Born in Bellshill, Lanarkshire, Michael Spencer studied composition with Graham Hair at the University of Glasgow where he received an MA in Music and Scottish Literature. Between 1997 and 2002, he completed a MusM and PhD in Composition with Geoff Poole at Manchester University. Since 1998 he has worked privately with James Dillon, on whose work he has published two articles. In 2003, he received a stipend to attend the International Summer Course for Composers at Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, where he worked with Chaya Czernowin, Steve Takasugi and Richard Barrett. He has given talks and seminars on his own music and other aspects of new music in France and the USA as well as around the UK.



Sally Beamish: Nine Fragments [USA Premiere] @ Harvard Musical Association, Boston
Mar 18 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Folk Renaissance III: continuing our look at folk roots in the concert hall

Traditional: Scottish folk songs
Sally Beamish: String Quartet No. 4, “Nine Fragments” (2018) (U.S. Premiere)
Schumann: Quartet in A Minor, Op. 41, No. 1

Elias String Quartet (Sara Bitlloch, violin; Donald Grant, violin; Simone van der Giessen, viola; Marie Bitlloch, cello)

The internationally acclaimed Elias String Quartet captivated Da Camera’s audience with their encore of Scottish folk tunes when they appeared in 2017. Now they return with two distinct programs. Over two nights, the Elias Quartet traces the history of British music from Purcell to Britten to esteemed contemporary composer Sally Beamish. Anchoring their programs are two great masterpieces by Schubert and Schumann. Their Tuesday program is the second concert at the Menil pairing folk songs with a contemporary works.

Rory Boyle: Songs from the Marshes [London Première] and Tallis’s Light @ St Bride's, London
Mar 21 @ 7:30 pm

John Armitage Memorial Concert

Songs from the Marshes performed by Selwyn College Choir and conducted by Michael Bawtree

Also features Tallis’s Lights for brass quintet and organ.

Scottish National Jazz Orchestra: Norse Myths @ The Sanctuary, Queens Cross Church
Mar 22 @ 7:30 pm
Scottish National Jazz Orchestra: Norse Myths @ Queen's Hall, Edinburgh
Mar 23 @ 7:30 pm

Featuring Arild Andersen, Tommy Smith & Paolo Vinaccia

Nordic jazz has its own heroes, and foremost among them are master bassist, Arild Andersen and drummer/percussionist, Paolo Vinaccia. Both are admired as pre-eminent jazz masters, and are strongly associated with impressive jazz music that exploits overlooked possibilities. They collaborate here with Tommy Smith and the SNJO to tell new and original jazz stories spun around Norse legends, and together will exploit the unlimited potential of musical imagery.

Imaginations will run riot as Thor swings that famous hammer and Odin’s thunder rolls high above the roof of Valhalla. Scandinavian jazz increasingly incorporates folk and hymnal elements from Norse music. It is a phenomenon that is often reflected in Scottish jazz, and it’s worth noting too that Scottish folk music shares some Norse heritage. This project will demonstrate that startling new music is still waiting to be discovered, created, heard and shared.

Sally Beamish: Nine Fragments @ Baldwin Auditorium, Duke University
Mar 23 @ 8:00 pm


Mozart: String Quartet No. 15 in D Minor, K. 421

Sally Beamish: New commission, title to be announced

Schumann: String Quartet in A Minor, op. 41, no. 1

Scottish National Jazz Orchestra: Norse Myths @ Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Mar 24 @ 7:30 pm
Sally Beamish: Clara @ Recital Room, City Halls
Mar 27 @ 7:30 pm

Sandra Porter Mezzo-soprano

Graeme McNaught piano

Rebecca Rowe: About the Cauldron Sing [premiere] @ Reid Concert Hall, University of Edinburgh
Mar 29 @ 1:10 pm
Sally Beamish: Divertimenti [World Premiere] @ Kimmeridge House, Bournemouth University
Mar 31 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Bournemouth Chamber Music Society present the Divertimenti String Sextet who will be performing music by:

  • Dvorak: Sextet in A major, op.48
  • Beamish: Divertimenti
  • Brahms: Sextet no.2 in G major, op.36
Sally Beamish: String Quartet No.4, Nine Fragments @ The St Francis Auditorium at the New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe
Mar 31 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
  • SCHUBERT Quartet in A Minor, D. 804, “Rosamunde”
  • SALLY BEAMISH String Quartet NO. 4, “Nine Fragments”
  • SCHUMANN Quartet in A Minor, Op. 41, No. 1