London-based composer Blai Soler was born in 1977 in Barcelona. He studied music at the city's Conservatoire until 1996 when he moved to London to continue his training at the Royal College of Music. Subsequently he gained his MMus and PhD from King’s College London where he studied with George Benjamin.
His early pieces are mostly chamber music and include Motus (2002), Ecce Homo (2003), Cantus Firmus (2006), Tumults, Visions (2007) and the Clarinet Quintet (2008) – this last piece was written for Cristo Barrios and the Arditti Quartet. In 2008-2009 he took part in the Ensemble Modern’s International Composition Seminar, culminating with performances of d’amor i mort, for large ensemble, in Frankfurt and Munich. In 2009 he wroteTankas, a piano trio commissioned by the Festival Nous Sons (L’Auditori, Barcelona), a piece which in 2011 featured at the Festival Musica in Strasbourg.
Blai Soler’s orchestral breakthrough came in 2011 with Plain-Chant, a commission by the London Philharmonic Orchestra who gave a highly acclaimed first performance of the piece at the Queen Elizabeth Hall under Clement Power. This led the LPO to commission yet another work from him, A Walpurgis Night, for large ensemble, which premiered at the Royal Festival Hall later in the year, conducted by Nicholas Collon. That same year Plain-Chant was played in the inaugural concert at the Klangspuren Festival in Austria with the Tiroler Symphonieorchester Innsbruck led by Franck Ollu. In the 2012-13 season Blai Soler was the focus of an ‘artist portrait’ by the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, including performances of Plain-Chant at the inaugural concert and subsequently in southern France, as well as the premiere of a specially commissioned work for large orchestra, Divinacions, all conducted by Pablo González.
One of his latest works, Imaginings – Six Pieces for String Quartet, commissioned by the Park Lane Group, received its premiere in 2014, with The Telegraph review praising “his six brief visions [which] stood out with the clarity of a dream”. The piece has since been played on numerous occasions including a live performance by the Artesian Quartet for BBC Radio 3.
Blai Soler’s music is published by Éditions Durand (Universal Music Publishing).
20 min. Éditions Durand
10 min. Editions Durand