Alasdair Spratt

ARTFORMS: Composition , Music



Glasgow-born Alasdair began his musical training as a chorister in Newcastle. He later went to St Mary’s Music School, Edinburgh where he studied composition, piano, violin and flute. He won an Entrance Award to study composition at the Royal Northern College of Music, winning the Rothschild Scholarship in his first year and the Mrs Leo Grindon Prize in his third. He graduated with a first-class honours degree, winning the Principal’s Prize in his final year.

Alasdair’s works range from solo and chamber music pieces to a percussion concerto. He already has an impressive body of work, much of which has been received with great critical acclaim, and been performed widely. In 2004 he attended the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, and was privileged to have been personally invited to receive compositional guidance from Sir Harrison Birtwistle.
In 2006 his ensemble work ‘Drop’ was premiered in Glasgow where he was hailed as ‘a major voice in new music..’. A requiem for four part choir and string orchestra, set to the poetry of Philip Larkin and Sorley MacLean, was premiered in 2007 also in Glasgow.  Alasdair continued his musical studies first by pursuing a Masters in Composition at RSAMD, Glasgow, and later a doctorate also at RSAMD. As part of his PhD, Alasdair is working on two major pieces, one for a large orchestra and the other for a new 40-minute ballet for children of varying ages and abilities.

Alasdair’s evident talent and potential to become a composer of note has won him, in 2004, the prestigious Philharmonia Prize for Composition, an extended scholarship from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music as well as support from the Ralph Vaughn-Williams Trust. He is recognised as one of the most promising composers of his generation.

For further information about Alasdair's work see

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award has been given to help Alasdair financially as he completes his PhD.

Since the Award

Alasdair received his PhD in 2008. Part of his final submission for the doctorate in musical composition was a piano concerto which received its premiere at the Plug festival in Glasgow, played by Junlan Zhao and the RSAMD symphony orchestra, conducted by fellow Dewar Arts Award-winner, Bede Williams.

Many thanks to all at the Dewar Arts Awards for the generous award made.