Information about multiple-international-award-winning Florence Anna Maunders & her career
Florence Anna Maunders started to compose music when she was a teen-aged boy, 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 young, as 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 arranger, electronic music producer and teacher. Since 2018 she's had a bit of a radical transformation of her self and her career, and returned to composition as a main artistic focus, winning a series of awards & competitions, and with her music performed across the UK, Europe, the USA and the rest of the world - performances and collaborations with leading ensembles, orchestras and soloists.
Flori is very grateful for the assistance she's received from Help Musicians UK
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. Flori particularly enjoys collaborating with other musicians and creative artists. She's found that her identity as a transgender woman (and the formative experiences involved in reaching that point) to have had a profound influence on her perspectives towards composition, and this is overtly referenced in some works, more subtle in others - but in all cases her interest in musical transformations is very evident to even a casual listener.
Recent & Upcoming Events
Flori has been recently working on a number of exciting projects, although many of her performances and premieres have been put on hold by the current global pandemic, such as her performance of Bursting Out with Black Pencil Ensemble in Amsterdam, and Ben Wien's performance of her piano piece Tuphani Rakasa in his Carnegie Hall debut recital. Some highlights of her work during "lockdown" include solo works for the pianists Fidan Agheyeva-Edler and Tricia Dawn, collaborations with Prism Ensemble, new pieces for Red Note Ensemble, PercussionLab and Ensemble Assonance, a commission from oboist Debbie Fuller and a number of prizes and commissions for USA based brass chamber groups including The Diversity Initiative & The Brass Project. Hopefully alter this year will see premieres of Da Pacem Domine - an a capella vocal piece for the Cecilia Consort, the premiere of Looking For More - a concerto for bass oboe and strings commissioned by the wonderful virtuoso Mikey Sluman & Uprising - a new commission for Skipton Camerata. Check out the blog below for the most recent news each month.
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.
Selection of recent prizes and awards
Diversity Initiative Call for Scores (2020)
1st Prize (Quartet) 1st Prize (Septet) Honorable Mention (Duet) Overall Grand Prize Winner
A4 Brass Quartet Composition Competition (2020)
Brixworth International Composition Competition (2020)
1st Place Winner
Women's Orchestra of Arizona Composition Prize (2020)
1st Place Winner
London Consorts of Winds Competition (2020)
Shortlisted Finalist & Runner-up
Prix Annelie de Man 2020
Finalist (results postponed due to Covid-19)
Black Pencil Prize 2020
Finalist (results postponed due to Covid-19)
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
Performed by the Royal Northern Sinfonia at The Sage Gateshead
For large orchestra - played by Bromley Symphony Orchestra conducted by Adrian Brown
Live performance from The Anvil, Basingstoke, performed by Clifton Band, conducted by Ben Copeman, and narrated by Neil Streeter.
"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
"...and This Machine Was Their God"
Trio for clarinet, 'cello & percussion (2018) based on the writings of Karl Marx, jazz & post-minimalism.
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