Niraj Chag

Niraj Chag Commission Announced

Published: Fri 6 Sep 2013

It has today been announced that composer Niraj Chag and artsdepot have been selected by PRS for Music Foundationas one of 20 composers and commissioning organisations to participate in the first ever UK-wide New Music Biennial. 

Niraj Chag, commissioned by artsdepot, will create a new multi art-form piece that explores his cultural heritage. The piece will take inspiration from the front page of newspapers from East Africa, India and the UK, on a specific date and will incorporate live music, image and dance. The new work will premiere at artsdepot on Sunday 29 June, and will also be performed as part of the venue’s 10th anniversary celebrations. 

The New Music Biennial has been developed in partnership with Creative Scotland, Arts Council England and the British Council. The New Music Biennial opened earlier this year, when organisations from all over the country submitted ideas for commissions they would like to realise with a UK based composer, working in any genre. They were invited to present ideas that would result in outstanding new music and include an international dimension that would tie in with Glasgow’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

The works selected for the New Music Biennial cover a wide range of genres, reflecting the diversity and richness of musical life across the UK - from contemporary classical, folk and jazz to world music, urban and electronic. The 20 new commissions, selected from over 130 proposals, will premiere in 2014 across the length and breadth of the UK. 

Niraj Chag said: “I am thrilled that the project has been selected for the New Music Biennial. My family history is inextricably tied to the Commonwealth as my family made the journey to England from India via Africa and for that reason this is a very personal work for me.”

Kerry Andrews, Artistic Director of artsdepot said: “Niraj is one of the most exciting young composers of our day and we’re thrilled to support this cross art-form commission pinpointing moments in history across India, East Africa and the UK. The final piece will also headline our 10th anniversary programme in 2014.”

Niraj Chag is best known as a composer for theatre, film, dance and TV having created the soundtrack for West End musical Wah Wah Girls and more than 20 dance productions including Shobana Jeyasingh's Classic Cuts (Royal Opera House, 2012); an avant-garde piece which merged South Indian Carnatic music and Bollywood samples.

The New Music Biennial is presenting a series of 20 brand new music commissions to audiences across the UK in 2014. All of these commissions will also be presented at two weekend showcases in London (4 - 6 July 2014) and Glasgow (2 - 3 August 2014) coinciding with the Commonwealth Games.

The New Music Biennial is a PRS for Music Foundation initiative, presented in partnership with Creative Scotland, Arts Council England and the British Council, and in collaboration with BBC Radio 3, NMC Recordings, Southbank Centre and Glasgow UNESCO City of Music. Additional support has been given by John S Cohen Foundation, Arts Council of Wales, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the Incorporated Society of Musicians and The Bliss Trust.

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