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Melvyn Poore

Jury Kranichstein Music Prize

From the age of four, Melvyn Poore played his father’s euphonium, making his first solo appearance at the age of seven. Later, he started piano and at twelve he finally had a full-scale tuba in his hands. From 1971 to 1976 he studied at the University of Birmingham (B.Mus and MA). In 1976, he became Musical Director of the Birmingham Arts Laboratory and organised concerts, workshops, two chamber ensembles and a music publishing house. During this time, he understood how far one can go with this apparently unwieldy instrument and his experiences at the Arts Lab contributed to the realisation that as a tubist there is life beyond the orchestra.

From 1979 to 1986 he was active as composer/performer in groups like the Cambrian Brass Quintet, Barry Guy’s London Jazz Composers Orchestra, Georg Gräwe’s Grubenklangorchester, Wolfgang Fuch’s King Übü Orchestrü, Radu Malfatti’s Ohrkiste, the Contraband and the English Tuba Consort. With Pinguin Moschner, Larry Fishkind and Paul Rutherford he founded in 1981 the European Tuba Quartet which still exists (with Carl Ludwig Hübsch) today.

Melvyn Poore’s first experiments in the Arts Lab with tape and electronics led him on to a new passion: the experimental interaction of acoustic instruments and technology, which for him now has the same priority as purely acoustic experiments involving the sound possibilities of the tuba. Poore has passed on his experience in the capacities of interpreter, composer and also lecturer: he was Research Assistant at the Salford College of Technology (1989-1991); a guest at the Centre for Art and Media Technology in Karlsruhe from 1992 to 1994, where he developed his concept of the ‘METAinstrument’; and 1993-95 Visiting Professor for Electro-Acoustic Music at the Royal College of Music in London.

Since 1995 he has been a permanent member of Ensemble Musikfabrik and has played a major role in the creation of the Academy of the ensemble.