Piers Hellawell’s work has been commissioned and performed around the world, featuring special collaborations with a number of leading artists.
Large projects since his 1999 Proms debut (Inside Story) have included Cors de chasse, a double concerto commissioned for Håkan Hardenberger (trumpet) and Jonas Bylund (trombone) by the Philharmonia Orchestra and Degrees of Separation, the commissioned work for the opening of The Sage Gateshead on the Tyne (both in 2004). Dogs and Wolves, a commission for the BBC Scottish SO’s first series in City Halls, was premiered in 2006 and recorded, on the CD of the same name, the following year. In June of 2010 a new piano work Piani, Latebre was premiered by William Howard at the Spitalfields Festival.
Hellawell’s works are represented on CD on the ECM New Series, NMC and Metier labels, as well as on three critically acclaimed discs of his music from the Metronome label; May 2012 saw the issue of ‘Airs, Waters’, Hellawell’s first recording on the Delphian label, hailed by the Independent as “.... a large-scale palette applied with the most delicate of brushwork”, and by the Scotsman as “gorgeously impassioned work….. a rich kaleidoscope of inspired creativity”. 2011 saw work on Isabella’s Banquet, premiered by the National Chamber Choir of Ireland and Paul Hillier in April 2012, and Syzygy, a joint commission for the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and Stockholm Chamber Brass in 2013, for which the composer was awarded a Leverhulme Fellowship in 2010.
In April 2013 Hellawell won one of 20 PRS for Music Foundation Biennial commissions, to work with improvising trio Bourne Davis Kane on a joint project for summer 2014.
Skilling up the jilted generation: the employability debate
"The Battle of Ideas is a weekend like no other. I found the 2011 festival immensely stimulating. It gave me a great deal to think about, and a whole new list of books to read - from Virgil to Vygotsky. On to greater battles in 2012!"
Ken Macleod, award-winning science fiction writer; author, The Restoration Game and Intrusion