Nigel Clarke (born 1960) is a British composer who studied composition at the Royal Academy of Music and was awarded the Academy’s highest distinction, the Queen’s Commendation for Excellence.

The British composer Nigel Clarke grew up in the seaside town of Margate, UK and though not from a musical background, he developed a lifelong love of music at an early age while learning a brass instrument at school. Aged 16 he joined the Royal Marines as a junior military bandsman and went on to serve in the Band of the Royal Army Medical Corps and ultimately the Band of the Irish Guards. His desire to write music was encouraged at the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall. This led to him studying composition at the Royal Academy of Music, London with Paul Patterson. 

In 1997 the U.S. Ambassador to the UK (William J. Crowe, Jr.) invited Clarke to join the U.S. Embassy’s flagship exchange programme, ‘The United States International Visitor Leadership Program’ and as its alumnus, he is a member of the John Adams Society.

During his professional career Clarke has held posts as Composition and Contemporary Music Tutor at the Royal Academy of Music and Head of Composition at the London College of Music & Media. His many national and international residencies and associations include positions with the Young Concert Artist Trust, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, The Black Dyke Band, Brassband Buizingen, the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, Middle Tennessee State University, and Brussels Muzieque. Clarke’s longest musical collaboration has been with violinist Peter Sheppard-Skærved. 

You get the firm impression of a composer with an acute sensitivity to intervals and timbres, and the imagination not merely the skills, to transform his materials into compelling musical forms. 

BBC Music Magazine

Clarke is renowned for his virtuosic writing using an uncompromisingly contemporary language that speaks to audiences. He has a penchant for storytelling, and his work brims with rhythmic drive and bravura orchestration. It is this language of contrasts and colour, juxtaposing savage musical outbursts with moments of sheer transcendental beauty, that draws audiences into his sound world. 

This is hard-hitting music, vibrant and intense.

Richard Whitehouse
Gramophone Magazine

Clarke‘s scores include works for symphony orchestra, brass, wind and chamber combinations, and he has been nominated for his work in film. His compositions are recorded on many prestigious labels: Naxos, Toccata Classics, Metier, Universal Music, Varese Sarabande, Alhambra Records and Colosseum. His scores have received performances in countries throughout the world including Argentina, Australia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Croatia, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Macedonia, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Türkiye, Ukraine, the U.K and the U.S.A, as well as throughout the European Union. 

Clarke’s music is published by C. Alan Publications, Maecenas Music, Novello & Co, Peters Edition Studio Music Company and KnightWind Music.

Nigel receiving the `Queen’s Commendation for Excellence’ at the Royal Academy of Music in 1986 from Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales

Clarke has recently seen his large-scale Symphony for Violin and Orchestra entitled `The Prophecies of Merlin’, recorded by the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra (Radio Symphonieorchester Wien) with  Neil Thomson (conductor) and Peter Sheppard Skærved (Violin). The symphony will be released on the Naxos CD label in 2023.

Clarke lives with his family in Brussels, Belgium and when not composing, he is a keen runner.



DIARY OF A MADMAN – symphony orchestra [transcription by Nigel Clarke] 
 – Brass Band
TILBURY POINT – symphony orchestra [transcription by Nigel Clarke] 


EARTHRISE – symphony orchestra [transcription by Nigel Clarke]
DELTA WORKS – fanfare orchestra
THE PROPHECIES OF MERLIN – symphony for violin & orchestra
WHERE A SCARLET FLOWER WILL BLOSSOM – fluge horn & sound design (optional for all valved Bb brass instruments) 


WILD WINDS COLDLY BLOW – tenor horn solo & brass band
OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE – symphony for trombone, actor and orchestra [transcription by Nigel Clarke]


LA FLEUR EN PAPIER DORÉ – [The Golden Paper Flower] – wind orchestra


CHRISTINA’S MEMORY GARDEN – soprano, trumpet, storytellers & symphonic wind orchestra
[Words: Malene Sheppard Skaerved]


THE EXOTIC DREAM OF THE WONDERFUL MONSIEUR MAGRITTE – Bb trumpet & sound design – Studio Music FURTHER ADVENTURES OF THE SAME  – brass band – Studio Music
A MUSICAL MURDER MYSTERY AT THE BATES MOTEL – Brass quartet (cornet, Eb tenor horn, baritone & euphonium)


MYSTERIES OF THE HORIZON – trumpet & – wind orchestra – Studio Music
AN EPITAPH FOR EDITH CAVELL  – solo violin – Studio Music


A RICHER DUST – speaker & – wind orchestra – Studio Music [Words: Malene Sheppard Skaerved]
OLD WORLD OVERTURE –  wind orchestra – Studio Music
THE SCARLET FLOWER – flugel horn  & string orchestra – Studio Music


[Words: Malene Sheppard Skaerved]
STORM SURGE  – wind orchestra – Studio Music
PULP AND RAG – string orchestra – Studio Music
THE FLAVOUR OF TEARS  – Arranged for cornet/trumpet & wind orchestra (original for cornet & brass band) – Studio Music


MYSTERIES OF THE HORIZON – cornet/trumpet concerto & brass band – Studio Music 


EARTHRISE – Arranged for wind orchestra (original for brass band) – Studio Music
WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE – brass band – Studio Music 


Will – feature film soundtrack (collaboration with Michael Csanyi-Wills)
THEIR FINEST HOUR – concert band – Studio Music
TILBURY POINT – Arranged for brass band (Original for Concert Band) – Studio Music
EARTHRISE –brass band – Studio Music

Clarke’s (….) music stands in defiant opposition to the modern trend towards easy accessibility and instant assimilation.

Records International


HERITAGE SUITE (What Hope Saw) – concert band – Studio Music
BASELINE – feature film soundtrack (collaboration with Michael Csanyi-Wills)
SWIFT SEVERN’S FLOOD – brass band – Studio Music


EQUIANO – clarinet quintet – Studio Music
FIELDS OF REMEMBRANCE – – wind orchestra – Studio Music


FANFARES & CELEBRATIONS – – wind orchestra – Studio Music
THE CONDITION – short film soundtrack (collaboration with Michael Csanyi-Wills)


BENJAMIN’S STRUGGLE – short film soundtrack (collaboration with Michael Csanyi-Wills)
MR MILTON – short film soundtrack (collaboration with Michael Csanyi-Wills)
FRACTURED – short film soundtrack (collaboration with Michael Csanyi-Wills)
BLACK FIRE – – wind orchestra & violin – Studio Music


FORGOTTEN HEROES – concert band – Studio Music
THE THIEF LORD – feature film soundtrack (collaboration with Michael Csanyi-Wills)
BENJAMIN’S STRUGGLE – short film soundtrack (collaboration with Michael Csanyi-Wills)
WITHDRAWAL – short film soundtrack (collaboration)


GAGARIN –wind orchestra – Studio Music
THE LONG NIGHT – short film soundtrack (collaboration with Michael Csanyi-Wills)
SPACE CHASE – short film soundtrack (collaboration with Michael Csanyi-Wills)


KING SOLOMON’S MINES– wind orchestra – Studio Music
TILBURY POINT – concert band – Studio Music
ROCKET POST – feature film soundtrack (collaboration with Michael Csanyi-Wills)
OUTBURSTS – solo piano – Studio Music


MATA HARI – concert Band – Studio Music
LOULAN – solo violin – Studio Music
CITY IN THE SEA – euphonium concerto – piano reduction – Maecenas Music


BREAKING THE CENTURY – [1999] – [rev.] – extended for wind orchestra – Studio Music
BATTLES AND CHANTS – clarinet concerto (concert band) – piano reduction – Studio Music
LITTLE POLAR BEAR – feature film soundtrack (collaboration)


BATTLES AND CHANTS – clarinet concerto (concert band)
THE LITTLE VAMPIRE – feature film soundtrack (collaboration)
THE MIRACULOUS VIOLIN – violin concerto – violin and string ensemble – Studio Music

… the audience spellbound with the sheer originality of `Lindisfarne Stone’ by Nigel Clarke.

Musical Opinion


THE DEVIL AND THE HEMLOCK STONE – Bb clarinet & sound design
BREAKING THE CENTURY – brass band – Studio Music


GWENNAN GORN – brass band – Maecenas Music
MECHANICAL BALLET – brass band – Maecenas Music
THE CITY IN THE SEA – [1997] – symphonic wind ensemble – Maecenas Music
THE HEMLOCK STONE – Bb clarinet – Studio Music
JINNAH – feature film soundtrack (collaboration with Michael Csanyi-Wills)


THE PENDLE WITCHES – brass band – Maecenas Music


THE CITY IN THE SEA – concerto for euphonium & brass band – Maecenas Music
SAMURAI – symphonic wind ensemble – Maecenas Music
TANGAROA – marimba – Peter’s Edition **


ON THE WINGS OF THE WIND – classical accordion – Peter’s Edition **
ATLANTIC TOCCATA – brass band – Maecenas Music
CHINESE PUZZLES – flute and piano – Peter’s Edition **
PERNAMBUCO – solo violin – Peter’s Edition **


VENETIAN MIRRORS – chamber music – Peter’s Edition **
SKETCHES FROM DON QUIXOTE – trombone & piano – Brass, Wind Publications
SKETCHES FROM DON QUIXOTE [rev.1993] – tuba & piano – Brass, Wind Publications


SOLSTICE [1993 & 2009] – piano – Peter’s Edition **
PACIFIC IMAGES – piano trio – Peter’s Edition **
WINTER MUSIC [1996, rev.2009] – string orchestra – Peter’s Edition **


RAIN DANCE [rev. 2009] Orchestra – Peter’s Edition
FLASHPOINT [rev. 2009] viola – Peter’s Edition
PREMONITIONS – trumpet – Novello Publishing

Clarke’s `Chinese Puzzles’ possessed plenty of energy, imagination and communicability, demanding much and getting it.

The Times


LINDISFARNE STONE – violin & piano – Novello Publishing
RAIN DANCE – orchestra – Peter’s Edition **
FEATURING RHYTHM – treble clef brass – Brass, Wind Publications
FEATURING RHYTHM [rev.1997] – tenor & bass clef brass – Brass, Wind Publications


          ALL FOOLS by George Chapman [Incidental Music]     


    EMPEROR JONES by Eugene O’Neill [Incidental Music] 
THREE SISTERS by Anton Chekhov [Incidental Music] 
                           SPECTROSCOPE – solo cello – Novello Publishing                               


PARNASSUS – string orchestra – Novello Publishing


ECHO AND NARCISSUS [rev.1991 & 2009] – flute – Peter’s Edition
THE MARKET PLACE  – musical – libretto by Peter Dale


Anyone who knows Nigel Clarke solely from his brass band work will be in for a shock here. This is hard-hitting music, vibrant and intense.

Richard Whitehouse
Gramophone Magazine

Appointments / Committees & Residences

** = current


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