Sally Beamish (1956-)


Friends And Family20120302

Sally Beamish talks to Donald Macleod about works written for people close to her.

In the last of this week's programmes Donald Macleod talks to Sally Beamish about works that are connected with her friends and family, from works commissioned by two supportive patrons who have become like 'musical parents' to her, to those that have been requested by friends who are concert performers.

Poetry And Literature20120229

Donald Macleod explores works by Sally Beamish that have been inspired by literature.

In conversation with the composer at her home in Scotland, Donald Macleod looks at Sally Beamish's works that have been directly inspired by poetry and literature. They discuss her songs setting words by the 14th century Persian poet Hafez, an orchestral work evoking the Arctic landscape that inspired Mary Shelley, and a cello concerto that takes as its starting point the 'River' poems of Ted Hughes. One of Beamish's major works, the Concerto no. 2 for Viola and Orchestra, is based on the story told by a 9th century Anglo-Saxon poem, 'The Seafarer', and features the notated calls of sea birds mentioned in the poem.

Scottish Influence20120301

Sally Beamish talks to Donald Macleod about the effect of moving to Scotland on her music.

Sally Beamish talks to Donald Macleod about the effect of moving to Scotland on her music, and the strong sense of culture and community she found there. The lively and responsive musical scene have fed into her work, and she has drawn on the inspiration of Scotland's landscape and its musical traditions, from Scottish fiddle playing to music for bagpipes.

01Early Works20120227

Sally Beamish tells Donald Macleod about her earliest commissions.

This week Donald Macleod visits Sally Beamish in her home near Loch Lomond, to talk to her about her work. Sally has been composing since she was a child but only set out on the path of professional composer after moving to Scotland in 1990, having already established a successful career as a viola player. Today she discusses her earliest commissions and how moving to Scotland, and motherhood, influenced her decision to become a composer.

02Music Of Others20120228

Donald Macleod talks to Sally Beamish about her music based on works by other composers.

Sally Beamish talks to Donald Macleod about some of the pieces she has written that are influenced by, or based on, works of other composers, from Bach to Tippett. Two of today's works take Beethoven or Brahms as a starting point, but incorporate jazz techniques. She discusses her recent decision to learn more about jazz, and how this has affected her composing style.