Daryl Runswick is Head of the Composition Faculty at Trinity College of Music in London and chairman of Contemporary Music Making for Amateurs. He began his musical life as a Cambridge chorister but quickly moved sideways into the jazz and pop world, playing bass with many international stars as well as running his own groups. This dual speciality (classical / popular) has permeated his subsequent career, which has included work as a solo improvising pianist and as a broadcaster, singing with the pioneering vocal group Electric Phoenix, concert work with the London Sinfonietta, session playing, arranging (especially for The King's Singers) record producing (recently for Keith Tippett) and conducting his own film and TV scores.
His concert works include Lady Lazarus (1984) Zuppa Inglese (1993) accidental counterpoints (1998) Moon/Skull (2001) and the ongoing series Scafra Preludes (1995- ). In addition he has devoted much energy and thought to the search for a synthesis of the improvising skills he learned in jazz with the more complex structures of contemporary concert music, in such works as I Sing The Body Electric (1984) From Two Worlds (1990) I Am A Donut (1992) Moto Interrotto / Ripreso (1995) Dicing with De'Ath (1998) Sarabande (1999) World upon World (2000) and Sonata (Gracing) (2001).
Island, Daryl Runswick's latest major work, had its world première in London in June. This year also saw the first performance of Sonata (Gracing) for cello, in Athens. His large-scale ensemble piece Moon/Skull, conducted by Edwin Roxburgh, came last year, and in 2000 World upon World, a BBC commission, was performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra with soloists and children's choir, conducted by the composer. He is currently working on a voice-and-electronics piece for Frances M Lynch, based on interviews with Tracey Emin.