Information about Florence Anna Maunders & her career
Beside composing Flori also performs regularly as a freelance orchestral percussionist, teaches piano (for Berkshire Maestros), teaches music classes to A-Level (for St Bartholomew's School), conducts choirs & orchestras, accompanies choirs, shows & recitals (for example Newbury Childrens' Choir), sings with various chamber groups, produces arrangements for bands and orchestras of all abilities & plays piano & organ for church services around the local area.
Florence Anna Maunders started to compose music when she was a teenager, and her early tape-based pieces from this time reveal an early fascination with the unusual juxtapositions of sounds and collisions of styles which have been a hallmark of her music-making ever since. This is perhaps a reflection of the music which interested and excited her from a very young age – medieval dance music, prog-rock, electronic minimalism, bebop jazz, Eastern folk music, the music of Stravinsky & Messiaen, and the grand orchestral tradition of the European concert hall. Flori started out as James - a chorister, clarinetist and saxophone player, but following an undergraduate degree at the Royal Northern College of Music, where she studied with Anthony Gilbert, Adam Gorb, Simon Holt & Clark Rundell, she's enjoyed a mixed and international career as a jazz pianist, orchestral percussionist, vocalist, composer and teacher, and continues to be enormously busy in her forty-first year, although composition is taking up more and more of her time.
One of her main aims as a composer has always been to write music which excites and moves an audience – not to say that she has embraced populism, but that her music often pulsates and dances, or allows the luxury of melody to dominate. Her music often draws together a number of different stylistic currents to make something totally new and original, for instance her recent (and extensive) cantata Yaldo draws upon Syrian folk music, the music of the Byzantine Church in the middle ages, free jazz, Hebrew cantillation & complex Stravinskian rhythms to create a compulsive and explosive sound world. With a background in electronic music production, it's not surprising to hear the influence of dance culture in her compositions often to the fore – as an example take the piece Badder Gyrations, an “urban orchestral riot” which grows into a growling dubsteb-flavoured groove, before fragmenting into a kaleidoscopic melee of broken and recycled funk and soul fragments, coming together into a pulsating trance beat.
Recent & Upcoming Events
Flori has been recently working on a number of exciting projects: a concerto entitled Io for the clarinetist Thomas Carr, commissioned by Newbury Symphony Orchestra, which was performed this summer; Da Pacem Domine - an a capella vocal piece for the Cecilia Consort, and a solo piano piece commissioned by the Piano Teachers Congress of New York, which will be performed next year in Carnegie Hall. Her piece Power Moves VI was recently premiered by Red Note Ensemble as part of Noisy Nights. She also has planned premières of her music this season across the world - in particular Bursting Out (for harpsichord and mixed quintet) which will be performed in Amsterdam in April, Rhakasa Tuphani (for solo piano) in New York, and Bacchanal (for large orchestra) in London in March. 2020 will also see the premiere of Looking For More - a concerto for bass oboe and strings commissioned by the wonderful virtuoso Mikey Sluman.
Selection of recent prizes and awards
Prix Annelie de Man 2020
Black Pencil Prize 2020
Musica Prospettiva 2019-2020 - International Call for Scores
International Isolda Composition Foundation London (2019)
Shortlisted & Finalist
Filipino American Symphony Orchestra Composition Competition (2019)
Piano Teachers Congress of New York (PTCNY) Commissioning Award (2018)
Commissioning award for a new piece to be performed in Carnegie Hall (NYC) in Fall 2020
Royal Northern Symphonia Young Composers' Competition (2018)
Finalist & 2nd prizewinner
ARmusic Publishing House Award (2018)
"Khosk Im Vordum" (Words From My Mother) - a piece for solo (spoken) soprano & double-reed quartet to be published by ARMusic
2018 AGBU Sayat Nova International Composition Competition
3rd prize for Khosk Im Vordun (Words from My Mother) - a piece for solo (spoken) soprano & double-reed quartet
Bromley Symphony Orchestra Centenary Prize (2018)
Orchestra's choice prizewinner
Vienna "Sounds of Matter" (2018)
International Composition Competition Harelbeke (2018)
Selection of Work
A selection of recent and historical performances
Wind Quintet for players of the Moonlight Symphony Orchestra
Live performance from The Anvil, Basingstoke, performed by Clifton Band, conducted by Ben Copeman, and narrated by Neil Streeter.
Performed by the Royal Northern Sinfonia at The Sage Gateshead
"B'thulto Yeldath Dumoro"
The 6th movement of the Christmas cantata "Yaldo" performed by Newbury Chamber Choir directed by Ed Lambert
For amplified flute & electronics
2nd Prize winner at the 2018 "Sounds of Matter" competition in Vienna
Extended piece for cello & orchestra performed by Nicholas Trystead & the RNCMSO
Royal Northern College Of Music
BMus(hons) GRNCM PPRNCM
University Of Reading
Birmingham City University
Listen Imagine Compose MTL/MEL
Masters in Education/Musical Leadership