Errollyn Wallen

Profile

Errollyn Wallen is a multi award-winning Belize-born British composer and performer. Her output includes twenty-two operas and a large catalogue of orchestral, chamber and vocal works which are performed and broadcast throughout the world. She was the first black woman to have a work featured in the Proms and the first woman to receive an Ivor Novello award for Classical Music for her body of work. Wallen composed for the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games 2012, for the British queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilees, a specially commissioned song for the climate change conference, COP 26, 2021, and a re-imagining of Jerusalem for BBC’s Last Night of the Proms 2020. BBC Radio 3 featured her music across the first week of 2022 for its flagship programme, Composer of the Week and she has made several radio documentaries including Classical Commonwealth, nominated for the Prix Europa, which explored the impact of colonialism on music in the Commonwealth. Wallen founded her own group, Ensemble X whose motto is ‘we don’t break down barriers in music…we don’t see any.’

Training

Composition at the University of London and University of Cambridge

Albums

The Girl In My Alphabet

Meet Me at Harold Moores, featured on the Brodsky Quartet 

Mood Swings (alongside Björk, Sting and Elvis Costello)

2004 The Errollyn Wallen Songbook

Awards

2007 Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

2018 Ivors Composer Award.

2022 one of BBC's top 100 Women