Composes modern music for various instruments, ensembles and vocals
Julian Wagstaff lives in his native Edinburgh (Scotland) where he is active as a composer, arranger and guitarist. He regularly works with Scotland's leading musicians and ensembles and his music is widely performed in the UK, Europe and around the world. In addition to his work in concert music, opera and musical theatre, Julian Wagstaff writes, records and performs rock music under the name Jules Reed, including as a member of the Edinburgh-based band The Firrenes. His work in languages, political research and the sciences is reflected in much of his music and in his theatre libretti. He studied Composition at Edinburgh University with Professor Nigel Osborne, receiving his PhD in 2008.The composer first came to public attention in 2001 with the musical John Paul Jones, based on the life of the Scots-born sailor and hero of the American Revolution. The musical was revived in 2010 in association with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
A fluent German speaker, Julian's specific interest in German history is reflected in Treptow for string orchestra or string quartet (2005), his most-performed work. This piece, which won the 2005 Emre Araci Prize, was inspired by the Soviet War Memorial in Treptow Park in east Berlin. His Piano Quintet was released on Circular Records in November 2007 on an album entitled Frontiers and Bridges, performed by the Edinburgh Quartet and produced by Calum Malcolm.
In August of the same year, Julian Wagstaff presented his hour-long chamber opera The Turing Test on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, to sell-out audiences and excellent reviews. The opera was cited by the internationally renowned novelist Alexander McCall Smith as his cultural highlight of the year in the London newspaper the Daily Telegraph’s Review of the Year.
Julian served as Composer in Residence at the School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh in 2013. His chamber opera Breathe Freely was commissioned during his tenure there, and was premiered in a production supported by Scottish Opera and conducted by Derek Clark. A recording of the opera was released on the Linn Records label in October 2015.
More links to his music can be found here: