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Russell Hepplewhite
Russell Hepplewhite
Composer

Russell Hepplewhite has won critical acclaim for his groundbreaking operas for children; both of which were commissioned by English Touring Opera.  Laika the Spacedog won two major awards at the prestigious Armel International Opera Festival and transferred to Avignon Opera; while Shackleton's Cat was described in Richard Morrison's four star review in The Times as "compelling,and Opera Now Magazine handed it five stars saying it was "outstanding". Russell was also recently listed on the Evening Standard’s list of the 1000 most influential people in London.



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Russell Hepplewhite has won critical acclaim for his groundbreaking operas for children, including Laika the Spacedog, which toured the UK extensively as part of English Touring Opera's national tour in 2013, and it has since won two major awards at the prestigious Armel International Opera Festival before its subsequent transfer to Avignon Opera in November 2013. The production will next tour in Germany. He was recently listed on the Evening Standard’s list of the 1000 most influential people in London.

His new opera, Shackleton’s Cat (currently touring in Europe), enters the frozen world of the Antarctic, retelling the extraordinary journey of perhaps the greatest polar explorer of all time, Ernest Shackleton. Russell will also compose a new opera for W11 Opera in London for 9-18 year old children and young people to perform, as well as a composing a new musical version of the novel ‘Moonfleet’ by J Mead Faulkner for the Salisbury Playhouse.

Outside of children’s opera, his choral music is published with Banks Music Publishing and is the resident composer for Arcubus Ensemble. His music is featured on CD releases for labels including Regent Records and has been featured on BBC Television and Radio, as well as being performed at venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Library Theatre Luton, the Purcell Room and the Queen Elizabeth Hall. He has received numerous awards, including the PRSF David Bedford Award and two major prizes from the Armel International Opera Festival.

Recent highlights include a song-cycle entitled It was born of the Stars for GlyndebourneParallel, an Olympics-inspired musical commissioned by the Salisbury Playhouse, two melodramas for narrator and piano for the actor Timothy West, and several instrumental and choral pieces which have been performed in concert series' and festivals, including the King’s Lynn Festival, European Opera DayDenver Cathedral Concerts and Musiques à Pontorson in France.

Russell is currently collaborating with various ensembles and soloists, including Counterpoise, Svyati Duo, Contempo Ensemble, all of whom have commissioned pieces to be performed or recorded over the next year. 

Russell is also active as a pianist, teaches Composition and Musicianship at the Royal College of Music Junior Department and is an examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.  He was awarded a scholarship to study composition and piano at the Royal College of Music following previous studies at Chetham’s School of Music.



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