British composer Alec Roth was born in 1948 near Manchester, of German/Irish descent and studied music at Durham University, where he was awarded the Scott Prize. He also studied conducting with Diego Masson at Dartington and Rafael Kubelik in Lucerne, and gamelan in Java.
He is founder and was artistic director of the Royal Festival Hall Gamelan Programme and South Bank Gamelan Players from 1987 until 1991, and was music director of the Baylis Programme at English National Opera (1988-93). From 1994 until 1996 he was composer in association with Opera North, and from 2002-3 lecturer in music at Edinburgh University.
He currently lives in Malvern, Worcestershire, and as a freelance composer has completed some sixty commissioned works in genres including opera, music-theatre, song, choral, orchestral, instrumental, gamelan and music for children.
He has collaborated extensively with Indian writer Vikram Seth, on the song cycles Chinese Gardens, Romantic Residues and Earth and Sky. Vikram Seth was also librettist for Arion and the Dolphin, commissioned by English National Opera. The Allegri Quartet has premiered three of his four string quartets, and he has also worked extensively with Ex Cathedra, Mark Padmore and Morgan Szymanski.
Ensemble. Quietly Compelling - Two Buxton Festival concerts involving the guitar, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Thrilling Singing - Alec Roth, Tallis, Striggio and Gabriel Jackson from Ex Cathedra, conducted by Jeffrey Skidmore, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Rather Extraordinary - Alec Roth's new string quartet, enjoyed by Keith Bramich
CD Spotlight. Mice in the Manger - A selection of Christmas music, enjoyed by George Balcombe. '... an amazing collection.'