Gavin Higgins


Described as ‘boldly imaginative’ [the Times], ‘a talent to watch’ [New York Times] and ‘one of the most interesting voices of his generation‘ [Limelight], Gavin Higgins is one of Britains most exciting and gifted compositional talents.

Higgins was born in Gloucestershire (1983) and studied french horn and composition at Chetham’s School of Music, The Royal Northern College of Music, and the Royal College of Music.

In 2010 Higgins became the inaugural composer in residence for the Rambert Dance Company for whom he wrote a number of daring ballet scores including What Wild Ecstasy (2012) and the ground-breaking Dark Arteries (2015) which were shortlisted for Royal Philharmonic Society and British Composer Awards. In 2019 his first opera, The Monstrous Child, commissioned by the Royal Opera House, opened to critical acclaim, being described as ‘a triumph’ [the Guardian ★★★★] and ‘a spectacular new opera’ [Culture Whisper ★★★★] and in 2020 Higgins was appointed Composer-in-Association with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

Higgins has worked with orchestras and ensembles such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Psappha New Music Ensemble, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Aalborg Symphony Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonie Zuidnederland and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

His collaborations with soloists has resulted in daring and substantial additions to the concerto repertoire. This includes the wild and wacky Percussion Concerto (Beano Concerto) for Colin Currie; the Horn Concerto for Ben Goldscheider, described as ‘an immediate hit’ [the Times]; and the Trombone Concerto (The Book of Miracles), commissioned by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, won an Ivor Novello Award in 2019.

His debut album of chamber music, Ekstasis — ‘seductively sinewy and sensuously gritty‘ [Limelight ★★★★★] – was released in 2019 to wide acclaim. An album of chamber works that confirms ‘a fastidious and arresting compositional voice‘ [Gramophone], with music that, ‘constantly intrigues and fascinates with its combination of sophisticated instrumental writing and magical textures‘ [Planet Hughill ★★★★★]. The debut album of his orchestral music, featuring The Faerie Bride and the Horn Concerto will be released in Autumn 2024 on the Lyritta label.

His work has been commissioned by some of the UK’s leading festivals, including four commissions for the BBC Proms: Der Aufstand  (2012), Rough Voices (2020), the ‘fast, exciting and brilliantly scored’ [The Telegraph] Velocity which opened the Last Night of the Proms (2014), and his most recent and substantial piece, the ‘ingenious work’ [Observer ★★★★★]  Concerto Grosso for Brass Band and Orchestra (2022) for which he won a Royal Philharmonic Society Award and a South Bank Sky Arts Award.