Who We Are
Richard Whalley is a composer and pianist living in Manchester, where he is a Senior Lecturer in Composition at the University of Manchester. As a composer, he is particularly fascinated by the evocation of time and memory and finding musical analogies for shapes, processes and textures found in nature. His music has been performed by numerous outstanding soloists and ensembles, including Psappha, Trio Atem, Ensemble 10/10, the Quatuor Danel, and the Ebonit Saxophone Quartet, and in Gaudeamus 2001, ISCM World Music Days (Flanders) in 2012 and Milan Expo in 2015. His scores are published by Composers Edition and many of his works have been commercially recorded.
John McAuliffe has published six books with The Gallery Press, most recently Selected Poems (2021), which was an Observer Book of the Year, and The Kabul Olympics, which was a Guardian Poetry Book of the Month in June 2020 and a TLS and Irish Times 2020 Book of the Year. His versions of the Bosnian poet Igor Klikovac, Stockholm Syndrome (Smith Doorstop), was a Poetry Book Society Winter Pamphlet Choice in 2019, and his work as editor includes Carcanet's New Poetries VIII (2021) and Everything to Play For: 99 Poems About Sport (Poetry Ireland, 2015).
John grew up in County Kerry and has lived in Manchester since 2004, where he is Professor of Poetry at the University of Manchester's Centre for New Writing and Associate Publisher at Carcanet. He is Director of the university's Creative Manchester research platform.
Amy Crankshaw is a South African composer, currently based in London, UK. Her music has been described as “carrying images and sensations“ (Ôlyrix); having a “feeling of ecstasy” (Planet Hugill); and as “an act of love” (Opera Now).
Amy was awarded the second prize in the South African Music Rights Organisation’s International Scholarship for Composers in 2014 and was the recipient of the Priaulx Rainier Prize in 2015. She was composer-in-residence with the London City Orchestra in 2016, and she will be the composer-in-residence at the Chamber Music Residency of Académie du Festival d’Aix in 2022.
Amy is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Music in composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, following an MA in Opera Making & Writing also at the GSMD. Previously she studied her Masters and Bachelors Degrees in composition at the South African College of Music in Cape Town.
Simon Davies is a clinician scientist (Professor of Nephrology) at Keele University, where he has worked extensively in the field of kidney failure, especially dialysis treatment. More recently he has become more involved with the ethics and problem of sustainability of dialysis and its under-provision in low/low-middle income countries. Simon works with the World Health Organisation and the International Society of Nephrology developing guidance for the development of dialysis services in these settings.
His education was funded by music scholarships from the ages of 9 to 18, both singing and instrumental, first at King’s College School, Cambridge and then Canterbury, where he first studied composition with Alan Ridout.
Recently Simon has returned to serious composition, and is currently undertaking a research degree with Michael Zev Gordon at the University of Birmingham. In this research he is exploring the experience of illness through his music, using blended metaphor and narrative.
Finn Patrick McLean is a composer and performer from Glasgow. Their music is interested in ideas of domesticity, archaeology and presentation.
Recently, their large-scale piece House Songs for guitars, clarsach and electronics was premiered with laptop performer Joe Strike as part of the PLUG Festival in Glasgow. In the remainder of 2022, they will be working on a new piece for two violins funded by Sound and Music and the British Music Collection, touring with composer Rylan Gleave supported by Chamber Music Scotland and other freelance work.
Finn currently studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with David Fennessy.
Jasmine Simons is a composer and clarinettist from Leeds, UK. She studied Music at the University of Manchester, graduating in June 2016. She continued her studies at Manchester on the MusM Instrumental and Vocal Composition programme under the supervision of Prof. Camden Reeves and Dr Richard Whalley, graduating with distinction in December 2018.
During her time at university Jasmine had compositions publicly performed by ensembles such as Vonnegut Collective, Quatuor Danel and members of Manchester University Music Society. Collaborations since graduating include workshops and performances with No Dice Collective, Vanguard New Music, and Yorkshire Late Starters Strings.