Nicholas Korth (b.1971) is a composer with a passion for the magical world of natural harmony, the extraordinary sounds of overtone singing and lyrical and sesitive word-setting. He lives in Hertfordshire with violinist Deborah Schlenther and their two children.
As a member of the London Conchord Ensemble he has had much of his music performed (notably in the USA and at the Wigmore Hall), recorded and broadcast on BBC Radio 3. He has worked closely with overtone singers Rollin Rachele and Paul Terrell, tenors James Gilchrist and Dan Norman and soprano Olivia Robinson. He has held the position of Co-principal Horn with the BBC Symphony Orchestra since 2000, and appears regularly as guest principal horn and soloist with many other ensembles.
Korth has an amazing ability in his compositions to weave the best of Western music idioms with the intricacies of overtone ratios creating a uniquely beautiful sound palate that haunts and exhilarates at the same time.
Rollin Rachele, overtone singer
Korth’s fascinating score made me feel that I was both listening to alien music from outer space, and to something familiar all at the sametime.
Giles Woodford, Oxford Times
Nicholas grew up surrounded by the natural beauty of the Ashdown Forest in Sussex and influenced by the creative environment of the local Rudolf Steiner school (Michael Hall).
He has been inspired by three major encounters: the music of Ravel, the natural horn harmonics in Britten’s Serenade for tenor, horn and strings and the wonderous sounds of overtone singing.
The audience was (literally) enveloped, but transported, by the experience of a sound world new to all of them.
former director of Iffley Music Society
Korth’s exploration of overtones in his music gives it a unique, haunting flavour. It is unlike anything else I have ever come across.
Douglas Paterson, member of the Schubert Ensemble
and former principal viola of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe
During the early nineties Nicholas wrote for the English Eurythmy Theatre who toured extensively in the USA and Europe with productions The Winds of Time and Storm’s Child.
His series of compositions, Harmoniae Naturales I-V, explores his long-held fascination with natural tuning. In 2013 the world premier of Harmoniae Naturales IV, Luminescence, was given by the Orpheus Sinfonia, cellist Tom Carroll, tenor Nigel Robson and overtone singer Rollin Rachele at St. George’s Hanover square, London. Also featured in this concert was …like Shining from Shook Foil, a setting of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ transcendental poetry for soprano and orchestra featuring Olivia Robinson.
From the Autumn of 2015, the St. Paul’s Sinfonia will be featuring Nicholas as their composer-in-residence and performing both Harmoniae Narurales IV and his latest work, Harmoniae Naturales V, to Autumn (on September 25th and November 20th respectively). He has also started work on Harmoniae Naturales VI, a full-length work for large orchestra, soprano, tenor and several overtone singers which will once again involve Hopkins’ verse and be premiered on May 20th, 2016 in Greenwich, London.
Taking part in a performance of Nicholas Korth’s music with Olivia Robinson and the Orpheus Sinfonia was quite simply one of the most exciting and inspirational experiences I have had in many a long year.
Michael Thompson, conductor,
professor at the Royal Academy of Music, principal horn of the London Sinfonietta and international horn virtuoso