Text by Dr. Hywel Owen.
Welcome to this no frills page. No bells and whistles, just lots to read, a growing list of good general music links, and links to AAOwen's TAPWeb pages, which are full of interesting articles and information about music.
Albert is one of Britain's most original and visionary composers. He has, for over 20 years been at the leading edge of contemporary music, and his many albums and CDs have gained worldwide commercial and critical success. Fiercely independent, he has established an international reputation while remaining outside the conventional subsidised world inhabited by most other serious composers. Most recently his music has topped the mp3.com Classical Minimalsit Charts.
Read on to find out more about this most individual and interesting of composers.
"Gifted and Inspired"- Nadia Boulanger.
"This original and gifted composer"- Monthly Guide to Recorded Music.
"Owen's music has the emotion that ECM recordings often lack, but none of the intellectual pretention that characterises the German label."- Jazz Journal.
"It is a work of modern impressionism: very evocative, always beautifully handled and based upon many subtle variations, of which I think Debussy himself could have approved."- Crescendo.
"--cleverly effortless modulations make up a kind of electronic-age tone poem"- Classical Music Magazine.
Born in Wales of Welsh and Latvian parentage, Albert was brought up in Zimbabwe. His father was a leading figure in African Education, and from an early age Albert was exposed to and inspired by African Music. As he grew up Classical Music lessons co-existed with playing in Township Bands. Apparently irreconcilable elements were a natural part of his musical life and have shaped his deeply personal approach to musical composition.
Albert Alan Owen was a prize winning student at The Royal Academy of Music and for two years full-time, then periodically up to her death, a pupil of the legendary teacher Nadia Boulanger. He was also a successful piano student and studied with Harold Craxton, Angus Morrison and Jacques Fevrier.
Albert Owen is a musical idealist, and his career has been consistently guided by these ideals. He was a professor of piano at The Junior School of The Royal Academy of Music (London) for 15 years; taught piano to degree students at : Kings' College,( London), Goldsmiths College and Kingston University.His greatest joy,however, was teaching at The Working Mens' College (London) for 12 years. He became The Dean of Studies, the first musician to achieve this distinction in The College's long history. Since 1994 he has taught theory to local children and adults, at The Aberystwyth Arts Centre, University of Wales.
Students of Albert have gone on to achieve national and international success in many different musical disciplines and genres, due in no small measure to his inspiration and influence. Most recently (in 1998,1999 and 2000) students of his have been winners in The National Urdd Eisteddfod in Wales, Europe's largest youth festival. (Follow the TAPWeb -Index link below, for access to his articles on Harmony, Counterpoint and Piano Playing/Teaching and Contemporary Music)
Albert's professional career has followed a particularly individual path, and he is seen, by those who know his music, as one of the most visionary and talented composers of our time. Many of the trends and styles which are so popular and fashionable today, were foreshadowed by him many years ago! "New Age", "World Music","New Romanticism", and "Electro-Acoustic" are just some of the labels that could have been attached to his music, if they had been in vogue when he was doing all these things in the early 1970s.
Since the end of The 1970s, Albert Alan Owen's music has appeared on a steady stream of solo recordings. They have had both critical and commercial success. All his Records and CDs are distinguished by his artistic integrity and a striking degree of technical innovation.
Music from these recordings has been broadcast worldwide and has, on numerous occasions, been used by many of the world's leading broadcasters as theme and incidental music. Many of these recordings are now available from http://www.mp3.com/AAOwen
Albert's music has been performed at many of The U.K.'s most prestigious venues, including The South Bank and The Wigmore Hall. Musicians who have performed his music include : Simon Climie, David Russell, Ronnie Hughes, Bob Howes, Yuriko Ota, The London Chorale,Adrian Thomson, The New Symphony Orchestra, The Allegro Ensemble and The Paradise Dance Orchestra.
In 1985 Albert was invited to write The Grand Finale for The Halley's Comet Royal Gala Concert, which took place at The Wembley Conference Centre in the presence of The Princess Royal.
Solo Recordings include :
Keyboards and Strings - Apollo Sound (AS1026)
Following The Light - Apollo Sound/Chord/Famous*(FAMDAT010)
Themes - BTW (BTW108)
Techno Town - Sound Stage (Amphonic) (AVF33)
High Life - Sound Stage (Amphonic) (AVF45)
Office Hours - Sound Stage (Amphonic) (AVF47)
Globe Trotter - Sound Stage (Amphonic) (AVF66CD)
High Places - New Experience* (NE05)
The Source of Light - New Experience* (NE010)
Voyager - Vigiesse* (Rome) (CD1050)
Due for release in 2000 - String Up featuring Kathy Sweeney and Us Girls featuring several fine women singers.
Tracks by Albert Alan Owen are featured on the following recordings :
Eiropas Latviesu Dziesmu Svetki - Sutton Sound (SSLP110/111)
Relax - Sound Stage (Amphonic)* (AVF93CD)
Jingle Pursuit - Sound Stage (Amphonic)* (AVF001-010CD)
Manhatten Collection - Chord (CDCol2)
Owen and Debussy - Famous (CDFAM011)
Famous Classical Sampler - Famous (CDFAM010)
New Experience Sampler - New Experience (NE07)
Special Hearts - Charity Album* (SH01)
* produced by Albert Alan Owen/Techno Arts Productions
NEW - A.A.Owen's recordings are now available online as CDs and MP3s. Follow the TAPWeb link at the bottom of this page.
TECHNO ARTS PRODUCTIONS
In the peaceful surroundings of rural Wales, Albert runs his own "State of the Art", comprehensively equipped, All Digital Recording/Electronic Music Facility - Techno Arts Productions. Here he continues the work he started in the early '70s with Erato, exploring the potential of combining traditional instruments and instrumental techniques with electronic synthesisers and sound processors. TAP also produces original music for Television and Film.
Follow the TAPWeb Link below, to find out more about TECHNO ARTS PRODUCTIONS.
Follow the TAPWEB Link to find A.A.Owen's extensive educational resources. Here you will find his stimulating articles on various topics concerning the development of Contemporary Music, his teaching notes on Bach's Harmony, Counterpoint, Piano Playing etc. TAPWeb also has information about Albert's intensive Summer Music Course, which is held in beautiful Mid-Wales every year.
If you would like to know more about Albert, his work and upcoming projects, please get in touch.
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This page was created on 12/12/97
This page was last updated on 6/6/00
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WWW VL Classical Music Library: Very useful site for music lovers.
The Center for the Promotion of Contemporary Composers: Very useful site for those interested in New Music
Kanada's Index of Classical and Contemporary Composers: You want it! This site has it!
Bach Central Station: Links to J.S.Bach on the Net
British Music Information Centre: Lots of information and good links
Contemporary Music Info-Junction: This site's name says it all!
Music Search: The Search Engine for all things musical
University of Washington Music Internet Resources: Very valuable and useful site!
University of Indiana - Worldwide Internet Music Resource: Another great site
BBC- The Music Machine : WWW Alphabet of Composers: The name says it all!
Classical Music on The Web - Coventry University: Very good UK site
UK Regional Arts Pages: Very valuable site
Impulse Classical Music Website.: These people offer a very good website building service for composers. Well worth checking out!
Sonances: The New Music Site (In French and English)
Carl Stoddart Music.: Excellent piano teaching resource.
Cello Paul's ONLINE MUSICIANS LIST: Another very good and useful site!
Cadenza: Excellent site for contemporary and classical music.
TAPWeb-Index: An index of links to Albert's other pages : Techno ArtsProduction (TAP) sites, his Educational Resources, and Katherine Sweeney - Violinist etc.
AAOwen on Wales: Albert's page devoted to Wales.
Nadia Boulanger Remembered: My personal memories of this great teacher.