Antony Pitts was born in 1969 and is one of several composers in his family. He wrote his first pieces down at the age of 8, and sang as a treble in the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace, and in a band called Room 33 while at Tiffin Boys’ School. At New College, Oxford he was an Academic Scholar and later an Honorary Senior Scholar; he gained the joint highest mark in Moderations and in 1990 First-Class Honours in Music. His career since as a composer, director, producer, and teacher has combined academic, industry, and professional musical experience at world-class levels: a decade-long association with the Royal Academy of Music culminating in a series of international presentations as a Senior Lecturer; a rich and varied output as a BBC Senior Producer marked by ground-breaking practice and an exceptional catalogue of awards and nominations; and a creative record as a composer, scholar, and performer with an acclaimed series of recordings of “milestones of early Western music” on Naxos, and commissions for leading European vocal ensembles. While still at New College he founded Tonus Peregrinus and in 2004 won a Cannes Classical Award for his interpretation of Arvo Pärt’s Passio
with the ensemble. He joined BBC Radio 3 in 1992, and in 1995 made Facing the Radio for which he received the Radio Academy BT Award in 1996; he has been nominated no fewer than eight times for the premier international radio prize, the Prix Italia, winning in 2004 with A Pebble in the Pond
. He pioneered new courses in Composition and Creative Technology at the Royal Academy of Music, and is a patron of the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music and an honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Church Music. Antony’s music has been premiered at Wigmore Hall and Westminster Cathedral in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and the Philharmonie Kammermusiksaal in Berlin; his scores are published by 1equalmusic and Faber Music – notably the 40-part motet XL
and The Naxos Book of Carols
, while recordings of his music are available on Hyperion, Harmonia Mundi, Naxos, Signum, and Unknown Public. His double-choir mass setting for the Dutch Illustre Lieve Vrouwe Broederschap was the first to be commissioned by the foundation for almost 500 years, and his music was chosen to be sung at Alexander Litvinenko’s memorial, including part of a specially-composed Requiem. In the summer of 2011 his cantata Who is my neighbour?
was recorded during an Aldeburgh Residency at Snape, and premiered as part of Road to Jericho
at the opening of the Spitalfields Festival. Antony is now writing an opera telling the story of Western music.
from notes by Jeremy Summerly © 2008