Having spent twenty years living in Auckland, Richard Bolley is proud to consider himself – at least in part – a New Zealander, although he lives at present in London, England, where he was born in 1951.
Up until 2010 his compositional life had been rather episodic, with periods of absorption in creativity interspersed with phases during which his life as first an administrator of the arts and then of education has taken over. With the commencement of a part-time PhD in Composition at Goldsmiths, University of London, however, composition became a regular part of his life once more.
His portfolio of compositions entitled Travels with Alex, inspired by the travel writings of the intrepid French Buddhist, Alexandra David-Néel - will be submitted at the end of 2018, and comprises an hour-long cycle of nine pieces for obbligato viola and various instrumental groups. Three of these pieces were performed in a concert at Goldsmiths on the 5th of June 2018. Entitled ‘Mantras and Mandalas’, the event involved eight monks from the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, the Ligeti Quartet, counter-tenor Ben Williamson, prepared-piano player Kate Ryder and others, conducted by Roger Redgate (his supervisor at Goldsmiths).
Richard studied composition at the University of York with Richard Orton, at the Royal College of Music with John Lambert (he won a Herbert Howells Prize for Composition at the RCM) and, for a short time, with Jonathan Harvey. In New Zealand he studied at the University of Auckland with John Rimmer and John Elmsly, subsequently being awarded a doctoral scholarship and a Claude McCarthy Fellowship. An early interest in vocal music broadened later into explorations of electronic media, the orchestra and, even (his own instrument), the piano – of which a long acquaintance had led him to be rather nervous. Recurrent preoccupations have been the interplay of highly ordered and free-form elements, of mosaic structures with melismatic vocal and instrumental lines and a quasi-spiritual search for a balance of dissonance and tonal elements.
for soprano, 6 violins, 2 violas, tubular bells and vibraphone
for soprano, four baritones, oboe, clarinet, alto sax, bassoon, violin and two pianos
for two violins
for soprano and SATB choir with optional organ accompaniment, 2m
for 2 sopranos, 2 tenors, 2 baritones, 3 percussion and string quintet
for soprano, mezzo-soprano, violin, vibraphone and piano
for 2 clarinets, 2 cellos, percussion and piano
for SATB choir with organ
for trumpet, clarinet, cello and orchestra, 24m
for tenor and piano
for vibraphone and piano
for clarinet and piano
for soprano, two violins, two cellos, celesta and piano
for mixed chamber quartet
for piccolo, 8 flutes and alto flute
for soprano, vibraphone, three suspended cymbals and three gongs
for prepared piano, drum-kit and electronic tape (one player)
for mezzo soprano and orchestra
for vibraphone and harp
for alto flute, bass clarinet, vibraphone, 3 suspended cymbals and 3 gongs
for mezzo-soprano, clarinet, electronic organ, percussion and piano
for orchestra and string quartet
for soprano, oboe, piano duet (or solo) and percussion
For tenor and string quartet
for piccolo, two violins, two violas and two pianos
for flute, viola and harp
for bassoon and piano
for mixed chamber ensemble, 1m