Dr Robert Fokkens
Telephone: +44(0)29 208 74378
Fax: +44(0)29 208 74379
Location: Main Music Building, Corbett Road, Room 1.01
Robert Fokkens is a South African composer based in the UK. His music is regularly performed in major venues in the UK, South Africa, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Australia, the USA and Japan, and has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio, Swedish Radio P2 and various South African radio stations.
Performers of his music include established figures and ensembles such as Pierre-André Valade, Ernst Kovacic, Ian Partridge, Martyn Brabbins, Patricia Rozario, Tête à Tête Opera and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, as well as some of the most exciting young musicians in the UK, including Claire Booth, the Fidelio Trio, Tim Murray, Oliver Coates, Harriet Mackenzie, juice vocal trio and rarescale. His music has been published in a number of journals and recorded on the Herald, TUTL and South African National Youth Orchestra labels. He is currently Vice Chairman of New Music South Africa, the South African section of the ISCM.
Dr Fokkens studied at the University of Cape Town and the Royal Academy of Music, and held the Manson Fellowship at the RAM. He completed his PhD at the University of Southampton in 2007, where he was supervised by Michael Finnissy. During his studies, he received numerous grants and bursaries from organisations including the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, the South African Music Rights Organisation, the National Arts Council of South Africa, the Overseas Research Scheme, and the Royal Academy of Music. His doctoral studies were largely funded by a University of Southampton Major Studentship.
Fokkens's music has been described in the Times as having its “own engaging quirkiness”. It works across established boundaries, whether of genre, style or nationality, using techniques and materials learned from traditional South African and other African musics alongside influences from a broad array of musical worlds to create a music of twisted, disrupted cycles and microtonal inflections that is by turns “hilarious”, “sad (and) strange” (Times) and “disturbing” (Guardian). In addition to a significant body of chamber music and music for large ensembles and orchestra, he writes frequently for the voice, both in concert and dramatic contexts.
Dr Fokkens teaches composition at Cardiff University across undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and is director of the Contemporary Music Group.
More information about works and performances can be found at www.robertfokkens.co.uk