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Morgan Hayes (b.1973)
Born in 1973, Morgan Hayes reflects the cultural pluralism of his generation in his open and relaxed attitude to many kinds of musical expression. At the same time, he has pursued a single-minded artistic vision that has won him admirers from among the ranks of enthusiasts for modernism as well as those of the broader musical community, and an impressive list of performances to date, in Argentina, Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Japan, Poland, Russia, Switzerland and the USA, as well as in the United Kingdom.
A composer since the age of ten, he had already confidently laid the foundations of his own musical style by the time he won the Guildhall School of Music & Drama’s coveted Lutoslawski Prize in 1995, following studies with Michael Finnissy, Simon Bainbridge and Robert Saxton. From each of these teachers he had acquired distinctive skills. Yet it is arguable that the essential decorum of his music – its innate sense of rhythmic poise and melodic profile – is already present in youthful essays such as Only Jesting for piano (1991) or Snapshots (1994). Intensified through refinement of detail and of structure, it blossomed in his first widely acknowledged scores for ensemble, Mirage (1995) and Viscid (1996), the former evoking through an idiosyncratic blending of microtonality and exuberant rhythmical prose the harshly bright landscape of Israel, the latter a condition of matter graphically portrayed in musical terms likewise uniquely the composer’s own.