Sally Beamish

Composer in Scotland

Sally Beamish was born in London. Formerly a viola player, she moved from London to Scotland in 1990. Her music embraces many influences: particularly jazz and Scottish traditional music. She has written for numerous soloists, including Tabea Zimmermann, Håkan Hardenberger and Steven Isserlis.

Beamish’s music is performed and broadcast internationally. Her string quartet for the Elias Quartet, 'Reed Stanzas', received its premiere at the 2011 BBC Proms, and won a Royal Philharmonic Society Award.

In 2012 Beamish was BBC Radio 3 Composer of the Week; and Branford Marsalis premiered ‘Albatross’ at the World Saxophone Congress in St Andrews, with the composer at the piano.

In 2013, Beamish’s ‘Variations on a Theme of Benjamin Britten’ were premiered by the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields. And ‘Flodden’, written to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the battle, was premiered by the SCO, and shortlisted for both an RPS and British Composers Award.

2014 saw ‘Equal Voices’, a major work for the LSO to mark the beginning of the First World War, with poet Sir Andrew Motion, and a performance at the BBC Proms of Beamish’s Accordion Concerto, The Singing’ , with James Crabb and the BBCSO, conducted by Martyn Brabbins.

She is at present developing a full-length ballet of The Tempest for Birmingham Royal Ballet, with choreographer David Bintley, to be premiered in 2016.

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