Edward Longstaff writes music which is both modern and melodic, rhythmically exciting and accessible for professional, young and amateur musicians.
Professional commissions include works for Chaconne Brass, 4 Girls 4 Harps, New London Chamber Ensemble, and the Pirasti Trio. His Symphony for Brass Quintet, written for Chaconne Brass, featured on their album Dancing in the Dark and in the programme for their 25th anniversary concert at Cadogan Hall. 4 Girls 4 Harps described his harp quartet Saraswati, which they have recorded and played extensively, as '..our favourite piece written for the group...one of the most exciting pieces we have ever played’.
Edward has written a number of challenging showcase solo pieces for young and student musicians. His oboe piece ‘Aegeus’, was used as a test piece at the Royal Academy of Music and has been commercially recorded twice. Mattheson’s Rhetoric, commissioned by Tim Thorpe for his winning BBC Young Musician programme, was featured at the Radley Horn Festival. He has been commissioned to write concertos for two BBC Young Musician of the Year finalists, Sarah Williamson, (Clarinet Concerto), and Emma Halnan, (Concerto for Flute and Marimba, commissioned by Teeside Symphony Orchestra).
Choral commissions include the Cavendish Mass (Cavendish Choir), Christ is Tempted of the Devil (Exaudi), and the youth opera, Iphigenia, with libretto by Kirsty Von Malaise, commissioned by the Purcell School.
Larger scale works include Unveiled and That Short Thing, commissioned by Kensington Symphony Orchestra, Changing Scenes commissioned by Tim Reynish, Sator Arepo, commissioned by Bushey Symphony Orchestra, and Audentior, commissioned by the Watford Housing Trust. Arnold the Armchair Astronaut was commissioned by Albert’s Band and used by the Philharmonia Orchestra for their outreach family concert series. Changing Scenes will be featured at Sherborne Summer School of Music 2022. That Short Thing was performed as part of KSO's 50th Birthday season and described by one critic as ‘..a gem full of striking ideas...inventive, colourfully and lucidly scored, witty and engaging’.
Edward’s music is published by Novello and Peters.
Edward is a rounded musician with many skills. He studied music at Royal Holloway and composition with Brian Elias as a postgraduate student at Goldsmith's College. He is a long-standing member of staff at the Purcell School, where his roles over the years have included academic music teaching, orchestral and choral conducting, chamber music coaching and composition teaching. He enjoys a wide breadth of musical styles and is eclectic in his tastes. His principal instruments are cello and voice (baritone), but he has also performed in public on the piano, the banjo, the guitar, as a percussionist, on electric cello, and drum kit.
Edward Longstaff | Composer