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James Cuddeford : Associate Artist

James Cuddeford began his violin and composition studies in Brisbane at age seven. He attended the Yehudi Menuhin School in England and was the youngest finalist in the 1992 BBC Young Composer of the Year. At age fifteen Cuddeford received his first major orchestral commission - a twenty-minute work for violin and orchestra - which he premiered with the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra under conductor Werner Andreas Albert.

Cuddeford continued composition studies at the University of Manchester with John Casken, and chamber music at the International Musician's Seminar at Prussia Cove with György Kurtág. Attending Stockhausen's lectures in both Germany and the UK was critical in the development of his compositional thinking.

His music has since been performed and broadcast throughout America, Europe, Australia and Asia in many of the world's major concert halls, from the Barbican and St John's Smith Square in London to City Recital Hall in Sydney. Major festivals, such as the Adelaide Festival, Australian Festival of Chamber Music, World Shakuhachi Festival, Canberra International Festival, Oz Asia Festival, and the Colmar International Festival, have featured his music.

Ensembles that have performed Cuddeford's music include the Nash Ensemble, Australian String Quartet, Psappha Ensemble, Ensemble Offspring, Synergy Percussion, Kammer Ensemble, Apollo Piano Trio, Sonos Chamber Orchestra of New York, and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta. He has written solo and chamber works expressly for principal musicians from the London Sinfonietta, Scottish Ensemble and Ensemble Modern.

Recent compositional projects include the 2017 premiere of the first part of a large scale orchestral Triptych for the Hong Kong Sinfonietta under Christoph Poppen, a series of Transcendental Études for solo violin that have been performed in China, Japan and Italy, and the revision of an early work from 1994, Ur - in memoriam Sidney Nolan, for solo bass drum. During 2019 the premieres of recent works Predella I for three trumpets, Koān IV for solo viola and Four Studies for a Portrait of Roger Smalley for solo piano will be received.

As a performer, Cuddeford has premiered and recorded numerous solo and chamber works. He has worked directly with many renowned composers including Xenakis, Holliger, Dutilleux, Penderecki, Dean, MacMillan, Birtwistle, Smalley and Sculthorpe on their violin compositions. Cuddeford has given guest lectures in composition and analysis at several institutions, including the Australian National Academy of Music, Melbourne, University of Hong Kong and The Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. From 1998 to 2006 he was a member of the Australian String Quartet and is currently Concertmaster of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta. Cuddeford continues to be highly active in composing, performing and recording contemporary music throughout the world.

James Cuddeford — current to October 2018

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample Double Shadow : for double bass and percussion (2012) Written for the Hong Kong Sinfonietta chamber music series at ArtisTree, Hong Kong.
Digital sheet music sample Kōan II : for bassoon (2011) Commissioned by Mark Gaydon.
Digital sheet music sample Kōan III : for shakuhachi, violin, piano and percussion (2011) Commissioned by the OzAsia Festival 2011, Adelaide Festival Centre.
Digital sheet music sample Three Aspects of the Absolute : for piano trio (2010) Commissioned for '101 Compositions for 100 years'.
Digital sheet music sample Kōan I : for flute, clarinet, violin and cello (2010) Commissioned by Ensemble Offspring.
Impermanence, in memory of Karlheinz Stockhausen : shakuhachi and string quartet (2008) Written for the World Shakuhachi Congress 2008