Blai Soler


The London-based, Catalan composer Blai Soler was born in 1977 in Barcelona. He trained in music 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 his 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, in 2020, of his piece for violin and ensemble, Off the String, by Jagdish Mistry and the Ensemble Modern conducted by Franck Ollu (a commission from Kölner Philharmonie and Ensemble Modern) and a performance, in 2019, of his orchestral work Sol by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Sir George Benjamin. Sol was a commission by the Orchestre National de Bordeaux Aquitaine who premiered the piece in 2017 conducted by Paul Daniel.

One of Blai’s latest chamber works, Imaginings – Six Pieces for String Quartet, commissioned by the Park Lane Group in London received its premiere in 2014 by the Jubilee Quartet, with the review in The Telegraph 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 on BBC Radio 3.

Blai Soler's orchestral writing came to the fore in 2011 with Plain-Chant, a commission by the London Philharmonic Orchestra who gave the first performance under Clement Power. This highly acclaimed premiere 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, comprising several performances of Plain-Chant as well as the premiere of a specially commissioned work, Divinacions, all conducted by Pablo González.

Blai’s early pieces are mostly chamber music and include Motus (2002), Ecce Homo (2003), Cantus Firmus (2006), Tumults, Visions (2007) and the Clarinet Quintet (2008) which was written for Cristo Barrios and the Arditti Quartet. In 2008-09 he took part in the Ensemble Modern’s International Composition Seminar for whom he wrote d’amor i mort. In 2009 he was commissioned by the Festival Nous Sons (L’Auditori, Barcelona) to write a piano trio, Tankas, which later featured at the Festival Musica in Strasbourg (2011).

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