Composer. Conductor. Critic.
Gabrielle is a twenty one year-old composer, conductor and music critic from Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, UK.
From 2013-16 Gabrielle studied at Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama, with Jeffery Wilson. In 2016 Gabrielle studied music at the Worcester College, University of Oxford with Robert Saxton, graduating with first-class honours in July 2019.
Gabrielle’s works for the concert hall have had public performances in venues such as the Basilica of St. Maria Maggiore in Rome, Westminster Abbey, London Olympic Park, Ashmolean Museum and St. Peter's Eaton Square. Performers of her work have included members of the BBC Concert orchestra, the Bergersen Quartet, the Junior Guildhall Symphony orchestra, and virtuoso pianist Mateusz Borowiak.
In March 2015 Gabrielle’s brass quintet piece 'IX/XI' featured at the unveiling of a sculpture created in memory of the victims of 9/11. The sculpture was unveiled by The Mayor of London, at The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, London. Later that year, Gabrielle gained second place in the National Centre for Early Music Young Composer Award, having her operatic vocal piece 'Shepherd No More Singing' performed by the Dunedin Consort, conducted by John Butt. In October 2015 Gabrielle had her choral and organ anthem Christ is Made the Sure Foundation premiered at Westminster Abbey as part of Queen Anne’s School’s biennial service, where her piece was sung by the chamber choir and conducted by John Padley. Another choral work by Gabrielle will be performed at Westminster Abbey later this year.
Gabrielle was commissioned to write a piece for the Dockland Sinfonia orchestra commemorating The Battle of Jutland, considered to be the only major naval battle of World War One. At the premiere in London, Admiral Lord West presented the Battle of Jutland and then introduced her new work 'Jutland, Lest We Forget'; a piece which received a wealth of warm feedback, including kind words from the esteemed musician Mike Batt (composer for The Wombles). In 2018 Gabrielle conducted the premiere of her piece ‘Cityscapes’ which was commissioned by the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford for an event associated with their ‘Cool Modernism’ exhibition. Her latest large scale orchestral work Floreat Oxford was played by Oxford Philharmonic earlier this year.
An area of great interest to Gabrielle is film composition and she has been fortunate enough to gain experience from various film composers such as Alex Heffes, David Arnold, George Fenton and Patrick Doyle. Gabrielle has received positive feedback on her short film composition work, including kind words regarding her alternative soundtrack, from the director of the short film More:
"It's beautiful! I think your work is very haunting and evocative."
Whilst Alex Heffes (The Last King of Scotland, Mandela, Roots…) adds:
"I honestly think you have an impressive natural talent and understanding of how to write for film."
In Oxford, Gabrielle worked with a number of artists from various fields on exciting projects. These have included writing for short films by young filmmakers to developing a score for a lake-side modern Shakespeare production of Much Ado About Nothing. Writing for theatre is something that comes naturally to Gabrielle, having been selected to be a composer for the 2016/17 composition tuition with Claude-Michel Schönberg (composer of Les Misérables and Miss Saigon) as part of the Cameron Mackintosh Foundation to enable the establishment of a Visiting Professorship at the University of Oxford. Gabrielle is currently working on at least two new scores for theatrical productions in Oxford during Autumn/ Winter 2018.
Another area of interest for Gabrielle is conducting; a skill which led her to a wealth of conducting opportunities in Oxford. Having taken part in the RPS Female Conductor Course in summer 2017, Gabrielle has since done some ambassador work for the Royal Philharmonic Society. In June 2018 Gabrielle conducted a production of Mozart’s The Impresario featuring Simon Callow in a cameo role. The opera was directed by Jonathan Bate and took place in the Worcester College gardens in Oxford.
Gabrielle's most recent endeavour is as a music critic. Her reviewing platform Fresh Notations was launched in July 2019 as part of Gabrielle's mission to make classical music more accessible to a wide audience. Fresh Notations is a new blog series that breaks down how classical music is reviewed and written about. Gabrielle reviews classical music concerts across the UK in a modern and dynamic way, as well as writing thought-provoking opinion pieces on the place of classical music in 21st century society.
Gabrielle Woodward [updated 12/08/19]