Malcolm Dedman was born in London in 1948. He was taught piano at an early age, but soon preferred to improvise. Although he later had formal violin and singing lessons, it was composition, arising out of improvising at the piano, that he was most interested in pursuing.
He had formal lessons in composition with Patric Standford at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1974-75, but did not receive a formal qualification in music until 2005, when he passed his Masters Degree in Composing Concert Music at Thames Valley University with distinction.
Malcolm’s earlier writing reflected the developments in serialism, but within a modal context. Such works include the first Piano Sonata – Restoration of 1973 and the String Quartet of 1977-79. Although he is still attracted to the possibility of different types of modes, his style has more links with minimalism (although it is rarely strictly minimal) and other so-called post-modern idioms. The modal writing also aims to integrate music from different cultures. He firmly believes in writing music that has a message and can be approached by concert audiences and that such music need not sacrifice quality.
Major first performances that have been received well by both audiences and critics include: Christmas Cantata– ‘TheWord was Made Flesh’ in 1975; Three Dance Episodes for oboe, guitar and piano at the Wigmore Hall in 1977; String Quartet at the Purcell Room in 1980; Piano Sonata No. 2 – ‘In Search’ at the Purcell Room in 1986 and Two Reflections for piano in 1988, also at the Purcell Room.
Malcolm has also gained several composition awards, including: Brent Music and Dance Festival in 1969 for a movement from a piano sonata; Stroud International Composer’s Competition in 1974 for the song cycle To Lesbia for tenor and guitar; Recontres Internationales de Chant Choral in 1985 for an anthem Come Unto Me… and Thames Valley University composition prize in 2005 for Scherzo for piano quartet.
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