Luke Bedford

(b. 25 April 1978, Wokingham, Berkshire).

British composer of mostly orchestral, chamber and vocal works that have been performed throughout Europe, as well as in Japan and the USA.

Mr. Bedford studied composition with Simon Bainbridge and Edwin Roxburgh at the Royal College of Music in London from 1996–2000 and there earned his BMus, on a scholarship. He then studied composition with Simon Bainbridge at the Royal Academy of Music in London from 2000–02, where he earned his MMus, on grants from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and the RVW Trust, as well as the Mendelssohn Scholarship.

Among his honours are the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize (2000), Second Prize in the competition Tōru Takemitsu in Tōkyō (2001, for Five Pieces [withdrawn]), the BBC Radio 3 Listeners' Award at the British Composer Awards (2004, for Rode with Darkness), the selected work in the category Under-30 at the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers (2005, for Rode with Darkness), the Paul Hamlyn Artists' Award (2007), a prize in the British Composer Awards (2008, for Wreathe), and the Förderpreis der Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung in Munich (2012). He has received commissions from BBC Radio 3, the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Ensemble Modern, the Hallé Concerts Society in Manchester, the London Sinfonietta, the London Sinfonietta/Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, the London Symphony Orchestra/UBS, NDR, the Royal Philharmonic Society, and the Scottish Ensemble. He served as composer-in-residence at the Wigmore Hall in London from 2009–12.

His publisher is Universal Edition.





Seven Angels (chamber opera in 2 acts, libretto by Glyn Maxwell), soprano, 2 mezzo-sopranos, 2 tenors, baritone, bass-baritone, flute (+ piccolo, alto flute), clarinet (+ bass clarinet, ratchet), bassoon (+ contrabassoon, analogue radio), trumpet (+ flügelhorn, maracas), trombone (+ rainstick), 4 violas (4th + violin), double bass (+ rainstick), piano (+ analogue radio), percussion (+ analogue radio), 2009–11


Five Abstracts, small orchestra (14 players), 2000–01

Catafalque, small orchestra (24 players), 2002 (also version for piano)

Rode with Darkness, large orchestra (89 players), 2003

Outblaze the Sky, large orchestra (78 players), 2006

Wreathe, orchestra/large orchestra (8 winds, 9 brass, harp, timpani, percussion, strings), 2007

By the Screen in the Sun at the Hill on the Gold, small orchestra (18 players), 2008

Più Mosso, large orchestra, 2009

At Three and Two, orchestra (12 winds, 11 brass, 3 percussion, 6 or more double basses), 2009–10

Wonderful Two-Headed Nightingale, violin, viola, small orchestra (2 oboes, 2 French horns, 6 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, double bass), 2011 (also shorter version as Wonderful No-Headed Nightingale)


Man Shoots Strangers from Skyscraper, flute, oboe, clarinet, harp, violin, viola, cello, celesta, 2002

Horn Trio, French horn, violin, piano, 2004

Chiaroscuro, violin, cello, piano, 2002–05

Slow Music, flute, oboe, clarinet, harp, violin, viola, cello, celesta, 2005

Of the Air, string quartet, 2008–09

Self-Assembly Composition No. 1, any number of players, 2009

Great Bass Rackett, bassoon, 2009

Three Intermezzi, piano, string quartet, 2011–12 (its three movements may precede the movements of the Quintette en fa mineur, M 7 by César Franck)

Nine Little Boxes, All Carefully Packed. Six pieces in nine boxes, string quartet, 2011

Wonderful No-Headed Nightingale, flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, trombone, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, 2012 (shorter version of Wonderful Two-Headed Nightingale)

Renewal, flute (+ piccolo), oboe, clarinet, French horn, trombone, harp, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, percussion, 2012–13


On Time (text by John Milton), mixed chorus, small orchestra/orchestra (8 winds, 2 French horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, percussion, strings), 2008


Or Voit Tout En Aventure (texts from 14th-century sources from France, Italy), soprano, small orchestra (16 players), 2005–06

Good Dream She Has (text by Glyn Maxwell, after John Milton), soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, alto flute, English horn, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon (+ contrabassoon), French horn, trumpet, harp, guitar, violin, viola, cello, double bass, percussion, 2007–08

Upon St. George's Hill (text from The True Levellers Standard Advanced), tenor, guitar, 2008

Willy and Hugh (text by Anthony Browne), speaker, flute, bassoon, harp, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, percussion, 2009

Igor, The Bird Who Couldn't Sing (text by Satoshi Kitamura), speaker, clarinet, piano, 2011


Catafalque, 2002 (version of orchestral work)

Give Him His Hat, piano/piano 4 hands, 2010


Five Abstracts (II, IVV). Pierre-André Valade/London Sinfonietta (NMC Recordings: D078, 2002)

Upon St. George's Hill. (NMC Recordings: D150, 2009)