Osborne, Nigel 1948-

Nigel Osborne, MBE, FRCM. b. Manchester, 1948 to Scottish parents

Tenth Reid Professor of the Theory of Music at the University of Edinburgh

Period in office: 

The following biography was printed in the programme for the Faculty of Music Centenary Concert in 1994:

Nigel Osborne was born in Manchester and studied at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, the Warsaw Academy with Witold Rudzinski, and the Polish Radio Experimental Studio.  He has received the International Opera Prize of Radio Suisse Romande, Gaudeamus prize from the Netherlands, the Radcliffe Award and the Koussevitsky Award of te Library of Congress, Washington. D.C.  In the last few years he has written works for the London Sinfonietta, Nash Ensemble, City of London Sinfonia, Rambert Dance Company and the BBC Symphhony Orchestra which commissioned Sinfonia 1 for the 1982 Proms.  He wrote Hell's Angels for Opera Factory/London Sinfonietta in 1985 and The Electrification of the Soveit Union was commissioned by the BBC for Glyndebourne Touring Opera in 1987 and subsequently televised.  Recent works include Sun of Venice commissioned by Vincent Mayer with funds provided by the Arts Council, which received its premiere with the Philharmonia in 1991 and his opera Terrible Mouth, commissioned by BBC Radio 3, which was performed by the ENO at the Almeida Theatre in 1992.  Hommage à Panufnik was premiered in January 1993 by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, at the Royal Festival Hall.  In summer 1993, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra also premiered The Art of Fugue in Potsdam as part of the millenial celebrations of the city, with a related schools educational project, the first of its kind in former East Germany.
1993 also saw the first performance of Adagio for Vedran Smailovic in the shelled ruins of the Skendersja Stadium in Sarajevo, and a related work for clarinet, cello and piano, entitled simply Sarajevo, was premiered by the Capricorn ensemble in Birmingham earlier this month.
Future performances include a series of concerts of orchestral works with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra in March and a new opera commissioned by Opera Factory for performance at the Royal Festival Hall in August 1994.
He is currently Reid Professor in the Faculty of Music, a frequent writer and speaker on new music and joint editor--in-chief of the Contemporary Music Review.

Nigel Osborne retired as Reid Professor of Music in 2012.