Ian Shaw is honoured and delighted to be a winner of the Edwin Fissinger Composition Prize.
Born in England in 1960, he studied at Cambridge University, where he was an Organ Student of St John’s College and a John Stewart of Rannoch Scholar in Sacred Music, at the Sweelinck Conservatorium of Amsterdam and, in a recent sabbatical year, at Goldsmith’s College London, where his research interests included the development of Black theatre in the United Kingdom and the value of stand-up comedy in prisons.
A first‐study organist, his teachers included Peter Hurford, John Scott and Piet Kee. He was for nine years Sub-‐Organist at Durham Cathedral but for the last three decades has mainly worked outside church music as a conductor or pianist, in disciplines including ballet, music theatre and opera. He has a particular interest in new work, and has been involved in world premières of operas by, for example, Philip Glass at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden; Stuart MacRae, Lliam Paterson and others at Scottish Opera; Michael Ellison in Istanbul and Dominique Le Gendre in Trinidad.
He is a somewhat reticent composer. Where is this Stupendous Stranger? – dedicated to the Latvian flautist Alisa Klimanska – is typical of many small‐scale choral pieces. Larger works include Service of the Sacrament (a companion to Buxtehude’s Missa Brevis), an organ symphony The Temptation of Christ, an orchestral song‐cycle A Breath of Nothing (to the Orpheus Sonnets of Rilke) and incidental music for stage productions of Othello and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.