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Robin Hartwell

Robin HartwellSince my retirement as Senior Lecturer in the Department of Music in 2011 have furthered my research into the music of Karlheinz Stockhausen. I was pleased to have recently published on Sunday from Light In Perspectives of New Music and to have been asked to give a paper on Monday from Light at the conference and festival of Stockhausen’s music in Birmingham in 2012. These papers are part of a longer-term project concerned with the seven operas of Stockhausen’s Lichtcycle.

I have continued to compose and have become especially interested in making settings of words, both those of others and my own texts. Some of these works relate to ethical dimensions, as well as exploring the role of the performer in performance. Additionally, I have taken the opportunity to re-enter the world of experimental music as a performing participant and have a variety of projects I wish to pursue in this area.

Being, as ever, committed to the University as a place of intellectual exploration and debate, I am enjoying participation in research seminars and events.

I am continuing to teach in selected areas (music and film, composition, music analysis) and to supervise research students engaged in the relation of original composition to theoretical models.


Selected Compositions:

Music for six

flt, clt bssn, vln, vla, vlc, 12’

Performances -

Reading University 1972 conducted by the composer

Bluecoat Chambers, Liverpool Jan 1979 conducted Stephen Pratt

Broadcast Radio Merseyside Feb 18th 1979


Sadie’s Quartet I

vln. vla vlc c.12’

(dance score for Dancework with Tony Thatcher)

Performances: Jackson’s Lane Community Centre Jan 1978. Directed by the composer.


Sadie’s Quartet II

vln, vla, vlc. c.12’

(dance score for Dancework with Tony Thatcher)


The Gardner Centre Sussex University Jan 1978

Alexander Palace August 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13 1978 conducted by the composer

Pre-recorded performances:Institute of Contemporary Arts, Action Space/Drill Hall, Brighton Polytechnic and Jackson’s Lane Community Centre, 1978


Losing the patter

(dance score for Dancework with Tony Thatcher)

vln, vla, vlc, pno c.10’

Performances at Alexandra Palace Aug 3, 4, 5, 11, 12,13th 1978

conducted by the composer

Commissioned with funds provided by Greater London Arts



2 flts, clt, bsn, vln, vla, vlc, pno vib, b.drm, cym, c.7 min


Wagner Hall, Brighton, Jan 13th 1979 Conducted by the composer

Friend’s Centre Brighton Jan 15 1979 Conducted by the composer

Gardner Centre, Sussex University  Dec 11 1979 Conducted by the composer

University of Liverpool conducted James Wishart Nov 25 1989

University of Liverpool conducted James Wishart April 28th 1997



pno solo c.5’


Wrexham Library Arts Centre July 30th 1987 (James Wishart)

Liverpool Institute of Higher education Jan 16th 1987 (James Wishart)

Recording for CD Waterfront; BML 033/4; 1999  Richard Casey

Liverpool Hope University College, July 2000, Raywyn Bailey


The Discourse of the Soothsayer, Jean-Jacques.

Stage work based on Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

2 sops, 2 bar; 2 vlns, vlc, hsprd, 2 clts, 2 b.clts, pno, trp, hrn, 2 trbns, tub, tape c.30’

Performances:University of Liverpool June 29, 30, July 1st 1989


A Story Recounted.

For solo percussion, tape and live electronics. Duration 12.00.


Psappha; Tim Williams and David Shepherd May 1995 Grange Arts Centre,Oldham

Psappha; Tim Williams and Matthew Fairclough, Feb. 1999, Hope on the Waterfront, Albert Dock, Liverpool.

Psappha; Tim Williams and Matthew Fairclough, July 2000, Liverpool Hope University College


Piano Piece no.2, after John Cage.

Tape 2.00

Performed: February 1999, Hope on the Waterfront, Albert Dock,Liverpool.

Recording: Excerpt on CD Outside in Pianist, Soundcircus 2,  (Joanna MacGregor),

December 1998.

Played on Radio 3 Late Junction 15th Nov 2011


Cruciform Trio

Flt, vlc, pno. c.13’

Recording: Psappha for CD Waterfront; BML033/4, Nov 1999

Performances: The Gardner Ensemble, July 2000, Liverpool Hope University College

Chroma, Cornerstone Festival, Liverpool November 2005


Salome Dances

Piano and orchestra c.17’


Tim Horton (piano) Stephen Pratt (cond) Metropolitan Cathedral Orchestra, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral 5th Feb. 2000

Mercedes Romero-Fernandez (piano), Patrick Isabell (cond), Soloists Chamber Ensemble, St.Alfege Church, Greenwich, London, Dec 3rd 2002


Pas de Deux

Piano and Clarinet c.10'

Commissioned by the Chester Summer Music Festival.


Kate Romano and Alan Hicks. Chester, July 2000

Nick Cox and Ian Buckle, Cornerstone Building, Everton, 14th March 2003

Mark Simpson and John Wilson, with film by James Harding of dancers choreographed by Virginia Taylor. Cornerstone Building Liverpool 29th November 2006


Madonna and Child

A cycle of Carols for SATB choir and solo sop.

I sing of a Maiden (solo); Ave ReginaI saw a MaidenDormi JesuI sing of a Maiden (Chorus).

Performance: Dec 2000, S.Katherine’s Chapel, Liverpool Hope University College,

Liverpool Hope Chamber Choir, cond. Mary Black

I saw a maiden

Dec 2002, Christ's and Notre Dame Chapel, Liverpool Hope University College, Oriel Singers, cond. Mary Black

I sing of a maiden

Performance: Nicola Bridstone, CND Chapel, Liverpool Hope University College,

11th Dec 1999

Broadcast:BBC Merseyside Radio 25th December 1999


Venice postcards. (performance version 1) c. 15’

Collaborative multimedia work (electronic music with computer manipulated images) with visual artist Pete Cummings. Performance: Cornerstone Festival, Liverpool, November 2004

Lecture presentation, Rockstock Hochschule, July 2005

Version put on file at



Modified environmental recording. 3’38”

First performance:

Hope Theatre, Capstone Building, Liverpool Hope University 22nd March 2010

Played as part of talks:

Rockstock Hochschule, July 2005; Liverpool Hope University, Feb 2006; BETA conference Liverpool, Dec 2006


Fanfares and toccatac.8’

Org, 4 trps.

Commissioned by Liverpool Hope University for the service for the inauguration of Liverpool Hope University’s first Chancellor.

Performance: 25th Jan 2006, Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool.

Oct 24th, 25th 26th   Oct 2006,

19th July 2007 Revised version: July 17th 2008, July 15th and 16th 2009, Liverpool Cathedral:


Unequal Division c. 15’

For chamber orchestra 15 players.

(flt, ob, clt, bssn, tpt, hrn, trm, pno, 2 perc, vln 1, vln 2, vla, vlc, db)

Co-commissioned by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Liverpool Hope University. Performance by the 10:10 ensemble conducted Clark Rundell, Cornerstone Building Liverpool 12th November 2006


Jubilee c.10’00

Orch and choir.; 1 perc, str SATB choir

Performances: Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King Liverpool, Metropolitan Cathedral Choir and Orchestra cond. Stephen Pratt July 10th 2007

Liverpool Hope University, cond. Stephen Pratt, 8th Dec 2007


Heartsounds. 8’00

Solo soprano with tuned percussion.

18 Performances Liverpool Anglican Cathedral Sep – Nov 2008:

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral: 13th Oct 2008

Singers: Sarah Ledgerwood, Kirsten Maltby and Julia Platt.

Music commissioned by the artists in residence at the Liverpool Cathedrals, Jane Poulton and Lin Holland.

Work documented in Holland, L and Poulton, J (2010): Site, material, object. ISBN 978-1-898749-08-0

And at


The Pixelators;

Piano and tape 11.00

Performance: The Capstone theatre, Nov 24th 2010, pianist Ian Buckle, sound projection Ian Percy

Tape projection: Forum: electro-acoustic compositions, Holy Trinity Church, Wavertree, Liverpool, 20th March 2011


The Dancers c.12 mins

Flt, hrp, vibra, vln, vla, vlc. Performance RLPO Ensemble 10:10 conducted Clark Rundell Great Hall Liverpool Hope University 16th March 2011.





‘Duration and Mental Arithmetic: the first movement of Webern’s First Cantata’

Perspectives of New Music, vol.23 no 1, 1985


Chapter in book:


‘Postmodernism and Art Music’

in Simon Miller, (Ed) The Last Post: Music after Postmodernism, University of Manchester Press, 1993, pp 27-51


Chapter in book:


‘Sacred Space and the singing voice’

in Sacred Space: Interdisciplinary Perspectives within Contemporary Contexts Editors: Steve Brie, Jenny Daggers and David Torevell

Cambridge Scholars Publishers (May 2009) pp 103 -114

(Conference proceedings of ‘Sacred Space’ held at Liverpool Hope University 16th Sep 2008)




‘Threats and Promises: Lucifer, Hell and Stockhausen’s Sunday from Light.’

Perspectives of New Music, vol.50 1 & 2, Summer and Winter 2012 pp393- 424


Selected Research Papers:


'On Interpreting Stockhausen's Lichter-Wasser.'

Hull University. Music Analysis Conference, July 2003


‘Stockhausen, listening and complexity.’

University of Liverpool, 13th Sep 2005 as part of the conference Complexity, Science and Society Conference (11th – 14th Sep 2005), organised by the Centre for Complexity Research, University of Liverpool.


‘On working with environmental sound.’

BETA conference, FACT centre, Liverpool, 3rd Dec 2006


'Theorising after composing'.

School of Music Research Seminar Series of the University of Liverpool, 29th January 2008


‘Pixelation and the piano: my composition The Pixelators’

Postgraduate Music Seminar Series of Liverpool Hope University February 2nd 2011


‘The film Cold Mountain and the image of the piano’.

RMA Colloquium: The Piano in Contemporary Music.

Liverpool Hope University 8th April 2011.


‘Learning by repetition: Stockhausen’s Monday from Light’

Birmingham University 20th Aug 2012

Conference ‘Stockhausen – Festival of Light - Birmingham 19th -21st Aug 2012

In process: on-line film of research talk