A lecturer from Royal Holloway has recently been named as the new Associate Composer for the prestigious Hallé, Britain’s longest-established permanent professional symphony orchestra.
Helen Grimes is Royal Holloway’s lecturer in Composition in the Music department, whose latest achievement only adds to her ever-increasing impressive international portfolio. Helen’s music has already been widely published and performed throughout the world, most notably for the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Prom in 2003, the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and broadcast on Radio 3 and 4. Helen has also been the recipient of the Making Music award at the 2003 British Composer Awards.
Previously, Helen studied at the Royal College of Music, and in 2008 she was awarded the esteemed Leonard Bernstein Fellowship to continue her education at the Tanglewood Music Centre. Helen’s music is now exclusively published by Chester Music Ltd.
Speaking about her appointment, Helen was evidently overjoyed, explaining, “The opportunity to work closely with a world class orchestra is a dream come true for any composer, and I am very much looking forward to seeing how my music will develop throughout my appointment as Associate Composer. The Hallé has a very special sound and there is a deep commitment to its associated ensembles and choirs. I am really looking forward to developing relationships with the individual players in the orchestra as well as collaborating with Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé’s other associated conductors.”
Helen’s tenure is initially for three years and her existing works are already programmed for the 2011/12 season at the Manchester based orchestra. Throughout her tenure, Helen will work alongside the Hallé Programming Team and their Music Director, the aforementioned Sir Mark Elder CBE, who said of Helen’s appointment, “We are delighted that Helen is joining us, and all of us look forward to her becoming part of the Hallé family. She has amazing talent and I look forward to working with her and conducting her music as she takes on her new position.”
Helen is clearly admired by all in her profession including Julian Johnson, head of Music at Royal Holloway, who echoed these sentiments by adding, “This residency would be a major coup for any composer during their lifetime – Helen has achieved it at the age of 29 which is a fantastic achievement and underlines the high regard in which she’s held.”