Ian Venables was born in Liverpool in 1955 and was educated at Liverpool Collegiate Grammar School. He studied music with Professor Richard Arnell at Trinity College of Music, London and later with Andrew Downes, John Mayer and John Joubert in Birmingham. His compositions encompass many genres, and in particular he has added significantly to the canon of English art song. Described as ’...one of the finest song composers of his generation...’, he has written over 50 works in this genre.
Ian Venables is a worthy sucessor to those many art song-composers who, from the 19th century renaissance of British music to the present day - from Parry and Stanford and continuing through Finzi - have considered the setting of English works to music as central to their artistic creeds. Ian Venables impresses as a composer who has not only added significantly to the genre of English art-song but is also contributing to its continuing development.
Albany Records previous release ’On Wenlock Edge’ (SIG112) featured Andrew Kennedy and the Dante Quartet performing Venables’s Songs of Eternity and SOrrow Op 36 and was recieved with fantastic review by both listeners and musicologists.
’Kenedy copes marvellously with the music’s kaleidoscopic, constantly changing moods ... Venables’s four settings come as an unexpected bonus, and cap an outstanding CD no lover of British music should miss." - The Mail On Sunday
Venables’ songs are sharply responsive to the weight and meaning of every word, and his style ... around Kennedy’s voice like a glove... The tenor handles the texts superbly, making every word perfectly clear." The Guardian
"...The Dante Quartet plays all this music with commitment and is a pleasure to hear... His [Andrew Kennedy] is bright and solid ... This is my first aquaintance with Venable’s music, and I have enjoyed it and the music-making here, especially of the first cycle. It remains to add that Signum’s transparent sound also contributes to the pleasure of the listening."
Alan Swanson - Fanfare - March/April 2011