Festival Creative Fellow 2005-06
In 2005-2006 the Creative Fellowship was awarded to the young Scottish composer Stuart MacRae to work on an opera commission from the Edinburgh International Festival. The work, The Assassin Tree, with libretto by Simon Armitage, was premiered at the 2006 Edinburgh International Festival.
Stuart MacRae was born in Inverness in 1976. He read Music at Durham University and studied composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He was a finalist in the 1996 Lloyd's Bank Young Composer's Workshop and his music is now in great demand. In 1999 he was appointed Composer-in-Association with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. His 'Violin Concerto' received its world première, to great critical acclaim, at the 2001 BBC Proms, with soloist Tasmin Little and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Martyn Brabbins, and its Scottish premiere at the Edinburgh Festival in 2002. Two works received their world premieres in 2005: an orchestral commission from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and a piece for solo soprano and mixed ensemble commissioned by the Gulbenkian Foundation, for first performance by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group in Lisbon, Portugal.
Stuart MacRae was the third holder of this Fellowship. The two previous Festival Fellows have been the playwrights Douglas Maxwell and David Harrower. Professor Susan Manning, Director of the Institute, emphasised the value of this continuing collaboration with the Edinburgh International Festival which is of mutual benefit to the University of Edinburgh, the Festival and the individual concerned. The Creative Fellows are part of the stimulating interdisciplinary community in the Institute and the year-long Fellowship gives them an opportunity to develop their creative thinking in a supportive environment.
Brian McMaster, Festival Director, said: "The Festival Fellowship is a unique opportunity to involve artists in a cross disciplinary group of creative minds. It gives an artist space to work on a new project. We look forward to hearing the results".