Philip Venables

Last updated

Philip Venables
Born1979 (age 4142)
Chester, Cheshire, England, UK
Occupation Composer
Notable work
Operatic adaptation of 4.48 Psychosis (2016)
Bound to Hurt (2015)
Illusions (2015)

Philip Venables (born 1979) is a British composer best known for his operatic and theatrical works with themes of sexuality, violence and politics.


Life and career

Born in Chester, Venables studied at Jesus College, Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Music, [1] where he studied under Philip Cashian and was awarded the DipRAM diploma and the Manson Fellowship in Composition. [2]

Venables' orchestral works include Arc, written for the BBC Philharmonic; String Quartet for the Duke Quartet at Wigmore Hall; Hyaline, for the London Symphony Orchestra; and The Revenge of Miguel Cotto for the London Sinfonietta. His operatic and vocal works include In America et ego, performed at the Bregenz Festival; UNLEASHED, for the Grimeborn Festival; and Thalidomide for the BBC Singers. [3] His artistic collaborations have included Bound to Hurt, with Turner Prize winner Douglas Gordon; [4] and Illusions, with avant-garde cabaret artist David Hoyle. [5]

Venables wrote the 2016 operatic adaptation of 4.48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane for the Royal Opera at the Lyric Hammersmith. Authorised by Kane's estate as the first operatic adaptation of her work, the opera was well received by critics [6] [7] and nominated for the 2017 Olivier Award for Best New Opera Production. [8]

Venables is the Doctoral Composer in Residence at the Royal Opera House and Guildhall School of Music and Drama. [1] In 2016, he became an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. [9]

Venables identifies as queer and many of his works touch on LGBT culture. [10] [5] He lives in London and Berlin. [11]


2006String QuartetEnsembleString quartet ISMN  979-0-57036-076-5 [12]
2006K, prelude to Mozart's Clarinet Quintet, K581EnsembleClarinet in A and string quartet ISMN  979-0-57036-079-6 [13]
2006–2011Piano Studies (The boy with the moon in his eyes)SoloPiano ISMN  979-0-57036-078-9 [14]
2007ThalidomideVocal24 voices [15]
2008Time Stands Still, after John DowlandVocalSoprano and guitar ISMN  979-0-57036-162-5 [16]
2008ANIMAEnsemble14 players ISMN  979-0-57036-087-1 [17]
2009Fight musicEnsemble8 players ISMN  979-0-57036-094-9 [18]
2009Len's musicEnsembleSolo cello, viola, clarinet, horn ISMN  979-0-57036-109-0 [19]
2010Metamorphoses after BrittenSoloAny solo wind instrument ISMN  979-0-57036-226-4 [20]
2010I ____ the body electricVocalMale singer and male speaker with piano or another instrument ISMN  979-0-57036-192-2 [21]
2011FlippDuoTwo saxophones of the same type ISMN  979-0-57036-339-1 [22]
2011Klaviertrio im GeisteEnsemblePiano trio ISMN  979-0-57036-233-2 [23]
2011Fuck ForeverVocalMale speaker, piano, cello and woodblock ISMN  979-0-57036-303-2 [24]
2011numbers 76–80 : tristan und isoldeVocal4 voices (SATB) and string quartet ISMN  979-0-57036-304-9 [25]
2011numbers 91–95VocalSpeaker and two tape recorders, harp, flute and woodblock ISMN  979-0-57036-302-5 [26]
2012The Revenge of Miguel CottoVocalEnsemble, two male vocalists, percussion and tape [27]
2015IllusionsEnsembleVideo playback (projection) and 9 players [5]
2016 4.48 Psychosis OperaOrchestra and 6 vocalists [6] [7]

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4.48 Psychosis is the final play by British playwright Sarah Kane. It was her last work, first staged at the Royal Court's Jerwood Theatre Upstairs on 23 June 2000, directed by James Macdonald, nearly one and a half years after Kane's death on 20 February 1999. The play has no explicit characters or stage directions; this continues the style of her previous production entitled Crave. Stage productions of the play vary greatly, therefore, with between one and several actors in performance; the original production featured three actors. According to Kane's friend and fellow-playwright David Greig, the title of the play derives from the time, 4:48 a.m., when Kane, in her depressed state, often woke.

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  1. 1 2 "Philip Venables announced as Doctoral Composer-in-Residence at Guildhall School of Music and Drama — News — Royal Opera House".
  2. "Philip Venables - University of York Music Press".
  3. "Philip Venables — People — Royal Opera House". Retrieved 28 May 2016.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. Wainwright, Oliver; Fox, Imogen; Sample, Ian; Service, Tom (28 September 2015). "Meet the Turner prize shortlist, from the musician to the mind-reader". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 May 2016.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. 1 2 3 Hind, Rolf (12 September 2015). "Queer pitch: is there such a thing?". The Guardian.
  6. 1 2 Ashley, Tim (25 May 2016). "4.48 Psychosis review – Venables brings Sarah Kane's savage text to musical life". The Guardian.
  7. 1 2 "4.48 Psychosis review". The Independent. 26 May 2016. Retrieved 28 May 2016.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. "Olivier Awards 2017: full list of nominations | Spectator Life". Spectator Life. 6 March 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2017.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. "2016 Honours are announced - Royal Academy of Music".
  10. "Erotic gods make sweet music | Sexuality". Topics.
  11. "Philip Venables". Retrieved 28 May 2016.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. "String Quartet by Philip Venables | University of York Music Press".
  13. "K by Philip Venables | University of York Music Press".
  14. "Piano Studies (The boy with the moon in his eyes) by Philip Venables | University of York Music Press".
  15. "Thalidomide". British Music Collection.
  16. "Time Stands Still by Philip Venables | University of York Music Press".
  17. "ANIMA by Philip Venables | University of York Music Press".
  18. "Fight music by Philip Venables | University of York Music Press".
  19. "Len's music by Philip Venables | University of York Music Press".
  20. "Four Metamorphoses after Britten for solo clarinet by Philip Venables | University of York Music Press".
  21. "I _ the body electric by Philip Venables | University of York Music Press".
  22. "Flipp by Philip Venables | University of York Music Press".
  23. "Klaviertrio im Geiste by Philip Venables | University of York Music Press".
  24. "Fuck forever by Philip Venables | University of York Music Press".
  25. "numbers 76-80: tristan und isolde by Philip Venables | University of York Music Press".
  26. "numbers 91-95 by Philip Venables | University of York Music Press".
  27. "The London Sinfonietta's Blue Touch Paper programme (Concert review)".