News archive 2010
Composer-in-residence for Nursing & Midwifery10 Dec 2009, PR 270/09
Renowned Irish composer John Browne will swap the opera house for the Health Service in 2010 when he becomes the first-ever Composer-in-Residence at the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing & Midwifery at King’s, it was announced this week.
The one-year residency has been made possible by a £10,000 grant and expert advice from the PRS Foundation (PRSF), the UK's largest independent funder of new music. The PRSF led the drive to find a suitable composer and advised the Florence Nightingale School on best practice for running a musical residency. Additional funding of £15,000 was provided by the National Lottery through Arts Council England (London). The project marks the Florence Nightingale School’s 150th anniversary and is part of its unique and innovative Culture in Care programme, offered to both staff and students, which explores the role that the arts, and in particular music, can play in the professional development of nurses.
Sally Taylor, Chair of the PRS Foundation, said: 'Poets, writers and philosophers as well as physicians and scientists have long recognised the extraordinary power of music to heal the body, soul and mind and strengthen the bonds between people and communities. John Browne’s appointment represents a pioneering collaboration and a model of best practice for composer residencies. It is a fascinating opportunity to create new music which explores the theme of care including such complex issues as how we deal with an ageing population and the politics of the NHS in contemporary society.
’Over the last ten years the PRS Foundation has created many successful music residencies in both arts and non-arts organisations everywhere from the London College of Fashion to local council offices. We hope to help create and support many more in the future.’
From opera theatre to operating theatre
John Browne is no stranger to working outside the often rarefied worlds of opera and academia and has used new music to respond to contemporary issues before. In 2006 he visited Rwanda to create the music-theatre piece The Mother’s Ring with survivors of the genocide, and in 2007 he wrote an original score for Demon Juice, a hip-hop version of Don Giovanni which brought together urban dance artists and the Royal Opera House.
John’s brief at the School is a challenging one and will see him explore the nature of care in clinical environments through music and compose an entirely new work reflecting upon his experience at the end of the year. His roving role will involve observing and working with students, practicing nurses, School academics and members of the King’s College London Community, experiencing life in the hospital and meeting patients.
John Browne said: ‘This is a very different and very exciting opportunity for me. I am being inspired by the people, the buildings and the rituals of the school and its partner hospitals - but most of all by the themes of nursing and care. On the one hand I’ll be observing and responding to nursing practice on a very intimate level, and that’s very moving, and at the same time I’ll be looking at ‘Care’ as one of the really big themes of our times, and of all times.’
Professor Anne Marie Rafferty, Head of School said: ‘We are thrilled about John Browne’s appointment as the School’s first ever Composer-in-Residence and look forward to working closely with him over the next year. The work he will produce will play an important part in forging the link between clinical practice and learning as a performing art.’
Notes to editors
Florence Nightingale School of Nursing & Midwifery
The Florence Nightingale School of Nursing & Midwifery at King’s College London is the world’s first professional School of nursing established by Florence Nightingale in 1860.
The number one Nursing and Midwifery School in London and highly regarded by leading London NHS Trusts with links to industry, health services and policy makers, the School develops leading-edge nurses and midwives of tomorrow – practitioners, partners, and leaders in their field.
The School has over 1,000 full-time students training to be nurses plus an extensive portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate activities to meet the needs of a wide range of healthcare professionals seeking continuing professional development. The School is at the forefront of health services, policy and evaluation research and home to the influential National Nursing Research Unit (NNRU) – the only Department of Health-funded unit of its kind in England. For further information visit www.kcl.ac.uk/schools/nursing
John Browne is an Irish composer living in London. He studied composition at University College Cork (with Gerald Barry) and at The Manhattan School of Music in New York with the assistance of a Fulbright Award. Operas for the Royal Opera House include: Demon Juice, a hip-hop opera in 2007; Babette’s Feast, a chamber opera in 2002 (revived there in 2004); Separation (The Story of Bullman and the Moonsisters), created with children to open the new Linbury Theatre in 1999. For English National Opera he composed Midnight's Children in 1998 and a trilogy of operas The Early Earth Operas in 2004.
Commissions in Ireland include Four Tableaux for The Cork International Choral Festival and the opera The Pied Piper for The Ark in Dublin. He was a founding member of Meridian Theatre Company in Cork composing music for more than a dozen shows and his music has been chosen to represent Ireland at the International Rostrum of Composers.
Other work includes visiting Rwanda in 2006/07 to create The Mother’s Ring a music-theatre piece with survivors of the genocide (with plans to create a new work in 2009/10) creating choral arrangements for the band Elbow in 2008 and teaching the Write-An-Opera course at Dartington Summer School. He has also lead many education projects for The Royal Opera House, ENO, Opera North, Welsh National Opera, The British Council and The Southbank Centre.
PRS Foundation for New Music (PRSF)
The PRS Foundation for New Music (PRSF) is the UK's largest independent funder of new music across all genres. Widely respected as an adventurous and proactive funding body, PRSF supports an exceptional range of new music activity - from unsigned band showcases to composer residencies, from commissions for new music to experimental live electronica.
Since March 2000 PRSF has given more than £12 million to over 3,000 new music initiatives.
In addition to stimulating and supporting the creation and performance of new music, it motivates public debate about creative music-making through ground-breaking projects such as the New Music Award. www.prsfoundation.co.uk
King's College London
King's College London is one of the top 25 universities in the world (Times Higher Education 2009) and the fourth oldest in England. A research-led university based in the heart of London, King's has more than 21,000 students from nearly 140 countries, and more than 5,700 employees. King's is in the second phase of a £1 billion redevelopment programme which is transforming its estate.
King's has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise for British universities, 23 departments were ranked in the top quartile of British universities; over half of our academic staff work in departments that are in the top 10 per cent in the UK in their field and can thus be classed as world leading. The College is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of nearly £450 million.
King's has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, the sciences (including a wide range of health areas such as psychiatry, medicine and dentistry) and social sciences including international affairs. It has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA and research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones and radar. It is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe; no university has more Medical Research Council Centres.
King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas', King's College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts are part of King's Health Partners. King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering global collaboration between one of the world's leading research-led universities and three of London's most successful NHS Foundation Trusts, including leading teaching hospitals and comprehensive mental health services. For more information, visit: www.kingshealthpartners.org.
Frances Dodd, Communications Officer
Florence Nightingale School of Nursing & Midwifery
Email: email@example.com Tel: 020 7848 3062
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