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Michael Parkin
Michael Parkin studied at Huddersfield School of Music and the University College of North Wales with William Mathias and Jeffrey Lewis. After work as a freelance composer/arranger in the theatre, he moved to York in 1981 where he founded the contemporary music organisation Soundpool. Over the next ten years a great deal of his time and energy was devoted to promoting new music and, through Soundpool, teaching and directing an ambitious programme of educational workshops and projects for young composers and musicians throughout the north of England. In 1991 he moved to Pembrokeshire in West Wales to concentrate exclusively on writing and composition.

His work has been broadcast and widely performed in Britain, Europe and the U.S. Prizes include the Yorkshire Arts Young Composers’ Competition (1978), the MidNAG award (1979) and his work ‘Elegy’ for solo flute was one of only two British works selected for the 1984 Gaudeamus International Musicweek in the Netherlands. ‘Inevitable Inventions’ was awarded first prize in the 1996 Match TM Composition Award. In 1994 he was one of the featured composers at the Vale of Glamorgan Festival and in autumn 1999 and 2010, Composer-in-Residence at the Late Music Festival in York. In 2006 he was awarded a major Creative Wales Award to enable him to write two large-scale orchestral works.

His work ranges from a chamber opera, ‘Cheap Tricks’ (commissioned for the 1984 York Festival) to a large number of solos and duos written for individual performers; notably ‘Inevitable Inventions’ (1994) for the violinist Madeleine Mitchell, ‘Music for the Cyber Café’ (1997) written for the clarinettist David Campbell, and the solo trombone piece ‘Sinfonia’, commissioned by Barrie Webb and premiered by him at the Huddersfield Festival of Contemporary Music in 1987. In contrast to the reflective, internalised nature of these pieces, recent work such as the 4 string quartets, ‘Srebrenica’ and the orchestral works ‘On the Banks of the Nile’ and the ‘Pastoral Symphony’, mark a return to a much more dramatic language, using large scale forms and forces.