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Gavin Bryars

Gavin Bryars, photo by Nick White

(b. 1943)

Born in Yorkshire, England, Richard Gavin Bryars (b. January 16, 1943) is a composer and double bass player. He attended the University of Sheffield before traveling to the U.S. and studying with John Cage. He is associated with the so-called New York School, and the influence of Morton Feldman, Earle Brown and Minimalist movement is evident in his early works such as The Sinking of the Titanic (1969) and Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet (1971).

Later pieces of note include After the Requiem (1990), A Man In A Room, Gambling (1992), and the cello concerto Farewell to Philosophy (1995) premiered by Julian Lloyd Webber. Bryars has worked in a large number of forms, including opera, string quartets and concertos. He has also created dance music and participated in mutlitmedia projects as both a performer and a composer.

Recommended Recordings

After the Requiem

ECM New Series 1424
After the Requiem with Alaric, Allegrasco & Old Tower/ECM New Series 1424
Bill Frisell (guitar), Alexander Balanescu (viola), Kate Musker (viola), Anthony Hinnigan (cello)

Concerto for Cello "Farewell to Philosophy"

Philips 473296-2
Farewell to Philosophy; One Last Bar, Then Joe Can Sing; Les Fiançailles; Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet; Green Ray; Adnan Songbook; The Sinking of the Titanic; The North Shore/Philips 473296-2
Julian Lloyd Webber (cello), James Judd/English Chamber Orchestra