News: 2010


I have been appointed as Lecturer in Composition at Cardiff University, starting there in February 2011.

Soundings at The Forge

The Austrian Cultural Forum presents another performance of works by the Soundings 2010 group of composers, including my piece for piano trio, Imvubu (Hippopotamus)

The Forge, 3-7 Delancey Street, London, NW1 7NL

Wednesday 24 November 2010 at 7.30pm


Review: The Bow Project - CD Release

(TUTL label, FKT 044)
Libalel’ilanga (The Sun is Scorching the Earth)
The Nightingale String Quartet

“South African Music Teacher” journal

Listening to the CD…one is struck by the unfamiliar sounds emerging from a string quartet, as it submerges itself into the idiom of the uhadi. Especially in track 4, Robert Fokkens exploits the strings’ ability to produce haunting dissonances and static movement interspersed with rapid rhythmical passages to create a masterful soundscape reminiscent of rural landscapes in South Africa.

Retorica in Seaford

Violin duo Retorica (Philippa Mo and Harriet Mackenzie) perform a recital for Seaford Music Society including Robert’s Orange.

Friday 15 October at 7.30pm

Seaford Music Society,  Annecy School Hall, Sutton Avenue, Seaford



After seven years of commissioning, performing and recording, the Bow Project has reached it’s final stage with the double CD being released on 16 October.

Hailed as one of the most important musical heritage projects in South Africa, The Bow Project was launched in 2002 by composer Michael Blake as a project of NewMusicSA’s annual New Music Indaba at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown. South African composers were invited to respond to the uhadi songs of the legendary performer from Nqoko village near Lady Frere, Nofinishi Dywili. It is to the memory of Nofinishi that the project and this recording are dedicated. The double CD contains recordings of both remastered recordings of Nofinishi’s original songs and of the works that have been written in response to her songs for the project by composers such as Robert Fokkens, Michael Blake, Sazi Dlamini, Mokale Koapeng and Jurgen Brauninger.

The launch will take place on 16 October at Stellenbosch University at 18:00

rarescale Premiere Series 2010 Concert 1

rarescale present the first of their Premiere Series 2010 concerts at Shoreditch church, performing music for flutes, clarinets, electronics and soprano. The programme includes Robert’s Songs on texts by Ibn el-Arabi, commissioned and premiered by rarescale in 2007.

Michael Oliva - Dover Beach (sop, afl, bcl, eam)
Robert Fokkens - Songs (sop, bfl)
Nono - Il Fabbrica Illuminata (sop, eam)
Jay C Batzner - inventions (fl, cl)
Scott Wilson - Vortically (bfl, eam)
Kaja Bjorntvedt - New Work (eam)
Thomas Simaku - Soliloquy (cl)

rarescale are:
Carla Rees - Flutes
Rosie Coad - Soprano
Michael Oliva - Electronics
Sarah Watts - Clarinet

rarescale Premiere Series Concert 1

Saturday 18 September at 7.30pm

Shoreditch Church, Shoreditch High Street E1 6JN, London

Imvubu in Venice

The Fidelio Trio performs ImVubu (Hippopotamus) alongside works by Joe Cutler, Gerhard Krammer, Johannes Maria Staud and Schoenberg at the Palazzo Albrizzi in Venice, in a concert co-ordinated by Austrian composer Gerhard Krammer.

Saturday 18 September 2010 at 5.30pm

Palazzo Albrizzi, Venice

Lite Bite at The Opera Festival

My new mini-opera, Contact, for two singers, flute and harp will be performed a number of times in public spaces at the Riverside Studios and around Hammersmith by Tête à Tête, London’s most innovative and exciting opera company. Part of their annual Opera Festival at the Riverside Studios, the four Lite Bites (written by Dominique le Gendre, Stephen Crowe, Julian Grant and myself) will pop up around Hammersmith at various times during the festival.

Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival at Riverside Studios, Hammersmith

5-22 August 2010

Lite Bite dates

My Lite Bite mini-opera for Tete-a-tete’s Opera Festival at the Riverside Studios is being performed most nights as part of the festival - after workshop performances in the first week, the four short operas are now being put on in the foyer of the Riverside Studios before and between shows in addition to daily performances in Hammersmith’s parks, malls and squares. The festival itself is a wonderful showcase for some of the most interesting and creative approaches to the genre to be found in the UK, and runs Thursday - Friday evenings 5 - 22 August. If you have an interest in opera and around London this month, I strongly recommend popping in for at least one evening just to see what’s on - and you’ll probably bump into my mini-opera Contact too.

Tete-a-tete Opera Festival Lite Bite

I’ve been invited to write a mini-opera for Tete-a-tete’s annual opera festival this year. Running from 5-22 August at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, London, The Opera Festival attracts some of the most interesting composers and groups working in the field of ’opera’. Lite Bites are very short mini-operas performed by a group of two singers and two players in public spaces both at the Riverside Studios and around Hammersmith for the duration of the festival. For more information, visit The Opera Festival’s website: