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Patrick Ozzard-Low (b. 1958) studied composition with the British composer Bill Hopkins—the sole composition pupil of Jean Barraqué—and with Michael Finnissy. He has been composing since about 1976, when his first orchestral piece was a joint winner in the MidNAG Composers Competition and performed by the Northern Sinfonia. His music has since been played in Brazil, Holland, Ireland, Italy, UK and USA. Much of his work is for solo piano, some few completed pieces of which have been performed by Nicolas Hodges, Jonathan Powell and Andrew Zolinsky, and occasionally by the composer himself. He also writes solo, chamber, orchestral and choral music.


His early work took impetus particularly from Barraqué—and to a lesser degree from Hopkins and Luigi Nono. Later, he made thorough explorations of microtonality. Since 2007, however, his music has become increasingly tonal and melodic, whilst remaining instinctively exploratory. His composition catalogue contains about 80 works (or around 160 pieces, depending how you count them), but the vast majority of these remain 'work in progress', in a certain sense deliberately (see INFO section).


The extended palette of pitch and timbre offered by 'natural' intonation and radical microtonality led him to write 21st Century Orchestral Instruments (1998), a study funded by Arts Council England. He subsequently founded and co-directed the Centre for New Musical Instruments, based at London Guildhall University (2000 - 2004). A completely rewritten version of the earlier book, now titled New Instruments for New Music, which includes a catalogue raisonné of ‘new or significantly novel acoustic instruments, designs and technologies’, is in preparation for Routledge. He has also written on Barraqué, and co-authored—with the pianist Nicolas Hodges—the Bill Hopkins Archive Handlist (2006), a preliminary catalogue of Hopkins' manuscripts and writings, as held at the Paul Sacher Stiftung. Another long-term writing project is a book entitled Music and Love (Vision Edition).


Ozzard-Low holds a BA Hons in Philosophy (York 1984) and a PhD in composition (Southampton 2008). He was awarded a Churchill Fellowship (London 1998), and has given lectures on instruments and composition in France, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, USA and Brazil. He was Affiliate Lecturer at Dartington College of Arts (2003 to 2007) and Tutor for South West Music School (2007 to 2011). In 2016, he was the principal organiser of ‘The World according to Bob’, a two-day Festival of concerts and talks at City University London, which celebrated the life and work of the late Bob Gilmore, musicologist and biographer of Harry Partch and Claude Vivier. Occasionally he plays the piano in concert, but attempts only his own music.

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