Edward Longstaff's music has 'great strength of purpose and a compelling sense of atmosphere'. Born in 1965, he studied composition with Brian Elias, both as a postgraduate student at Goldsmith's College and subsequently privately. He is a long-standing member of staff at The Purcell School. He has written extensively for professional groups and young performers, and a number of his pieces have been published, recorded and broadcast.
Described as 'powerful music' and 'utilising the full range of the instrument', his oboe piece 'Aegeus' has been commercially recorded twice. His 'Symphony for Brass Quintet', written for Chaconne Brass, is featured on their album 'Dancing in the Dark' and was chosen by the group as part of their 25th anniversary concert at the Cadogan Hall.
The Kensington Symphony Orchestra has commissioned two pieces from Edward, 'Unveiled' and 'That Short Thing'. The latter was performed as part of the orchestra's 50th Birthday season and was described by one critic as 'a gem full of striking ideas...inventive, colourfully and lucidly scored, witty and engaging...'
His orchestral piece 'Arnold the Armchair Astronaut', written for a children's audience, was commissioned by Albert's Band and premièred by them in the Elgar Room of the Albert Hall. The full orchestral version of the piece was taken up by the Philharmonia Orchestra and has been performed by them in the De Montfort Hall in Leicester and the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank.
He has written two concertos for BBC Young Musician of the Year finalists; a Clarinet Concerto for Sarah Williamson, and a Concerto for Flute and Marimba for flautist Emma Halnan and her duo partner, Hristo Duchev. His harp quartet 'Saraswati', commissioned and recorded by 4 Girls 4 Harps, is described by them as '..our favourite piece written for the group...one of the most exciting pieces we have ever played...'
Edward Longstaff | Composer