I am a composer of symphonic music. I have been writing since I was about fifteen, though this is not how I earn my living. Apart from violin lessons when I was young, I have had no formal training in music and as a result I have had, until recently, very few contacts with the musical establishment either in France where I have lived most of my adult life, or in England where I was born.
In 2009, thanks to my old friend Mike George, James MacMillan played my short orchestral piece “Hammering” with the BBC Philharmonic. At the age of 52, this was the first professional performance of any of my pieces, although some of these had been played by amateur forces, particularly the Orchestre de Bourg et des Pays de l’Ain which I conducted for ten years.
Writing over a long period with little hope of being heard is a difficult motivation to keep up. So I have made some reasonably good mock-ups of some of my works using sound libraries to let people hear what I’m doing. On this site I’ve put extracts from some of these, together with a few real live performances.
In September 2013, these mock-ups and some scores reached the attention of Martin Anderson of Toccata Classics and Toccata Press. Martin also writes for a variety of publications, including The Independent, International Record Review, and Tempo in the U.K., Klassisk in Norway, and Finnish Music Quarterly. He described my Third and Fourth Symphonies as "some of the best orchestral music by a British composer in the last fifty years".
He adds: "Robert Simpson, one of the finest symphonic composers of recent years, used to talk of particular composers having 'the breath of a symphonist'. Steve Elcock has that breath in his lungs and his writing has the natural sense of scale and momentum of the true symphonist. I am sure it will not be long before his works begin to make their mark on the world."
Thanks to Martin, I am now starting to meet other composers, conductors, concert organisers, academics and music lovers who are starting to show a real interest in my work.
© Copyright Steve Elcock 2016