Martin Suckling was born in Glasgow in 1981. After spending his teenage years performing in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and in ceilidh bands around Scotland, Suckling studied music at Clare College Cambridge and King’s College London. He was a Paul Mellon Fellow at Yale University from 2003-5, undertook doctoral research at the Royal Academy of Music, and subsequently became a Stipendiary Lecturer in Music at Somerville College, Oxford. His teachers include George Benjamin, Robin Holloway, Paul Patterson, Martin Bresnick, Ezra Laderman, and Simon Bainbridge. He has benefited from residencies at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Aldeburgh Festival, Aspen, and IRCAM, and has won numerous awards including the 2008 Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize and a Philip Leverhulme Prize. He is Senior Lecturer in Composition at the University of York.
What drew you to a career in music?
It is what I always wanted to do. I’m sorry that’s such a dull / stereotypical answer, but it’s true. I don’t think I ever really considered anything else.
How would you describe your work?
What positive and negative aspects have you found lockdown has had on your work?
these bones, this flesh, this skin, Martin’s collaboration with the Scottish Ensemble and the Scottish Dance Theatre goes live on Wednesday 5th August 2020.
Martin’s work is published by Faber Music, and you can see the collection on their website.
“Happy, wired, jumpily pulsing – approachable in idiom but unpredictable in movement”– Alex Ross: The Rest is Noise.com
“masterly sure-footed..”– Frankfurter Rundschau
Winner of the 2008 Royal Philharmonic Composition Prize, Martin Suckling grew up in Glasgow and spent his youth playing fiddle in ceilidh bands throughout Scotland as well as violin in the National Youth Orchestra. He has since been commissioned by ensembles including the London Symphony Orchestra, Grimethorpe Colliery Band, the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, the Britten Sinfonia, and the Le Huray Trio, and has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, WPKN, and KulturRadio.
Martin graduated from Clare College Cambridge with a starred first and gained his MMus with distinction at King’s College London. Subsequently, Martin held the Paul Mellon Fellowship at Yale University from 2003-5, where he was presented with the Horatio Parker Memorial Award. He is currently completing his PhD in composition at the Royal Academy of Music. As a student, Martin received many awards for composition, including the Royalton Kisch, Hilda Margaret Watts, and Woods Chandler Prizes. Martin has benefited from residencies at the RSC, Aldeburgh, and Aspen, and attended the IRCAM academy in Glasgow. His teachers include George Benjamin, Robin Holloway, Paul Patterson, Martin Bresnick, and most recently Simon Bainbridge.
At the end of 2007, Martin’s ‘adopt-a-composer’ commission, Mosaic, was shortlisted for the British Composer Awards, and his viola duo, Gemini, was performed at the 2007 ISCM World Music Days in Hong Kong. His attendance at the ISCM festival was generously supported by the Royal Academy of Music and the PRS Foundation’s ‘Music Abroad’ scheme.
Recent commissions include The Island, for the Royal Shakespeare Company; Aotromachd, for the Hebrides Ensemble; and a new work for the London Sinfonietta. The Moon, the Moon!, commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra as part of the UBS Soundscapes: Pioneers scheme, has recently been recorded by the orchestra under Francois-Xavier Roth.
Martin is Lecturer in Music at Somerville College Oxford, and teaches musicianship and composition at the Junior Department of the Royal College of Music.