Personalities | Oliver Knussen | Contemporary | Classical
English composer and conductor
Knussen gained initial public attention at 15 conducting his own First Symphony with the London Symphony Orchestra. He then studied composition in the US, achieving success not long after his return with the fantasy operas Where the Wild Things Are (1979–83) and Higglety Pigglety Pop! (1984–85), based on the children’s books by Maurice Sendak (who collaborated on their librettos and stage designs). Much in demand as a conductor, Knussen works regularly with the London Sinfonietta, the BBC Symphony and the Cleveland Orchestra; while this has restricted his activity as a composer, his immaculately crafted orchestral works – such as the concertos for horn (1994) and violin (2002) and his Flourish with Fireworks (1993, a homage to Stravinsky) – have been widely performed.
Horn Concerto, Whitman Settings, Flourish with Fireworks, etc., soloists, London Sinfonietta (cond) Oliver Knussen (Deutsche Grammophon)
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