Back to top      

Kenneth Hesketh

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

Kenneth Hesketh has been described as 'a composer at the height of his considerable powers' (BBC Music Magazine) and 'one of the UK's most vibrant voices, having a brand of modernism that reveals true love for sound itself' (International Piano). A fascination with entropy, mutation and existentialism, coexisting with a notable interest in formal design based on the influence of ‘pathways’ (labyrinths and mazes) informs his work.

He has received numerous national and international commissions from such organisations as the Fromm Foundation, the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, the London Sinfonietta, the Göttinger Symphonie Orchester, the Asko ensemble, The Continuum Ensemble, Britten Sinfonia, and Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal. He has been represented at festivals from London (Proms) to the USA (Tanglewood/Bowdoin) to China (Beijing Modern Music Festival). Hesketh has worked with an array of important conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, Oliver Knussen, Vasilly Sinaisky, Vasily Petrenko, Susanna Malkki, Christoph-Mathias Mueller, Martyn Brabbins, Ludovic Morlot, Jac van Steen and Pascal Rophé, who described Hesketh as having 'a poetry in the way he treats the orchestra; the mixtures, and the colours [with] a strong capacity to build a shape and a dramaturgy in a piece'.

Awards include the André Chevillion-Yvonne Bonnaud Foundation Prize, France, a British Composer Award in 2017 for his work In Ictu Oculi and shortlisted for an Ivors Academy Award in 2020 (Uncoiling the River).

His work has been recorded by NMC, BIS, Paladino Music, Somm Records, Prima Facie, and Chandos labels. The first NMC recording dedicated to solely to Hesketh’s work (Wunderkammer(konzert), 2013) was devoted to large ensemble and orchestral works. A disc of Hesketh's piano music (Clare Hammond) was released by BIS in 2016 to great acclaim; In Ictu Oculi (Paladino Music) was judged one of the Top 100 disc releases in 2018 (The Times) and described as ‘An exhilarating and beautiful synergy of form and expression' (BBC Music Magazine). A Britten Sinfonia release (Somm Records, 2019) spotlighted original and orchestrated works; future releases are planned on the Chandos and Paladino Music labels.

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. (2021) Carmina Tempore Viri (Songs in Time of Virus) for Upper voices, Harp, Organ and Desk bells, published by Cecilian Music, broadcast 11th June 2021 BBC3 In Concert. [LINK]

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

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

Hesketh, K. (2010) The Backbone of Night: Mechanisms of Evolution in Henri Dutilleux’ Ainsi la nuit in Contemporary Music Review, Vol. 29, No. 5, October 2010, pp. 463–483 [LINK]

Find out about Kenneth. Visit website

Visit Kenneth's YouTube channel. Visit website

Faculties / departments: Composition, Research, Academic staff

Research

Research areas

Composition

 

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. (2021) Carmina tempore viri (songs in time of virus). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2019) Sarabande et cortège [Dutilleux arr. Hesketh]. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2019) Sonate for oboe [Dutilleux arr. Hesketh]. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2019) Sonatine for flute [Dutilleux arr. Hesketh]. [Composition]

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

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

Hesketh, K. (2018) Men rejoice! [Phillips arr. Hesketh]. [Composition]

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

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

Hesketh, K. (2016) Mini-prélude en éventail [Dutilleux arr. Hesketh]. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2016) Of time and disillusionment. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2015) Because I could not stop for death. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2015) Hände: das Leben und die Liebe eines Zärtlichen Geschlechts. [Composition]

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

Hesketh, K. (2015) Nowell sing we both all and sum. [Composition]

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

Hesketh, K. (2015) The alchymist's journal (variants for brass band). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2015) The lullaby of the land beyond (in fond memory of Oliver Knussen). [Composition] (Unpublished)

Hesketh, K. (2014) Au gré des ondes [Dutilleux arr. Hesketh]. [Composition]

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

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

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

Hesketh, K. (2014) Knotted tongues (2012 rev. 2014). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2014) Oracles and chimeras. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2014) San Francisco night [Dutilleux arr. Hesketh]. [Composition]

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

Hesketh, K. (2013) Fugue and toccata [Ravel arr. Hesketh]. [Composition]

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

Hesketh, K. (2013) We three kings of Orient are [Hopkins arr. Hesketh]. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2012) Chronicles of the time (lamentations from Macbeth). [Composition]

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

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

Hesketh, K. (2012) Horae (pro Clara). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2012) Rêverie [Debussy arr. Hesketh]. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2012) Élégie [Debussy arr. Hesketh]. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2011) The backbone of night: mechanisms of evolution in Henri Dutilleux's 'Ainsi la nuit'. Contemporary Music Review, 29 (5). pp. 463-483. ISSN 0749-4467 (print) 1477-2256 (online)

Hesketh, K. (2011) Away in a manger [traditional arr. Hesketh]. [Composition]

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

Hesketh, K. (2011) Diatoms (I-IV): the four horsemen. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2011) Gabriel's message [traditional arr. Hesketh]. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2011) God rest ye, merry gentlemen [traditional arr. Hesketh]. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2011) Heu, heu, heu...eine kleine ausschweifende Feier. [Composition]

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

Hesketh, K. (2011) Sisyphus’ punishment (Die Bestrafung des Sisyphos). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2010) Bethlehem down. [Composition] (In Press)

Hesketh, K. (2010) Hark! the herald angels sing [Mendelssohn arr. Hesketh]. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2010) O come all ye faithful [Wade arr. Hesketh]. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2010) Once in royal David's city [Gauntlett arr. Hesketh]. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2010) Rumpole and Father Christmas: after the short story by John Mortimer. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2010) Ungaretti settings. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2010) What if...? (op[f]er) [version for piano four hands]. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2009) Enter, Spring. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2009) Head in the clouds: three songs of nature. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2009) La morte meditata (Death meditated upon). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2009) Now well may we merthis make. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2009) Point forms (after Kandinsky). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2009) Small tales, tall tales: a Grimm sequence. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2009) Torturous instruments (1998, rev. 2009). [Composition]

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

Hesketh, K. (2009) A land so luminous (2003, rev. 2009) [version for violin and chamber ensemble]. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2009) A land so luminous [version for violin and piano]. [Composition]

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

Hesketh, K. (2008) Infernal ride [version for brass band]. [Composition]

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

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

Hesketh, K. (2008) Through magic casements. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2008) What if...? (op[f]er) [version for chamber ensemble]. [Composition]

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

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

Hesketh, K. (2008) The gilded theatre. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2008) A wassail carol (2002, rev. 2008). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2007) Diaghilev dances [version for chamber orchestra]. [Composition]

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

Hesketh, K. (2007) Like the sea, like time. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2007) Shimmerwords and idle songs (selected poems of the Tang Dynasty). [Composition]

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

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

Hesketh, K. (2007) A festive overture [version for brass band]. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2007) The first nowell [traditional arr. Hesketh]. [Composition]

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

Hesketh, K. (2007) A rhyme for the season. [Composition]

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

Hesketh, K. (2006) In dulci jubilo [traditional arr. Hesketh]. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2006) Music of a distant drum: songs from medieval Arabic, Persian and Hebrew texts. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2006) Poetic conceits. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2005) Come to the manger [traditional arr. Hesketh]. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2005) Gabo's opus. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2005) Gallery carol. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2005) Les grandes plaines du jour. [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 [version for wind band]. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2005) The doctrine of affections. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2004) Angels we have heard on high [traditional arr. Hesketh]. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2004) Christmas tree carol. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2004) Netsuke (2001, rev. 2004). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2004) Notte oscura [version for chamber orchestra]. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2004) Recit and aria [version for soprano and piano]. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2004) Sleep holy babe [traditional arr. Hesketh]. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2004) Two lapels and a pocket (suite no. 1 from The Overcoat). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2004) The cloud of unknowing. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2003) I sing of a maiden. [Composition]

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

Hesketh, K. (2003) Polygon window (perpetuum immobile). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2003) Polygon window (perpetuum immobile) [reduced version]. [Composition]

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

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

Hesketh, K. (2002) Cautionary tales. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2002) Dei destini incrociati. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2002) Diaghilev dances [version for symphonic wind band]. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2002) Fra duri scogli. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2002) Notte oscura [version for solo piano]. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2002) Theatrum (1996, rev. 1999 and 2002). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2002) Three Japanese miniatures. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2002) The holly and the ivy. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2002) The mechanical Turk. [Composition]

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

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

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

Hesketh, K. (2001) Danceries (set I) [version for orchestra]. [Composition]

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

Hesketh, K. (2001) Deux arabesques [Debussy arr. Hesketh]. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2001) Ihr Kinderlein Kommet (for Christmas) [traditional arr. Hesketh]. [Composition]

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

Hesketh, K. (2001) Messenger carol. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2001) Netsuke fragments (part I). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2001) This the day, this the blessed morn. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2001) Whirlegigg [version for orchestra] (1984, rev.2001). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (2001) A festive overture [version for symphonic wind band]. [Composition]

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

Hesketh, K. (2000) Masque [version for brass band]. [Composition]

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

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

Hesketh, K. (1998) Die hängende Figur ist Judas (Drei Perspektiven). [Composition]

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

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

Hesketh, K. (1997) Now springes the spray! (three medieval lyrics for soprano and orchestra) (1992, rev. 1997). [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (1995) Aphorisms. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (1994) Recit and aria [version for soprano and chamber orchestra]. [Composition]

Hesketh, K. (1992) A festive overture [version for orchestra] (1986, rev. 1992). [Composition]

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

Hesketh, K. (1987) Masque [version for symphonic wind band]. [Composition]

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

Hesketh, K. Let all the world in every corner sing [Leighton arr. Hesketh]. [Composition]

Contact

For enquiries please contact:

Kenneth Hesketh

Composition professor, Doctoral Supervisor

research@rcm.ac.uk

ken.hesketh@rcm.ac.uk