O'Regan appointed Composer in Residence with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

O'Regan appointed Composer in Residence with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
Tarik O'Regan
© Frances Marshall

Tarik O’Regan has been appointed Composer in Residence with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale. The San Francisco-based ensemble has been described by the New York Times as “America’s leading historically informed ensemble” performing a wealth of repertoire from the early Baroque to late Romantic periods as well as new commissioned works.

In his three-and-a-half-year residency, the first of its kind in the ensemble’s 40-year history, O’Regan will work closely with Music Director Richard Egarr and the ensemble’s musicians and staff, composing three new works and establishing immersive relationships within the larger PBO community.

Tarik O'Regan says:

“I’m thrilled to build upon the flourishing work already underway at PBO. The organization feels like an instantly natural and welcoming home in which to house these various ideas about integrating composition with performance, programming, education, and storytelling. In Richard I’ve found not just a phenomenal artist in his own right, but a wonderful forward-thinking partner with whom to explore how history and the present day are always in conversation. Ultimately our interest in nuancing definitions of ‘old’ and ‘new’ is driven by our love of live music in all its varied guises, and our desire to share it with, and to discover more from, our broadest possible community.”

O’Regan’s vision for the residency emphasizes a more seamless integration between old and new music and builds upon the institution’s reputation as an incubator for exciting new work. The residency will include three large-scale commissions of O’Regan’s own works: a concerto for oud and orchestra, a major operatic production, and a new work for the Philharmonia Chorale.

A cornerstone of PBO’s virtual 20/21 season has been the talk show What’s New and H.I.P. with Tarik and Rick featuring conversations between Egarr and O’Regan on new music, its place in the historical performance canon, and challenging dominant perspectives. The show, which includes interviews with prominent composers, critics, and tastemakers in the field, will continue as a platform for exploration during O’Regan’s residency.

Watch: Richard Egarr and Tarik O’Regan in conversation

O’Regan also plans to launch a short-form commissioning program, sourcing 10-20 works of five minutes or less, that will kickstart the availability of new repertoire for PBO and other historical performance ensembles. Additionally, O’Regan aims to start a composition competition, with the winner receiving a paid commission from PBO; a live workshopping program for composers to develop their ideas; and a dedicated ensemble for contemporary music within PBO, with the ultimate goal of unifying the historic and contemporary perspectives.

Richard Egarr, Music Director, Philharmonic Baroque Orchestra & Chorale comments:

“I'm thrilled that Tarik will be joining the PBO family as composer-in-residence for the next several years, and I'm greatly looking forward to working with him to create enduring new works for this phenomenal ensemble. Tarik gets that there’s a place for new music that doesn’t feel like a forced march, but rather an extension of what all the old music has taught us.”

Read the full announcement

About Tarik O'Regan

Born in 1978, Tarik O’Regan has worked with a wide variety of ensembles and organizations; these include the Dutch National Ballet, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Sydney Dance Company, BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, Houston Grand Opera and the Royal Opera House in London. Recent recording releases include his opera The Phoenix on Pentatone, A Letter of Rights on Naxos and portrait album of his choral music by Pacific Chorale on the Yarlung label. He is currently working on a saxophone concerto, which has been commissioned for soloist Amy Dickson by the Presteigne Festival to be premiered in 2022.


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