World renowned composer, conductor and artistic director, Professor Shirley Joy Thompson OBE (BA Hons Music, 1979), will discuss her successful career in our next Liverpool Leaders online event.
Her distinguished music is performed and screened worldwide and often described as “beautiful and powerful” (Le Figaro). A visionary artist and cultural activist, Professor Thompson is the first woman in Europe to have composed and conducted a symphony within the last 40 years. ‘New Nation Rising, a 21st Century Symphony’ performed and recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is an epic musical story celebrating London’s thousand-year history, and one in which the RPO is accompanied by two choirs, solo singers, a rapper and dhol drummers, a total of nearly 200 performers. This extraordinary work was originally commissioned for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002 and the concept was latterly assumed as a framework for the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony. She has also composed extensively for TV, film, theatre, dance and opera production.
Described as ‘a changemaker’ in The Guardian (2017), Professor Thompson has transformed classical music forms such as opera and orchestral music with ground-breaking musical innovations that have greatly impacted the field of music composition. Music by Professor Thompson has also been commissioned for several royal engagements, including the recent coronation of King Charles III, where her music featured alongside 11 other world-famous contemporary British composers. Professor Thompson’s work has also featured at Other royal engagements include the performing for HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Commonwealth Day celebrations at Westminster Abbey in 1999; performing with her ensemble for HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Summer Party at Buckingham Palace in 2001; and opening the newly built Stratford Cultural Quarter with the London Gala Orchestra performing the Newham Symphony, with Prince Edward and Countess Sophie of Wessex in attendance in May, 2002. In 2000 she was commissioned to compose a large-scale work to commemorate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002.
Professor Thompson will be interviewed at the event before questions will be opened up to audience members. We hope you can join us!