onwindoverhill_Nathan2_rachelpoulton.jpe

biography

 

"His ability to create a well-balanced, evocative, cleverly written,

and luminous score mark him out as a composer with great skill,

emotional depth, and sensitivity"

 

Nathan is a composer, conductor, and multi-instrumentalist based in the South of England. He holds both a Bachelor and Masters degree in music, specialising in conducting, from the University of East Anglia (2003), and has consequently worked with many of the finest musicians and ensembles in the country.

Nathan has over 25 years of experience in choral leadership, from leading community choirs and choral societies to professional and semi-professional chamber choirs and ensembles, and regularly leads First Dance Singers (Woking), Stoughton Hearts & Voices Community Choir, Allianz Head Office work place choir, and Newick Church Choir. As an orchestral conductor, he has worked with many professional ensembles, including the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and the English Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Norfolk Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra Anglia.

Nathan is a prolific composer with a passion for writing choral music that is accessible, yet challenging for both amateur and professional ensembles. A recent review acknowledged that "his ability to create a well-balanced, evocative, cleverly written, and luminous score mark him out as a composer with great skill, emotional depth, and sensitivity" (Dr Amy Bebbington, March 2020). His music has been performed in cathedrals and concert halls across the UK and Europe, such as the Royal Festival Hall, Edinburgh Festival (2016), and the Crossing Borders Festival (2018). In July 2018, Nathan’s critically-acclaimed arrangement of the Finale from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (for choir and chamber ensemble, arranged down a major third) was premiered at the Villages Music Festival (patron, Dame Felicity Lott). He is a regular contributor to the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music and his Evening Hymn was chosen as an exemplar of modern hymn-writing at the 2019 seminar of hymnody. A further three anthems of Nathan’s have been scheduled for the next festival in 2021.

"The performance of Stainer's Crucifixion in his capable hands

was both elegant and dramatically moving"

Nathan is a current recipient of grant funding from Arts Council England and the RVW Trust to write and develop a series of performances of a new cantata for choir and orchestra, On Windover Hill. The first performance of this nine movement work took place with the RPCO and Harlequin Chamber Choir at Boxgrove Priory, Chichester, on March 7th 2020, and whilst the subsequent performances have been postponed due to the outbreak of Covid-19, the project is still on course to be completed by the end of 2021, with at least another one full performance, a performance of extracts at the Beltain Festival at Butser Ancient Farm in May next year, and a Come and Sing event. Throughout the project, the BBC have been involved with broadcasting extracts of the work in progress. A feature-length radio documentary entitled The Composer and the Giant, which charts Nathan’s project up until the first performance, was broadcast on BBC Radio on Easter Monday (April 13th) 2020. It can be heard again here.

Nathan presented his current project at a seminar entitled ‘The Land of the White Horse’ at Oxford University in February 2020 and has consequently been commissioned to write music for the opening of the highly anticipated Long Barrow at Soulton Hall, Shropshire – the first of its kind to be built for over 5,000 years, due to be unveiled by His Royal Highness Prince Charles in 2021.

His most recent performance took place on Facebook Live on May 29th 2020; the premiere of ‘Fidget’, scored for flute, clarinet, oboe, and viola, performed by Willingdon House Music as part of their RE-Invention series.

As a collaborative pianist, Nathan has worked with singers from the major opera houses, the Monteverdi Choir, The Sixteen, and the BBC Singers. As a vocalist himself (tenor), he has deputised for services at many of the cathedrals in the UK including Winchester, Norwich, Christ Church, Oxford, and Westminster Abbey, and has featured on BBC Radio 3 and Songs of Praise. He regularly sings with Guildford-based Harlequin Chamber Choir, for whom he also deputises as conductor. He has recently led singing workshops for The Haslemere Singers and regularly accompanies vocal workshops across the South-East. Nathan is also regularly to be found on the organ stool, playing for services at cathedrals and churches across the UK and Europe, and regularly giving recitals, most recently at St. Bartholomew's, Haslemere (February 2020).

Nathan is a social media specialist and runs accounts for Harlequin Chamber Choir (@HarlequinChCh) and Stoughton Hearts & Voices Choir (@StoughtonVoices), and has initiated a ‘Call for Scores’ (@coronacomposer) to support and encourage composers during the outbreak of Covid-19. This project is being managed for Harlequin Chamber Choir, who have committed to performing 10 pieces throughout 2021 that are direct responses to the call for scores.

To hear examples of his music, click here.

All material copyight 2020 Castley Music

Photographs: Rachel Poulton