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Red Contributor


Nigel Keay

Composer, Arranger

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Born: 1955

Biography

Nigel Keay was born in Palmerston North, New Zealand in 1955 and today is a freelance musician with many years of experience as a composer and viola player. He has been based in Paris since 2001, having moved to France in 1998, and writes primarily for orchestral instruments, from small ensembles to larger orchestral groups as well as writing works for voice.

In New Zealand, Nigel Keay held the composer-in-residence position, the Mozart Fellowship, at the University of Otago in 1986 and 1987. He has been a Composer-in-Residence with the Nelson School of Music (1988 and 1989), and with Auckland's fulltime professional orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (1995).

Between 1983 and 1995 he received several grants from the Arts Council of New Zealand (now known as Creative New Zealand) for various commissions including his one-act opera At the Hawk’s Well. His music has sometimes been driven by literary and philosophical ideas. Throughout his career he has wherever possible played in or directed his own works. He became an Associate-Violist with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in 1994. Between 2003 & 2005 he gave multiple performances of his String Quartet No.2 in Europe with his own group, Quatuor Aphanès.

Nigel Keay's works have been broadcast on Radio France on several occasions; a commission in 2002 to compose a work for the programme "Alla Breve" in which the resulting work, Tango Suite was broadcast on its France Musiques and France Culture stations, and in October 2013 he was featured guest on Bruno Letort's new-music programme "Tapage Nocturne" broadcast on Radio France Musique.

His Serenade for Strings has been performed by several Parisian formations; the premiere by Ensemble Polymnia in 2004, Orchestre à cordes Idoménée in 2005, and Orchestre 2021 at the Fondation des États Unis, Paris in 2006. Between 2006 and 2009 Orchestre 2021 performed several of Nigel Keay's other works in Paris; Diffractions, Diversions and Tango Suite for String Quartet...

In 2010 Nigel Keay was co-producer of the Blumlein Records CD Diversions - Autour du hautbois, the music of five composers for or with oboe. This CD included his own Diversions for Quintet.

In December 2011 Blumlein Records released five of Nigel Keay's chamber music works on the CD Music for Small Groups. This production received a grant from the New Zealand / France Friendship Fund.

In 2013 he was admitted to the catalogue of the Documentation Centre for Contemporary Music (CDMC) located at the Philharmonie de Paris.

In April 2015 the CD the dancer leads the procession containing six of Nigel Keay's works is released.

Nigel Keay's works are increasingly being presented in prestigious concert venues in Europe and further afield. These include; Diversions for Quintet at the Graz Opera, Austria, at Casa da Música, Porto, Portugal, at the Paris Oboe Festival. His Introduction and Tarantella was premiered at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, New York City by Eugenia Choi and Svetlana Gorokovitch.

Musicians who have played his music include Marika Lombardi, Nathalie Dang, Jean-Marc Fessard, Dora Cantella, Quatuor Leonis, Jennifer Lee, NZTrio, Quinteto Contraste, Franck Chevalier, Quatuor Diotima, Korutet, Alice Fagard, Elm Ensemble (Philharmonie de Graz), Pierre-Henri Xuereb, Julien Darbonville, John-Paul Muir, Andrea Mundy, Joseph Spooner, Kathryn Mosley, Jeffrey Grice, Cyprien Busolini, Simone Roggen, Paolo Vignaroli, Delphine Latil, Anastasiya Filippochkina, Jean-François Bescond, Eugene Lee and others ...


Composed (39)

Adagietto Antique

Trio for clarinet, viola & piano, 16m


Allusions

for solo clarinet, 3m 10s


At the Hawk's Well

opera in one act, 55m


Derivation 3

for solo violin, 6m


Diffractions

for piano and orchestra, 10m


Diversions 1, 2 & 3

for winds and strings, 15m


Diversions 1, 2 & 3

for mixed chamber quintet, 15m


Double Jeu

for two violas, 7m


Fanfare for Orchestra

for large orchestra, 3m


Four Piano Pieces

for solo piano, 8m


Interlude

for piano, 5m


Little Tango Suite

for piano, 4m


Moderato à cent d'huîtres

for viola and piano, 4m


Prelude for Cello and Piano

for cello and piano, 7m


serenade pour cordes/ Serenade for Strings

for string orchestra, 17m


Sextet (Introduction and Allegro)

for flute, clarinet/bass clarinet, bass trombone, violin, viola and double bass


String Quartet No. 2

string quartet, 17m


Suite for Orchestra

Composed by Arnold Trowell, arranged for String Orchestra by Nigel Keay


Symphony in Five Movements

for symphony orchestra, 24m


Tango Suite

for string quintet


Tango Suite

a suite for contralto, string quartet and double bass, 10m


Tango Suite for String Quartet

for string quartet, 10m


Terrestrial Mirror

for flute, viola, and harp, 15m


Trio

for violin, cello and piano, 9m 1s


Triptych

for trumpet, horn and trombone, 9m


Variations

for piano, 11m


Variations for Piano

for solo piano, 10m


Variations on a theme from "At the Hawk's Well"

for violin, cello and piano, 9m


Viola Concerto

for solo viola and orchestra, 24m


Visconti Variations

Duo for violin & viola, 10m


Vocalise

for soprano, vibraphone and string trio



Arranged (1)

Suite for Orchestra

Composed by Arnold Trowell, arranged for String Orchestra by Nigel Keay