Discipline: Theatre – musical theatre

Philip Venables

Discipline: Theatre – musical theatre
Region: Berlin, GERMANY
MacDowell Fellowships: 2017

Philip Venables' music is often concerned with violence, sexuality, politics and speech in music and opera. He has been described as “one of the finest composers around” (Guardian) and his work as “brutally effective” (Times) and “brilliant, extreme work that grips like a vice and won’t let go” (Guardian).

Performers and commissioners of his work include The Royal Opera, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Wigmore hall, London Contemporary Opera, London Sinfonietta, EXAUDI Rambert Dance, HAU Theater Berlin, Kampnagel Hamburg and Theater Basel. At MacDowell in 2017, he collaborated with Ted Huffman on two projects: Denis and Katya, a documentary opera based on a true 'Romeo & Juliet' story that happened in Russia in 2016; and Faggots and their Friends, a music theatre installation based on a 1977 book by Larry Mitchell.

Philip studied at Cambridge University, the Royal Academy of Music and Guildhall School of Music & Drama. He was Doctoral Composer in Residence with the Royal Opera House and a Soundhub resident at LSO St Luke's 2012-2013. In 2016 his opera 4.48 Psychosis (dir. Ted Huffman) won the UK Theatre Award for Achievement in Opera and the 2017 Royal Philharmonic Society Award for large-scale composition, and in 2017 was nominated for an Olivier Award and a Sky Arts South Bank Award. Philip's work is published by Ricordi Musikverlag (Universal Music)

Portrait by Harald Hoffmann


Van Zorn (formerly Kirby)

Philip Venables worked in the Van Zorn (formerly Kirby) studio.

Constructed thanks to a bequest from Sarah L. Kirby, Kirby Studio was the last new building to be erected during Mrs. MacDowell’s leadership (1907-1951). The load-bearing masonry walls were laid by local mason Augustus Beaulieu atop a fieldstone foundation. A 1995 renovation preserved the brick fireplace with wooden mantel and…

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