Alwynne Pritchard was born in Glasgow in 1968 and as a teenager began having composition lessons with her father, Gwyn Pritchard. She then studied with Robert Saxton at the Guildhall School of Music, and later with Melanie Daiken, Justin Connolly and Michael Finnissy at the Royal Academy of Music, where she was awarded many prizes for her work. In 1997 she was awarded a research scholarship by the University of Bristol and in 2003 received a PhD in composition. In the summer of 2000 Alwynne was awarded a Visions of Norway scholarship for a two-month artist's residency at the Kulturhuset USF Verftet, Bergen and later returned for an extended residency three years later. In April 2007 she completed a one-year residency at the Internationales Künstlerhaus Villa Concordia in Bamberg, Bavaria after which she spent a year living in Berlin, and from June until August 2010, she was resident at PointB Worklodge, New York. In September 2008 Alwynne became the Artistic Director of the Borealis Festival (www.borealisfestival.no) in Bergen Norway, where she now lives.
In 2002 the BBC Symphony Orchestra gave the first performance of Alwynnes orchestral work Critical Mass, and in March 2007 her piano concerto Map of the Moon was premiered by Nicolas Hodges and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Decoy, created at the Heinrich Strobel Stiftung, Freiburg, in 2005 for the Donaueschingen Musiktage, was awarded the special prize given by the Foundation Ton Bruynèl, STEIM and the Foundation GAUDEAMUS. Recent commissions have seen Alwynne's work move more frequently in the direction of music-theatre, and have included Frame, for the Athelas Sinfonietta Denmark, live electronics, tape and film as part of the European Integra project, premiered at the Sound Around festival, Copenhagen, in October 2007; Dont touch me, you dont know where Ive been, for her own voice, Norwegian flautist Bjørnar Habbestad, asamisimasa ensemble and live electronics (developed by Thorolf Thuestad at BEK in Bergen) premiered at the Borealis festival in March 2008; Flutterby, for electric guitar and two computers for Luc Houtkamp's POW ensemble; Objects of Desire, for ensemble recherche, premiered at the Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam, in October 2010; and Oslo Emmaus, for Ensemble Fanfaronner, premiered at the Borealis festival in March 2011.
Over the last decade and a half Alwynne's music has been performed by leading players and ensembles throughout Europe and America, including the Arditti String Quartet, Apartment House, asamisimasa, Athelas Ensemble, BBC and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestras, The Bournemouth Sinfonietta, Christian Dierstein, The Duke String Quartet, de ereprijs, ensemble recherche, Gemini, Nicolas Hodges, Ixion, Kaida, John Kenny, Carin Levine, The London Sinfonietta, Lontano, Loré Lixenberg, Darragh Morgan, New Music Players, Nieuw Ensemble, Ian Pace, Jonathan Powell, Maja Ratkje, Parkinson Saunders, Pow Ensemble, Reservoir, Elena Riu, Jarle Rotevatn, Sarah Nicolls and the Schubert and Uroboros Ensembles. As well as being regularly heard in London and around the country, Alwynne's music has also received performances in America, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Holland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Poland and Norway, and has often been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4, as well as abroad.
In 2005 Alwynne formed the Bergen/London-based improvisation quintet FAT BATTERY (www.fatbattery.com), and has also performed as a vocalist with computer programmer Thorolf Thuestad and flautist Rowland Sutherland in the trio Myrtle; with Berlin-based hardware electronics instrument builder/improviser Guido Henneböhl in the duo Ding Dong (www.dingdongism.de); with Austrian pianist Judith Unterpertinger as unterPritperTingerchard; and with the visual artist Claire Zakiewicz in Fig..
From 2001 until 2008 Alwynne taught composition at Trinity College of Music in London. She has also worked regularly as a project leader for the BIT20 Ensembles music education projects in Norway and abroad and presented many contemporary music programmes for BBC Radio 3, including Music in Our Time, Midnight Oil, Music Matters, Hear and Now and Discovering Music.
Photo: Sandra Jecmenica