Becoming a Composer

Author: Errollyn Wallen, MBE

Alumni: Honorary Fellow

Publisher: Faber and Faber, 2023

‘I am a composer. A composer of classical music. Quite honestly I am not quite sure how that happened to a girl born in Belize and brought up in Tottenham . . . It is clear that composing found me. It crept up on me and wouldn’t let me out of its grasp.’

Now a leading international composer and a singer-songwriter, Errollyn Wallen is as much at home in jazz and pop as in the classical world. Part memoir, Becoming a Composer offers an intriguing glimpse into the mind and motivation of a composer and covers aspects of Wallen’s sometimes troubled childhood, and her experiences of growing up as a black composer in the UK. It includes a collection of observations, diaries following the progress of new works and essays and seeks to shed light on the way a composer sees and hears the world.

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