar” being performed by Antonio Pappano and the Coronation Orchestra at Westminster Abbey.

Weir has written music in all genres, from keyboard miniatures to large-scale orchestral works, string quartets to pieces for unaccompanied choir, often taking inspiration from many sources, such as her Scottish heritage and the natural world. Her compositions are widely performed, including the recent premiere of Begin Afresh by the BBC SO and Sakari Oramo at the 2023 BBC Proms.

Judith Weir in the 2024 Aldeburgh Festival:

Aldeburgh Festival 2024 opens with a new production of Judith Weir’s Blond Eckbert.

The traditional Aldeburgh Festival Service includes Aldeburgh Voices performing Weir’s setting of George Herbert’s poem A Wreath. This same work will be performed by Tenebrae in a concert marking 60 years since the Aldeburgh Festival’s first visit to Ely Cathedral.

Weir’s mini opera for solo voice, King Harald’s Saga, is performed by soprano Claire Booth.

Ryan Wigglesworth leads the Knussen Chamber Orchestra in the first performance of Weir’s Planet

Leonkoro Quartet gives the first performance of her second string quartet, The Spaniard.

Steven Osborne’s piano recital features three of Weir’s miniatures.

Weir’s longstanding relationship with the BBC Singers is celebrated with a performance of her ”blue hills beyond blue hills”.

The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra performs Weir’s Forest with conductor Ryan Wigglesworth.

Rolf Hind’s piano recital features Weir’s The Art of Touching the Keyboard.

Trio Bohémo's programme includes two works by Weir.

The Nash Ensemble performs Weir’s folkloric Distance and Enchantment for piano and string trio.

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