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Dr Daniel Bickerton MMus PhD (Wales) PGD (London) AFHEA LMusTCL AMusTCL FTCL LTCL ATCL

Dr Daniel Bickerton


Director of Undergraduate Studies

School of Music

+44 (0)29 2087 0405
+44 (0)29 2087 4379
0.18, 37 Corbett Rd., 33-37 Corbett Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3EB
Media commentator

I am the Director of Undergraduate Studies at the School of Music. I am a composer with interests including intertextuality, jazz and hybridity; I have research interests in creative leadership and collaboration in Music at Higher Education. My music has been described as 'soulful', and 'full of skittish cascades' and 'invoking a sense of period and character – and just a little (harmless) madness' in The Times. About my music, conductor and musicologist Paul McClure has written 'the fingerprint of this composer's style is effective and driving ostinati; the flexibility of metre is authoritative and compelling'. My work has been performed in several major venues in the UK (including the Royal Albert Hall, St David's Hall, Wales Millennium Centre, Purcell Room and Birmingham Symphony Hall), the Czech Republic (Reduta Jazz Club, Prague) Italy (La Mortella), Germany (Idstein Jazz Festival), France (Châtel and Palais de Festivités, Evian), Switzerland (Montreux Jazz Festival), Belgium (Ghent Music Festival and St. George's Memorial Church, Ypres) the USA (Koret Auditorium, San Francisco and Paul Creative Arts Theatre, New Hampshire), and broadcast on BBC Radio Wales and ITV Wales. I studied composition with Arlene Sierra, Stephen Montague, Judith Weir and Anthony Powers at Cardiff University School of Music and Trinity Laban.

Recent commissions have included projects with Catherine Milledge (piano), Isca Linea, Music for Youth PROMS (massed ensemble, multimedia performance), Cor Aduniad, the Fidelio Trio (Cheltenham Music Festival premiere, July 2014), BBC Big Band (dir. Jay Craig), The Cardon Ensemble, London New Wind Ensemble (November 2013), Alexander Davis (saxophone), Cardiff University Big Band, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Consortium5, Lontano, RMA and Nathan Jorgensen's 'Four o'clock Band'.

Education and qualifications

  • 2018: FTCL Composition (Trinity College London)
  • 2014: LMusTCL in Theory and Analysis (Trinity College London)
  • 2012: PhD (Composition) Cardiff University, UK
  • 2012: AFHEA (Higher Education Academy)
  • 2011: AMusTCL with Distinction (Trinity College London)
  • 2009: LTCL: Teaching with Distinction (Trinity College London)
  • 2008: PGD with Distinction (Composition) Trinity Laban Conservatoire, UK
  • 2007: MMus with Distinction (Composition) Cardiff University, UK
  • 2006: BMus (Hons) with First Class Honours, Cardiff University, UK
  • 2004: ATCL: Recital with Distinction (Trinity College London)

Honours and awards

  • Cardiff University Outstanding Contribution Award (October 2017)
  • CUROP (July 2016)
  • First Campus for Outreach and Engagement (2014-16)
  • CUSU for Benjamin Britten Centenary: Celebration for Composers (2013)
  • Cardiff University Research Studentship (2008-2012)
  • Joan Greenfield Fellowship (2007-08)
  • Welsh Livery Guild (2007)
  • AHRC (2006-07)
  • Celia Thomas Bequest (2006)

Professional memberships

  • Member of the international examining board for AMusTCL, Trinity College London (2015-present)
  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2012-present) for professional recognition of Teaching and Scholarship

Academic positions

  • 2016-present: Director of Undergraduate Studies, Cardiff University School of Music
  • 2014-2016: Deputy Undergraduate Admissions Tutor, Cardiff University School of Music
  • 2013-2014: Lecturer in Music and Ideology, Leeds College of Music
  • 2009-2014: Associate Lecturer, Cardiff University School of Music

Speaking engagements

  • Leeds College of Music (2014)
  • Trinity Laban (2013)
  • Cardiff University (2013)
  • RMA Kings College London (2010)
  • Trinity Laban (2009)
  • Keele University (2008)

Committees and reviewing

  • Chair of the Undergraduate Board of Studies (2016-present)
  • Chair of Examination and Year Boards (2016-present)
  • Assessment and Feedback Lead for MUSIC (2015-present)
  • Member of Learning and Teaching Committee (2015-present)
  • Member of Undergraduate Staff Student Panel (2014-present)
  • Member of Postgraduate Board of Studies (2014-present)
  • Member of IT Committee (2013-14)












Undergraduate Teaching:

  • Composition (Final Year Portfolio supervisor)
  • 20th Century Contrapuntal Practice
  • Orchestration
  • Studio Techniques (Electro-Acoustic Composition)
  • I also co-ordinate practical musicianship modules at the School of Music (including Ensemble).

Postgraduate Teaching:

  • Music Leadership and Public Engagement
  • Ensemble
  • Studio Techniques (Electro-Acoustic Composition)
  • I also supervise MA Composition students

Composition in Focus:

  • I also direct the annual 'composer in focus' workshop and concerts. Previous projects have included:
    • 2013: Britten Centenary Celebration (feat. The Cardon Ensemble)
    • 2014: The Triumph of Time? Responses to Birtwistle at 80
    • 2015: La Monte Young at 80
    • 2016: Reich at 80
  • I will be directing the next in this series, 'Skempton at 70' during the 2017-18 academic year at the School of Music.

Overview and recent projects:

Recent performances and recordings for solo piano have been given by Catherine Milledge (Equation) and Rebekah Weatherby (Tyne Cot Sketches: Sea of Stone). I was commissioned by the Cardiff University Big Band to write a new piece for their tour to Prague and the Bohemia Jazz Festival this summer (Flypast). A significant commission in 2016-17 came from Music for Youth, in collaboration with music services from South Wales, to compose a new work for the MFY PROMS concert series at the Royal Albert Hall. Entitled #CONNECT, this piece for massed ensemble received significant funding including a very generous donation from CUROP in order to give an undergraduate student (Timothy Johnston BMus) the opportunity to work in close collaboration with me on several aspects of this production.

You can read more about the project here: (Information about the CUROP scheme can be found at: The Welsh premiere of #CONNECT took place at St. David's Hall in June 2017. You can read more about this and other recent projects here:

Forthcoming projects:

I am currently writing for the Chameleon Quintet, a new string piece for Isca Linea and a set of piano miniatures. I will be writing a new Big Band piece in Spring 2018 and a chapter that I have co-written with Dr Lynne Gornall ( will be published in 'Exploring Consensual Leadership in Higher Education' (Bloomsbury, 2018).