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Kenneth Hesketh

MMus (Ann Arbor), ARCM (PG), Dip RCM

Kenneth has received numerous national and international commissions and has worked with leading ensembles and orchestras in the USA, Far East and Europe.  He is a professor of composition at the Royal College of Music, honorary professor at Liverpool University and active as a guest lecturer.  

He has received numerous national and international commissions, including the Fromm Foundation at Harvard University, a Faber Millennium Commission for Birmingham Contemporary Music Group premiered under Sir Simon Rattle, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestra conducted by Vasily Petrenko, BBC Philharmonic conducted by Vasilly Sinaisky, Hans Werner Henze and Endymion Ensemble (in honour of Henze's 75th birthday), Munich Biennale, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, the Michael Vyner Trust for London Sinfonietta, Göttinger Symphonie Orchester, Opera Group, Britten Sinfonia, ensemble Psappha and Kissinger Sommer Internationales Musikfestival.

Between 2007 to 2009 Kenneth was Composer in the House (Royal Philharmonic Society/ PRS Foundation scheme) with the RLPO. He has been represented at festivals from London (Proms) to the USA (Tanglewood/Bowdoin) to China (Beijing Modern Music Festival).  

His work has been recorded by BIS, NMC, London Sinfonietta, Psappha and Prima Facie labels; an NMC recording (titled Wunderkammer(konzert), released in 2013) was devoted to large ensemble and orchestral works. A disc of Hesketh's piano music performed by pianist Clare Hammond was released by BIS in 2016; in the same year the Prima Facie label released a chamber music disc performed by the Continuum Ensemble. All discs were released to critical acclaim.

His works are published by Cecilian Music, Schott & Co, Novello and Faber Music.  

Selected Compositions/Publications

Hesketh K. (forthcoming, 2022), 'Ex uno plures - Composing for solo instruments' in T Young (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Composition, Cambridge University Press 

Hesketh, K. (2018) In ictu oculi - three meditations for wind ensemble. [LINK]

Hesketh, K. (2015) Inscription-transformation.for solo violin and orchestra [LINK]


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Faculties / departments: Composition, Research


Research areas



Research students

Edwin Hillier

Enrica Sciandrone

Maksim Stsura


Latest Publications

Hesketh, K. (2022) Ex uno plures: composing for solo instruments. In: The Cambridge Companion to Composition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. (In Press)

Hesketh, K. (2018) In ictu oculi - three meditations for wind ensemble. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2018) Inscrizione (derivata) (a lie to the dying). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2018) Men Rejoice! [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2018) Uncoiling the river. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2017) Of Time and Disillusionment. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2016) Horae (pro Clara). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2016) Concerto Salmigondis. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2016) Oracles and chimeras. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2016) Rêverie. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2016) Élégie. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2015) The Alchymist's Journal (Variants for Brass Band). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2015) Hände: Das Leben und die Liebe eines Zärtlichen Geschlechts for piano and film. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2015) Inscription-transformation. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2015) The Lullaby of the Land Beyond (in fond memory of Oliver Knussen). [Composition] (Unpublished)

Hesketh, K. (2015) SPIKE (I & II). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2014) Barbiglio (derivato). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2014) Entanglements (Dance scenes). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2014) IMMH. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2014) Knotted tongues. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2014) Three Movements from Theatrum (two piano version). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2013) Enter, Spring. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2013) Fugue and Toccata. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2013) The Mechanical Turk. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2013) Notte oscura (arrangement for piano 4 hands). [Composition] (In Press)

Hesketh, K. (2013) What if...? (op[f]er). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2012) Chronicles of the Time (Lamentations from Macbeth). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2012) Danceries (set II) (for brass band). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2012) The Doctrine of Affections. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2012) Forms entangled, shapes collided. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2012) Heu, heu, heu...Eine kleine ausschweifende Feier. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2011) Danceries (set II) (for symphonic wind band). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2011) Diatoms (I-IV): The Four Horsemen. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2011) Poetic Conceits. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2011) Point Forms (after Kandinsky). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2011) Pour Henri. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2011) Rumpole and Father Christmas: after the short story by John Mortimer. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2010) Bethlehem Down. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2010) Die hängende Figur ist Judas (Drei Perspektiven). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2010) Through magic casements. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2009) A Land So Luminous (for violin and piano). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2009) A Land So Luminous. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2009) Shimmerwords and Idle Songs (Selected Poems of the Tang Dynasty). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2009) Small Tales, tall tales: A Grimm Sequence. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2009) Torturous Instruments. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2009) Vecherinka for 6 pianos (in 5 hands). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2008) Elegy. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2008) The Gilded Theatre. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2008) Infernal Ride (brass band). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2008) Les Grandes Plaines du Jour. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2008) Of a rose sing we. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2008) PatterSongs. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2008) A Wassail Carol. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2008) Whirlegigg (brass band). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2008) Wunderkammer(konzert). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2007) Diaghilev Dances (orchestra). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2007) A Festive Overture (brass band). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2007) A Festive Overture (orchestra). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2007) Gabo's Opus. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2007) Graven Image. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2007) Like the Sea, Like Time. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2007) A Rhyme for the Season. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2007) Theatre of Attractions. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2007) Vranjanka (orchestra). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2007) Whirlegigg (orchestra). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2007) A little child there is y-born. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2006) Ein Lichtspiel. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2006) Music of a Distant Drum: songs from Medieval Arabic, Persian and Hebrew texts. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2006) Notte oscura (arrangement for solo piano). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2005) Cautionary Tales. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2005) Threats and declamations. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2005) Three pieces in the shape of a shoe. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2005) Vecherinka for two pianos (in five hands). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2005) Vranjanka (wind band). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2004) The Cloud Of Unknowing. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2004) I sing of a maiden. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2004) Netsuke. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2004) Notte oscura. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2004) Three Japanese Miniatures. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2004) Two Lapels and a Pocket (Suite No. 1 from The Overcoat). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2003) Diaghilev Dances (symphonic wind band). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2003) Infernal ride (symphonic wind band). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2003) The Overcoat. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2003) Polygon Window [Perpetuum immobile]. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2003) Polygon Window [Perpetuum immobile] (reduced version). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2003) Whirlegigg (symphonic wind band). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2002) Aphorisms. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2002) Danceries (set I) (for orchestra). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2002) Dei Destini Incrociati. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2002) Fra Duri Scogli. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2002) Masque (for symphonic wind band). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2002) Theatrum. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2001) After Verdi! [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2001) Cantilena. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2001) Danceries (set I) (for brass band). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2001) Detail from the Record. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2001) Deux Arabesques. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2001) A Festive Overture (symphonic wind band). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2001) Investiture Fanfare. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2001) Masque (for brass band). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2001) Netsuke Fragments (Part I). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2000) At God speeded summer's end. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (1999) Danceries (set I) (for symphonic wind band). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (1999) The circling canopy of night. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (1998) Flute concerto. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (1998) Three Movements from Theatrum (chamber ensemble version). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (1997) Now Springes the Spray! (three medieval lyrics for soprano and orchestra). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (1994) Recit and Aria. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (1987) Masque (for orchestra). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (1984) Flute concerto. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. Sonate for oboe (Dutilleux arr. Hesketh). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. Sonatine for flute (Dutilleux arr. Hesketh). [Composition]


For enquires please contact:

Kenneth Hesketh

Composition professor