Blai Soler

Biography


London-based, Catalan composer Blai Soler was born in 1977 in Barcelona. He trained at the city's Conservatoire until 1996 when he moved to London to study violin with Felix Andrievsky at the Royal College of Music, obtaining a BMus and a PGDip. Subsequently he went on to study composition at King’s College London with George Benjamin where he gained a MMus and a PhD.

Recent successes include the premiere of his orchestral work Sol (2017) by the Orchestre National de Bordeaux Aquitaine and Paul Daniel. The work is to be performed again in early 2019 by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under George Benjamin. Blai Soler is also writing a piece for violinist Jagdish Mistry and the Ensemble Modern set to be premiered in Frankfurt in 2020.

His early pieces are mostly chamber music and include Motus (2002), Ecce Homo (2003), Cantus Firmus (2006), Tumults, Visions (2007) and the Clarinet Quintet (2008) – this last work was written for Cristo Barrios and the Arditti Quartet. In 2008-09 he took part in the Ensemble Modern’s International Composition Seminar, culminating with performances of d’amor i mort, for large ensemble, in Frankfurt and Munich. In 2009 he wrote Tankas, a piano trio commissioned by the Festival Nous Sons (L’Auditori, Barcelona), a piece which in 2011 featured at the Festival Musica in Strasbourg.

Blai Soler's orchestral breakthrough came in 2011 with Plain-Chant, a commission by the London Philharmonic Orchestra who gave a highly acclaimed first performance of the piece at the Queen Elizabeth Hall under Clement Power. This led to yet another LPO commission, A Walpurgis Night, for large ensemble, which premiered at the Royal Festival Hall later in the year, conducted by Nicholas Collon. That same year Plain-Chant was played in the inaugural concert at the Klangspuren Festival in Austria with the Tiroler Symphonieorchester Innsbruck led by Franck Ollu. In the 2012-13 season Blai Soler was the focus of an ‘artist portrait’ by the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, including performances of Plain-Chant at the inaugural concert and subsequently in southern France, as well as the premiere of a specially commissioned work for large orchestra, Divinacions, all conducted by Pablo González.

His latest chamber work, Imaginings – Six Pieces for String Quartet, commissioned by the Park Lane Group, received its premiere in 2014, with The Telegraph review praising “his six brief visions [which] stood out with the clarity of a dream”. The piece has since been played on numerous occasions including a live performance by the Artesian Quartet for BBC Radio 3.

Blai Soler’s music is published by Éditions Durand (Universal Music Publishing).