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Venables, Ian (b1955)
© Graham Wallhead

Ian Venables

born: 1955
country: United Kingdom

Ian Venables studied composition with Richard Arnell at Trinity College of Music, London and later with John Joubert, Andrew Downes and John Mayer at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. His works encompass many genres and he has added significantly to the canon of English art song.

Described as ‘Britain’s greatest living composer of art song’ (Musical Opinion) and ‘a song composer as fine as Finzi and Gurney’ (BBC Music Magazine), Ian Venables has written over 80 works in this genre and includes nine song-cycles: Venetian Songs—Love’s Voice, Op 22 (1995); Invite to Eternity, Op 31 (1997) for tenor and string quartet; Songs of Eternity and Sorrow, Op 36 (2004) for tenor, string quartet and piano; On the wings of love, Op 38 (2006) for tenor, clarinet and piano; The pine boughs past music, Op 39 (2009) for baritone and piano; Remember this, Op 40 (2011) a cantata for soprano, tenor, string quartet and piano; The Song of the Severn, Op 43 (2013) for baritone, string quartet and piano; Through these pale cold days, Op 46 (2016) for tenor, viola and piano and The Last Invocation, Op 50.

Beyond the world of art song he has written many chamber and choral works that include a Piano Quintet, Op 27 (1995); String Quartet, Op 32 (1989); Awake, awake, the world is young, Op 34 (2000) for mezzo-soprano, strings, brass, percussion and organ; Requiem, Op 48 (2019) as well as smaller pieces for solo instruments and piano.

Ian Venables is President of the Arthur Bliss Society, a Vice-President of the Gloucester Music Society, Chairman of the Ivor Gurney Society and an Honorary Fellow of Exeter University. His music is published by Novello and Co (The Wise Music Group) and has been recorded on the Regent, SOMM, Signum and Naxos labels.


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Complete works available for download

Alphabetical listing of all musical works

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