Sebastian Black is an NZ / British musician, born in 1996 in Colchester, UK. He studied at Chetham’s School of Music and the University of Oxford, before studying with Sir George Benjamin at King’s College London. He is the current mentor composer at Péter Eötvös Foundation in Budapest, studying with Péter Eötvös and other composers including Unsuk Chin, Hans Abrahamsen, Stefano Gervasoni and Magnus Lindberg.

Recent works have included What Does The Harp Suggest? (premiered at the Budapest Music Center, 2023), Cantastoria for solo cello (for Smorgaschord 2022), Scherzo in La Maggiore (for orchestra, premiered in by Orchestra Wellington in New Zealand), We Dance, We Dance (for Meitar Ensemble in Tel Aviv, Israel), and The Mosaique of the Aire (for Het Concertgebouw’s Mahler Festival 2020).

Forthcoming projects include music for Ensemble ARS NOVA, for the Chor- und Orchesterakademie des WDR Sinfonieorchesters Köln, for Danubia Orchestra Obuda, and a new large orchestral piece for Péter Eötvös Foundation.

He runs Smorgaschord, currently based in Oxford and which consists of a Festival and a Collective. Founded straight after the pandemic, Smorgaschord Festival has seen Mark Padmore singing Harrison Birtwistle, a recital from drupadhamar, a focus on the artist Eva Frankfurther, and various informal pop-up concerts. The 2023 festival sees Danny Driver performing Ligeti, a new piece by Laurence Osborn for Ben Goldscheider, György Kurtág Jr performing the UK premiere of Zwiegespräch (written with his father, György Kurtág), music by Joshua Uzoigwe, and UK premieres from Martin Suckling and Thomas Adès. Smorgaschord Collective, in which he also performs as a pianist, is Associate Emerging Artist at Stoller Hall in Manchester.

His writing about music has appeared in publications in the UK and abroad. A new article on Hans Abrahamsen was published in TEMPO in 2023. His work is represented on SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music.Sebastian Black is a British / NZ musician who was born in 1996 in Colchester. His music has been commissioned by Aldeburgh Music, the BBC, Mahler Foundation (for Het Concertgebouw), Cambridge University and New Music North West. Aged only 14, Kollaps, for clarinet and electronics, received its premiere at the Royal Albert Hall, London, by Jordan Black in 2010. This was followed by Five Lorca Settings (Jesus College, Cambridge, 2011), Notturno (Snape Maltings Concert Hall, 2012), and Narcissus (Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester, 2013). More recent works have included Chrysalis (Christ Church, Oxford, 2015, subsequently broadcast on BBC Radio 3), Idyll-Cortège (Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, 2017) and Grand Pas de Cinq (KCL, 2018). In 2010, he won the BBC Young Composers’ Competition as one of the youngest ever winners. He studied with Sir George Benjamin at King’s College London for his masters, for which he was awarded the Hilda Margaret Watts Prize. He previously studied at the University of Oxford and Chetham’s School of Music. He has also performed extensively as a pianist and curated music festivals in Manchester and Oxford. He co-directs SmorgasChord. Forthcoming projects include the (postponed) premiere of The Mosaique of the Aire, originally commissioned by the Mahler Foundation for Het Concertgebouw’s Mahler Festival 2020.