Sally Beamish

Sally Beamish

Composer in Residence

We are delighted that Sally Beamish is our first Composer in Residence, a partnership set to run until the end of the Academy’s Diamond Jubilee season in 2019/20.

Sally Beamish is one Britain’s best-known contemporary composers. Renowned for her versatility, Sally’s catalogue of works includes concertos for instruments from violin to accordion; music for film, opera and dance; tributes to composers from Debussy to Britten; and incorporates diverse influences from jazz to the music of her adopted homeland, Scotland.

In 2016/17 the Academy Chamber Ensemble toured Sally’s String Sextet to the United States; in May 2017 her Variations on a Theme of Benjamin Britten was performed on the Academy’s European tour; and at the culmination of the partnership in 2018/19, two new commissions – including a work commemorating Sir Neville Marriner – will receive their world premieres in London and subsequent performances around the world. Sally’s compositions will also be the subject of learning and participation projects, pre-concert talks and podcast episodes across the three seasons, and a recording celebrating the partnership in 2019.

Sally said “I am delighted and honoured to have been appointed Artist in Residence with the Academy of St Martins. The orchestra is very special to me, as not only did I perform with them for several years as a viola player, but my mother, violinist Ursula Snow, was a member before me. When I was starting out as a composer Neville was extremely supportive, and entrusted me with several orchestral commissions. This new residency is a chance for me to re-engage with those wonderful players and to create works expressly tailored to the fantastic virtuosity and creativity which characterises the Academy.”

Find out more about Sally Beamish at

Image credit: Ashley Coombes