Information about multiple-international-award-winning Florence Anna Maunders & her career
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 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. She's currently working on a major commission with Strange Trace Opera - a new opera called Goliath, which will be recorded and filmed as part of the Stencils Festival in 2021. She's also collaborating with Fulham Brass Band as part of Sound and Music's very exciting "Adopt A Music Creator" program, and is composing in an ongoing participation with the NYC-based The Brass Project, in addition to new commissions from ORA Singers (a new piece called Vessel in collaboration with Tate Modern), the Villiers Quartet and the Hypotenuse Trio. She's also working on a new piece for 'cello and piano as part of the Psappha "Composing for..." program, and newly commissioned solo works for Lynn Henderson, Stephanie Frye-Clarke, Cort Reynolds and others. In addition she's working on the score to an upcoming short film...
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 Work
A selection of recent and historical performances
"Not Getting Out"
Exciting new string quartet piece in a fabulous performance by the Villers Quartet who commissioned it as part of their "From Home" series
"Either Everything Is Or Nothing Is"
Exciting & dramatic duet for 'cello & piano in a fantastic performance by Ben Powell & Jen Langridge
Created for and performed by Black Pencil Ensemble at Orgelpark Amsterdam as part of the Prix Annelli De Mann
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
Large work for 'cello & orchestra performed by Nicholas Trygstadt with the RNCMSO, conducted by Stuart Stratford.
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
Click links to listen to & buy these recordings
None Of Them Are Ever Coming Back