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I'm a composer who carries a dictaphone with me everywhere I go, singing into it in muffled tones. Every song has hundreds of versions before it is ready. I love commissions which lead me to new places. I love writers who take me somewhere new and I get very inspired by the singers and musicians I write for.

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by Emily Hall

A selection of tracks from my recent albums Folie à DeuxBefalling and other works.

Available to buy today

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Much of Emily Hall's music is formed from close creative relationships with singers and writers and finding her own ways of using technology and live performance.

In 2013, Emily Hall received the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists, in 2006 the Genesis Opera Prize and in 2005 the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Award and in 2015 the Corinthia AIR.

She has written for the London Sinfonietta, LSO, BBC NOW, the Brodsky Quartet, Opera North, LCO, Hungarian Radio Choir, Aldeburgh Music, Streetwise Opera, Lady Maisery, Allan Clayton, Olivia Chaney. Her music is frequently broadcast on BBC Radio 2,3,4 and 6Music.

Emily has written 5 operas. Her first opera, "Sante"(2006), produced by Aldeburgh Music, was described by The Times as "a dynamic new opera worth everyone's time and hopes”. Her second, a film-opera, "The Nightingale and the Rose"(2010), written for Streetwise Opera and created with filmmaker Gaelle Denis. Her third opera “Folie a Deux”(2015), is a concept album/opera, written with Icelandic author Sjon for singers Sofia Jernberg and Allan Clayton toured extensively in 2015/16 and released as an album by Bedroom Community. Her fourth, "Found and Lost"(2016), is a site-specific opera installation created for the Corinthia Hotel, London, on a month long residency living in a luxury 5 star hotel. Her 5th, is a mini 10 minute opera for children to perform commissioned by Mahogany Opera and part of Hull New Music Biennial 2017.

She has written a trilogy of song cycles with the author Toby Litt, about unrequited love ("Befalling"), motherhood ("Life Cycle") and death ("Rest"). In 2017 Brice Dessner commissioned a large scale work with Enda Walsh for soprano, choir and ensemble, called “Out Into”.

"Emily Hall's restless modernity mixes classical precision with an ear for folk and electronics."
MOJO (June 2015)

Life Cycle

Nightingale and the Rose

Streetwise Opera commission. Music: Emily Hall Film: Gaelle Denis


Found & Lost

“Emily Hall [...] artfully mixes lyrical indie-ish songs with sinister instrumental effects"
"a bold project" 
The Times, Richard Morrison, **** 

"Part of the fascination is that you are never sure who are the real guests and staff, and who is acting a part.” 
The Stage

“it’s surely rather brilliant.” 
Whats on Stage

“startling and often beautiful music", “Ingenious" 
Guardian, Fiona Maddocks

“...a composer steeped in song, her music immediately appealing. If anyone can make an exquisite lullaby out of a hotel’s “turndown checklist” (one chocolate box on either side, eight cotton balls in the jar, slippers in pairs), Hall is the one and I’ll happily stay in her hotel.” 
Guardian, Fiona Maddocks

Folie à Deux

"Emily Hall's restless modernity mixes classical precision with an ear for folk and electronics. Folie à Deux is another of her ultra-melodic hybrids" 

"...the recording, concisely presented in a thirty-nine-minute form, provides no small number of listening pleasures." 

"it is intriguing and beautiful. It is full of delicately entwined vocals which intersect across each other and includes the harmonious partnership of classical music and minimalistic electronics – something that, to my mind, is rarely attempted to the same degree."
Drowned in Sound 


"a dynamic new opera worth everyone's time and hopes” 
The Times

Nightingale and the Rose

"A glorious avant-garde show that was as musically interesting as it was spiritually stirring"

"The highlight was Emily Hall's Nightingale and the Rose, a folk-pop-infused meditation on Wilde's fairy tale.[...]Wow."

Evening Standard **** Kieron Quirke

"A joyful event, culminating in a thrilling rendition of a sea shanty by all four casts, lifting the church roof with exhilerating glee"

"Most sophisticated [...] lyrical, folk-inspired score by Emily Hall"
The Daily Telegraph **** Rupert Christiansen

"The strongest fable, however, focuses on a broken heart and a simple folk song. Company members Victor Sande, David Sanchez-Remade and Kevin Woodward, with Revivalist drones and descants for violin and cello, led Emily Hall's adaptation of The Nightingale and the Rose, a wistful story of unrequited love, sensitively filmed by Gaelle Denis"
Independent on Sunday **** Anna Picard

"Immediately appealing is The Nightingale and the Rose, Emily Hall's delicate interpretation of Oscar Wilde's short story. Cast members fill the church with whistled birdsong before launching a heartfelt refrain that repeats throughout the score and Gaelle Denis's ravishing film."
Financial Times *** Laura Battle

Higher Ground

"The two standout pieces inhabited opposite ends of the stylistic spectrum. Anchored in the British song tradition, Emily Hall’s Higher Ground, for treble (Duncan Tarboton) and strings, evokes the legendary sunken town of Aberdovey as a metaphor for the engulfing consequences of climate change."
Guardian, Tim Ashley


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