Paul Usher


Born in  London in 1970, Paul studied guitar and piano at the Royal Academy of Music and composition at Kings College, London.

He went on to complete an MA in Music at the University of York and also writing studies of Ligeti and Nancarrow. In 1999 Paul was given the Young Composers Award at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival where the Arditti Quartet played short-listed works that year.

Since then Paul has written two pieces for the Ardittis, and made arrangements of Nancarrow Studies for them, commissioned by Audi AG and West Deutscher Rundfunk.

Other commissions came from South West German Radio for the 2004 Donaueschinger Musiktage and jointly from WDR and Ensemble Modern to write a piece based on sketches for a Pianola Concerto left unfinished by Nancarrow.

This piece, the 'Nancarrow Concerto' was performed by Ensemble Modern and pianolist Rex Lawson for whom the Concerto was originally to have been written.

It was described by one reviewer as '... cheerful turbulence, combining the genius of Nancarrow with that of Mickey Mouse'.

Paul's music has been performed at the Bath International Music Festival, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Witten,  Wien Modern, as well as in France, Germany, North and South America by groups, soloists and conductors including the Composers Ensemble, Ensemble Aleph, Sarah Nicolls, Jonathan Powell, Hans Zender, Fabrice Bollon, the Arditti String Quartet, the Calder Quartet, Ensemble Modern, Ictus, Nieuw Ensemble and the SWR Orchestra.
Selected past performances

2008

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    Nancarrow Concerto
    Ictus w. Rex Lawson
    03/10/2008

    Cité de la Musique, Paris

     

     

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      lines of drift
      YARN/WIRE
      31/05/2008
       
      Tenri Cultural Center , New York

      2007

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        lines of drift
        Ensemble 2X2
        22/04/2007
        Festsaal, Witten

         

         

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          String Quartet No. 2
          Arditti Quartet
          __/04/2007
          - - - - - - -, Mexico City

           

           

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            on the thread of a tune
            Nieuw Ensemble
            07/09/2007
            Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam

             

             

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              String Quartet No. 2
              Arditti Quartet
              13/1/2007

              Teatro do Sesc V. Sao Paulo, Brasil

               

                 

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                  on the thread of a tune
                  Nieuw Ensemble
                  22/11/2007
                  Town Hall, Huddersfield

                  2006

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                    String Quartet No. 2
                    Arditti Quartet
                    19/10/2006
                    Christuskirche, Donaueschingen

                     

                     

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                      String Quartet No. 2
                      Arditti Quartet
                      27/11/2006
                      Chamber Music Society, Trieste

                       

                       

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                        String Quartet No. 2
                        Arditti Quartet
                        16/11/2006
                        Union Chapel, London

                         

                         

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                          String Quartet No. 2
                          Arditti Quartet
                          15/10/2006
                          Hamburg Liebermann Studio for NDR

                           

                           

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                            String Quartet No. 2
                            Arditti Quartet
                            01/10/2006
                            Teatro Farnese, Traiettorie Festival

                            2004

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                              Nancarrow arr. Usher Study #33
                              Arditti Quartet
                              04/12/2004
                              Zankel Hall, New York

                               

                               

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                                Nancarrow arr. Usher Study #33
                                Arditti Quartet
                                --/11/2004
                                Wien Modern

                                 

                                 

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                                  String Quartet No. 2
                                  Arditti Quartet
                                  29/11/2004
                                  Los Angeles County Museum of Art

                                   

                                   

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                                    Nancarrow arr. Usher Studies 31 & 33
                                    Arditti Quartet
                                    20/11/2004
                                    Festival Novart - Glob Théâtre - Bordeaux

                                     

                                     

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                                      String Quartet No. 2
                                      Arditti Quartet
                                      20/11/2004
                                      Festival Novart - Glob Théâtre - Bordeaux

                                       

                                       

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                                        Nancarrow Concerto
                                        Ensemble Modern/deRoo/Lawson
                                        15/11/2004
                                        Alte Oper, Frankfurt

                                         

                                         

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                                          Nancarrow arr. Usher Studies 31 & 33
                                          Arditti Quartet
                                          14/11/2004
                                          WDR Sendesaal, Köln

                                           

                                           

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                                            String Quartet No. 2
                                            Arditti Quartet
                                            14/11/2004
                                            WDR Sendesaal, Köln

                                             

                                             

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                                              Nancarrow Concerto
                                              Ensemble Modern/deRoo/Lawson
                                              13/11/2004
                                              WDR Sendesaal, Köln

                                               

                                               

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                                                A Crypt for Christina
                                                SWR/Bollon
                                                13/11/2004
                                                St. Etienne / Andrézieux-Bouthéon Salle du Palais des Sports

                                                 

                                                 

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                                                  A Crypt for Christina
                                                  SWR/Zender
                                                  17/10/2004
                                                  Donaueschingen

                                                   

                                                   

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                                                    Canon Ostinato
                                                    Jonathan Powell
                                                    2004
                                                    Bush Hall

                                                    2002

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                                                      Canon Ostinato/Song
                                                      Sarah Nicolls
                                                      28/04/2002
                                                      Purcell Room


                                                      2001

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                                                        String Quartet No. 1
                                                        Arditti Quartet
                                                        29/11/2001
                                                        HCMF

                                                         

                                                         

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                                                          String Quartet No. 1
                                                          Arditti Quartet
                                                          14/11/2001
                                                          Wien Modern

                                                           

                                                           

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                                                            String Quartet No. 1
                                                            Arditti Quartet
                                                            21/07/2001
                                                            Eichstatt