The music world will celebrate Jonathan Harvey’s 70th birthday on 3rd May 2009. Born in Warwickshire in 1939, Jonathan Harvey was a chorister at St Michael’s College, Tenbury and later a major music scholar at St John’s College, Cambridge. He gained doctorates from the universities of Glasgow and Cambridge and (on the advice of Benjamin Britten) also studied privately with Erwin Stein and Hans Keller.
An invitation from Boulez to work at IRCAM in the early 1980s has so far resulted in eight realisations at the Institute and two for the Ensemble Intercontemporain. Harvey has also composed for most other genres: orchestra, chamber, as well as works for solo instruments, and many widely-performed unaccompanied works for choir, as well as three operas.
Harvey is now in constant demand from a host of international organisations, attracting commissions far into the future and his music is extensively played and toured by the major ensembles of our time. Some 150-200 performances are given or broadcast each year and about 80 recordings of his music are available on CD.
He was awarded the prestigious Britten Award for composition in 1993.