Md. composer on Salisbury U. faculty gets premiere at Scotland's St. Magnus Festival
Robert Baker, a Canadian-born composer on the Salisbury University Music Department faculty, is one of eight people chosen from the U.S., the U.K. and Germany to participate in the Composers' Course at the St. Magnus Festival in Orkney, the archipelago in northern Scotland.
The highly regarded festival was founded in 1977 by Peter Maxwell Davies, the eminent British composer who has long been based in the Orkney islands area.
Baker and the other composers in the course will each produce a work of about six minutes that will be premiered on the last day of the festival, June 24, by a string ensemble called Psappha.
Baker, who recently started on the composition, is set to arrive ...
in Orkney on June 13 and finish the score during the festival, after getting feedback from the players. He'll also be working on the piece with Davies.
Samples of Baker's music can be found on his Web site. Judging by those excerpts, his style is decisively contemporary in its sophisticated use of dissonance and its exploitation on sonic effects.
I can't recall ever coming across Baker's music in the Baltimore area. Since he lives just over on the Eastern Shore, perhaps his Scottish exposure this summer will help bring him extra attention in Maryland, too.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SALISBURY UNIVERSITY