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Christian Drew is a composer and performer based in London. His music ranges from works that draw on baroque, medieval, shoegaze, noise, ambient and folk music, to loose and flexible pieces that invite many possible outcomes. As a composer he has worked with ensembles like the London Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Plus Minus, Apartment House and EXAUDI, and soloists including Psappha Ensemble’s Benjamin Powell, lute player Elizabeth Kenny and soprano Juliet Fraser. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the University of Southampton... read more.

For a recent interview by Patrick Ellis for PRXLUDES magazine click here.

Photo: Sam Walton

symphony orchestra [12’30”]

Freedive Gigue Lente


Subtropicali Antiquarium

Sunset Over the Super Sewer

“If the programme notes suggested we were going to get nothing but similar textures at greater length thereafter – the dreaded “sound world” always suggests the triumph of atmosphere over substance – Christian Drew’s Aquarium Drifter offered an immediate corrective. Though Drew is fond of terms like “noodling” and “woozy”, there was a clear structure to this life aquatic, which took the shape of a continuous sinfonietta, and far from all the music of the past lying at the bottom of an iridescent lake, one particular neobaroque specimen seemed to break the surface in full sail. Bewitching and original “sound world”, too; the brass did Drew proud, and the woodwind managed to sound at times like a saxophone ensemble. I smiled from start to finish, and would happily have listened to the whole work again.” - The Arts Desk
“Drew’s Aquarium Drifter lived up to its name. Sounds blurred and rippled like water, conjured by bending pitches, woozy glissandos and pizzicato droplets. There was a joy in its laid-back warmth and an appealing freshness to the orchestration” - The Times

Read programme notes by Tim Rutherford-Johnson

Commissioned for the London Symphony Orchestra through the LSO Discovery Panufnik Composers Scheme, supported by The Helen Hamlyn Trust

solo piano [6’]

“...one of the most interesting solo piano pieces I’ve heard for a long time. Perhaps because it’s a kind of study, in which an ornamented and embellished, neo-baroque melodic line is played against accompanying chords from a different era and style. Christian Drew said the result was ‘like Chopin on acid’, but by the time both elements were in the lower range of the keyboard the effect was also reminiscent of Brahms’s thick chording. There’s more to it than a two-element experiment, though, as the ‘accompaniment’ at times becomes a melody element in itself and rhythmic structures are contrasted as if two different things are happening at once.”
Robert Beale, The Arts Desk
More Parlour Music draws loosely on the sounds and performance practices of eighteenth and nineteenth century keyboard music. There are no direct quotations; instead I tried to let my subconscious warp and reimagine my own experiences of romantic harmony and baroque melody.  

Written for Benjamin Powell as part of Psappha Ensemble’s ‘Composing For Piano’ 2022.

BOBBY D 2021
violin, harmonium, two guitars, percussion and harmonicas [9’]

The title is an accidental pun on Laurence Crane’s Bobby J for electric guitar. I was chatting with Patrick Hegarty about putting the piece together and told him we might both have to muster up our best Bobby D impressions (aka Bob Dylan).
Written for Laurence Crane’s 60th birthday.

Performed by Lara Agar, Darius Paymai, Patrick Hegarty, Christian Drew and Harry Harrison at the Festival of Laurence Crane.
email: music@christiandrew.com
© Christian Drew 2024