Gavin Higgins: My Musical Journey

If you’d have spoken to the child me and said one day you’ll be writing for the Royal Opera House, I wouldn’t have believed it.

Growing up in the Forest of Dean as part of a brass-banding family, music for Gavin Higgins was initially “just what we did” and he remembers wishing he could stay home and read books about dinosaurs rather than go to band practice. It was in his early teens that Gavin recalls first being empowered by music. “I was suffering with Tourette’s syndrome and OCD and music was an important tool for me. When I was playing my French horn the tics and invasive thoughts would completely stop.”

It was later whilst at the Royal Northern College of Music that Gavin fell in love with composing. “It’s been an exciting five years” he reflects on his career since graduating. “I became Rambert Dance company’s first ever composer in residence, I’ve written the opening piece for the Last Night of The Proms and I’m currently in the middle of writing an opera for the Royal Opera House.” The project closest to his heart was writing the ballet “Dark Arteries” composed for brass band. “It brings together various parts of my life: my love of dance, brass bands and the mining tradition that my family grew up in.”

Part of our 20th anniversary project: My Musical Journey

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