Melvin Clive Bird
Born: October 2nd 1955 in Basingstoke, Hampshire UK
British composer and visual artist.
Melvin Bird was born in Basingstoke, Hampshire UK in 1955, son of a German mother Ingeborg Renate Bhenke and an English father Norman John Bird.
He first studied piano under Hilda L. Price at Summerbrook Music School in Basingstoke. In 1965 the family moved to Ivybridge in Devon where he attended the local Primary and Secondary School followed by a final year at King Edward VI Sixth Form College in Totnes, Devon. In 1972 he gained a place at Dartington College funded by a Devon County Council Discretionary Award. His teachers at Dartington included Helen Glatz (piano); John Wellingham (organ); James Denean (vocal studies) and Richard David Haines (composition). After completing the foundation course at Dartington he continued his piano studies with Helen Glatz. In 1976 he moved to Oxford and in 1977 gained a place on the Bed. course at Lady Spencer Churchill College - Oxford Polytechnic. After achieving a Distinction in his final exams he was encouraged to further his piano studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London under Ruth Harte.
After a period of teaching he moved to Reading and enrolled onto the Mmus course in Piano Performance later switching to Composition, studying under Rolf Gelhaar, Paul Rhys and Jonathan Dunsby (Analysis). He received financial support from the Vaughan Williams Trust, the University of Reading (Berks. UK) and the Finzi Trust. Whilst at Reading the composer won 1st prize in the Finzi Composition Prize, 2001, 2002, 2003. Some of his works have been shortlisted and performed by SPNM.
From 1990-2005 the composer worked as a Music Library Assistant to Dr. Margaret Laurie in the Department of Music at Reading University. In 2004 he was awarded a Phd in Composition from the University of Reading.
In 2005 he moved to Madeira, Portugal where he has worked as a piano teacher and accompanist at the Conservatorio Escola das Artes in Funchal since 2006, he is also Organist and Director of Music at Holy Trinity Church in Funchal.
…my melancholy… for violin and piano (2001) 1st Finzi New Music Prize.
Six Religious Songs for soprano and piano (1993) SPNM shortlisted and performed by Jane Manning.
Elegy Variations for baritone flute and piano (1994) SPNM shortlisted.
Alice in bed for soprano and chamber ensemble (1998) SPNM shortlisted.
The sky is thin as paper here (2003) 1st Finzi New Music Prize. Reviewed by Dorothy Ker in 'Finzi Friends' Newsletter: 2003, Vol. 21 No. 2 Winter 2003
Slate, bone, pencil ode: Quintet for oboe and string quartet (2003) SPNM shortlisted and performed at University of London Goldsmith College (ref. 'new notes,' July/August 2004, journal of the Society for the Promotion of New Music - London:SPNM, ISSN 1350 8989).
Two graphic scores: Images surrounding a … ; Floating abstract (2001-2004).
Five graphic scores: Collage (unspecified medium, either vocal or instrumental); be good, be bad, just be …, for Soprano (collage with transparency and performance instructions); Piece for solo instrument (unspecified); 1 or 4 pieces? (unspecified instrumentation); Piece for … (unspecified instrumentation).
Faune et flore for instrumental ensemble with voice (time bracket piece) 2nd Finzi New Music Prize (2002).
Roundelay for instrumental ensemble (time bracket piece) (2003).
Six sound improvisations (exists as a recording only).
Hic for instrumental ensemble (score) (2001).
Fix for piano (2002).
Of the coming to, of the being at, of the going from, for clarinet and string quartet.
Fugues: Evocations for Claribel Alegria, for alto saxophone or clarinet in b flat and piano (2003).
I. An die Musik; II. …Wer singt das ferne Herz: Homage to Rilke, for viola and piano.
Prickly peach for euphonium and piano (temporarily withdrawn) (2003).
Five Piano Pieces (2004).
Inside downside upside roundside throughside !rout!, for violin, viola violoncello and piano.
Six Songs (words by Hart Crane and Emily Dickinson) for baritone and piano (2003).
Scenes form a life-story: Songs, Interludes and a Finale, for soprano (also playing piano), treble recorder and percussion) and violin solo.
Missa Ave Maris Stella for SATB a cappella (2006-7).
O Malhao … para flauta transversa (solo flute) (2007-2009).
Referencias Portuguesa (solo clarinet B flat) (2009).
Ligature for solo oboe (2010).
Eram outros os outros, settings of poems by Fernando Echevarria for Soprano and instrumental ensemble (2010).
Sobre el Evangelio 'In principio erat Verbum' acerca de la Santisima Trinidad [Upon the Gospel 'In the Beginning was the Word' relating to the Most Holy Trinity, words by San Juan de la Cruz [St John of the Cross translated by Roy Campbell. (2011).
A Hymn to God the Father, for soprano, tenor or treble voices (unison) (2011).
The Song of Solomon 'I am the rose of Sharon', for soprano and organ (2011).
Psalm 130: De profundis: Shir hamaalos; Mimaamakin Kerosicho Adonoi,… A Song of degrees 'Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord', for 2 cantors [tenor and baritone], double male voice choir, brass quartet, organ and string sextet (2012).
Psalm 130 De profundis, for baritone solo, chorus, organ and strings (2012).
Psalm 134 'Attend to the music divine' for soprano, tenor or treble voices (unison) (2012).
To what serves mortal beauty? words by Gerard Manley Hopkins, for male voice choir, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones and organ (2012).
Magnificat and Nunc Dimitis, for treble voices and organ.
Canticle I: 'Thee, God, I come from, to thee go', for treble or soprano voices (or soprano solo), organ and string sextet (2012).
Adresse des sterbenden Dichter an die Jugend [The dying poets address to young people] text by Bertolt Brecht, for male voice choir (tenor, baritone and bass voices), and chamber ensemble (flute, alto flute, oboe, cor anglais, clarinet B flat, 2 violins, 2 violas, cello, double bass and piano) (2012).
View the Wikipedia article on Melvin Clive Bird.
List of choral works
Click here to search for this composer on CPDL
Selection of scores may be found in Petrucci ISLMP: http://imslp.org/wiki/Category:Bird,_Melvin_Clive.