Photo of Freya Waley-Cohen

Introducing LCO’s Composer in Residence: Freya Waley-Cohen

We are delighted to announce British-American composer Freya Waley-Cohen will be the London Chamber Orchestra’s Composer in Residence this season.

In past seasons, LCO has worked closely with Freya for the performance of her work Changeling for chamber orchestra in February 2020, and her movement ‘yes, five thousand times’ – written for the collaborative work A Century of Music celebrating LCO’s Centenary – was released as a digital concert performance in May 2021.

Freya’s music is full of shifting kaleidoscopic colours and patterns anchored around melodic lines that twist and wind. It is characterised by contrasts between earthy rhythmic play with bold colours, and fragility, luminous spaces, and a sense of the otherworldly – aptly reflected in The Times’ description of her work as “disorientating, startling and compelling.”

Freya is fast emerging as one of the most fascinating and unique new voices in classical music, and has been commissioned by institutions and ensembles including the LA Philharmonic, BBC Proms, Wigmore Hall, Philharmonia Orchestra, The Britten Sinfonia, and the Aldeburgh, Presteigne, Santa Fe, and Cheltenham festivals. She was the 2019-20 Associate Composer of the Wigmore Hall, and associate composer of St. David’s Hall’s contemporary music series, Nightmusic.

As part of her 2021-22 Residency, LCO will perform Saffron for sinfonietta ensemble and the song cycle Happiness for soprano and orchestra, with two planned commissions – one for chamber orchestra and one for ensemble – which the orchestra will premiere this season. Freya will also play an important part in the revival of the orchestra’s young composer development scheme, LCO New.

We are thrilled to welcome Freya Waley-Cohen into our orchestra’s family. LCO’s innovative spirit is a wonderful match for Freya’s captivating musical innovation, and we look forward to deepening our creative partnership and sharing the resulting performances with our audiences.