Birmingham Contemporary Music Group are devastated to learn of the passing of our dearest friend and Artist-in-Association, Oliver Knussen.

He was the head of our BCMG family, driving our artistic programming and inspiring musicians and audiences with his extraordinary musicianship.

He was, quite simply, a force of nature in the best possible way; always creative, always playful, but with the highest standards and the best musical ears.

We cannot begin to process the loss of this wonderful man to both the musical community and the wider world.

We mourn his loss whilst celebrating his extraordinary, incomparable talent and humanity.

I am immensely proud of my association with BCMG, unquestionably one of the foremost European ensembles.

Oliver Knussen, BCMG Artist-in-Association

One of the pre-eminent composer-conductors in the world today, Oliver Knussen was born in Glasgow in 1952, grew up near London (where his father was principal Double Bass of the London Symphony Orchestra) and now lives in Suffolk. He is presently Artist-in-Association with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Richard Rodney Bennett Professor at the Royal Academy of Music. 

The recipient of many honours and awards, including the Nemmers Prize in 2006 and the Royal Philharmonic Society Conductor Award in 2009, he has served as Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival (1983 – 98), Head of Contemporary Music at the Tanglewood Music Center (1986 – 93), Principal Guest Conductor of the Hague Residentie Orchestra (1993 – 97), Music Director of the London Sinfonietta (1998 – 2002), and Artist-in-Association with the BBC Symphony Orchestra (2009 – 2014). He was appointed CBE in 1994 and received the Queen’s Medal for Music 2015

Find out more about Oliver at his agent's website here