STEPHEN PRATT Principal Conductor, Cathedral Orchestra
Stephen Pratt studied first to be a primary teacher at Christ’s College, Liverpool. He then studied conducting at the Royal Manchester College of Music, read Music at Reading University followed by postgraduate studies in composition with Hugh Wood.
Initially he became known with works like the Piano Sonata (1974-5) and Star and Dead Leaves for flute and piano (1977) which were both selected for performance in the BBC Young Composers’ Forums of 1976 and 1978.
His strong links with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra began in 1978 when an Arts Council bursary enabled him to write his first orchestral work, Some of their Number (1978-9), which was given its premiere by the RLPO under Simon Rattle in 1980, with three more performances by the orchestra under Barry Wordsworth in 1984. In 1991 he completed Uneasy Vespers I, commissioned for the Choir and Orchestra to mark the 150th anniversary of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society; in October 2003 the RLPO under Gerard Schwartz gave the premiere of his Violin Concerto, with Anthony Marwood as soloist.
In May, 2003, Ensemble 10:10 gave the first performance of a set of songs, Lovebytes, with the soprano Patricia Rozario. The work was subsequently nominated for a British Composer’s Award by the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters. These latter two works were recently released on CD on the RLPO label alongside Double Act(2006-7), a work commissioned by the Ensemble 10:10 to celebrate their 10th anniversary. Miraculous Mandolin was premièred by Kokoro in Bournemouth in November 2007 and as one of Liverpool’s Capital of Culture commissions his Uneasy Vespers II was premièred by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra on 23 October 2008.
Beyond his orchestral work there have been chamber works for such artists as the Chilingirian Quartet, Gemini and Psappha and he has worked closely with the pianist Joanna MacGregor. Stephen was principal guest conductor with the Metropolitan Cathedral Orchestra for 25 years, and has recently been appointed its Principal Conductor He is currently Professor of Music at Liverpool Hope University, a Fellow of the University of Liverpool and Emeritus Professor at Gresham College, London.