Photo: Jo Ingle

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Composing music might be likened to juggling whilst riding a unicycle: what a wonderful feeling to keep all the balls in the air and not fall off! But this is only possible after a few preliminaries have been taken care of. First one has to invent the wheel. Then the ball. And then all the other components of the unicycle (and figure out how they’re put together). Nobody wants to see the joins, or know how it put together, yet there are so many concepts that must be understood and internalised for everything to appear seamless. So composing is not easy. Yet how can one resist those unlimited possibilities, especially in a world where so much is organised for us, and it can seem that we have so little freedom?

And why is that the best music in the world feels so damn good? I wish I knew, but at least through trying to write the stuff, I can feel like I’m somehow engaging with this question…

Whalley Works now published

Composers EditionRichard Whalley is delighted to be one of the founder-member composers to be published by Composers Edition. Scores and parts now available from


Latest News:

New Sounds from Manchester CD released

Stunning and challenging works for string quartet all receiving their first recordings. The Quatuor Danel is the quartet in residence at the University of Manchester (England); all of the composers have strong links with the University too. Established composers John Casken and Philip Grange are joined by two of the new generation, Camden Reeves and Richard Whalley, with works of exceptional distinctiveness and inspiration.

more recordings



Upcoming Events:

Late July / Early August – details to be announced
ARAM-Poitou Summer School 2015
Hitchin Boys’ School, Grammar School Walk, Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1JB

Watch this space for details of what I’ll be up to at the ARAM-Poitou Summer School this year.

September/ October– details to be announced
Milan Expo 2015

Having been selected as a finalist for the Feeding Music Composition Competition, I have composed a new work, Wonderland for Divertimento Ensemble in Milan. This was to have been premiered in May 2015, as part of Milan Expo. However, due to problems with the original venue the performances (along with those of works by 49 other finalists) have had to be postponed. I have been told that a new venue has now been found, and that the organisers are currently working on a schedule for these performances to take place during September / October.

Thursday 25th February 2016, 1.10pm
Gavin Osborn Lunchtime Concert
Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall, University of Manchester, M13 9PL

A concert of contemporary flute repertoire by flute virtuoso Gavin Osborn, including new works by Richard Whalley and Elizabeth Ditmanson

Thursday 14th April 2016, 1.10pm
Ebonit Saxophone Quartet Lunchtime Concert
Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall, University of Manchester, M13 9PL

Specialising in string quartet repertoire and commissioning new works from composers, the Ebonit Saxophone Quartet is no normal quartet, and this concert will include new works by Richard Whalley and Kevin Malone.


Recent Events

Sunday 28th June 2015, 6.30pm
Kate’s Concerto Bonanza
Hitchin Boys’ School, Grammar School Walk, Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1JB

As part of an evening celebrating the 80th birthday of my unstoppable former piano teacher, Kate Elmitt, I will be performing the first movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto in C major, K.467 with the Eagle Orchestra, complete with an especially written cadenza.

Saturday 13 June 2015, 4pm
University of York Music Department 50th Anniversary Celebrations: 50-50
University of York

A performance of 50 second compositions by alumni of the University of York, performed by Chimera, the University of York’s New Music Ensemble. My new work, ‘York Calling’ for solo horn was performed by Peter Baumann. All ‘Recent Events’ currently up become ‘Past Events’

More past events...


Richard Whalley, July 2015


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