Patrick Friel

Patrick is a student on the PhD Composition programme at Manchester. Here, he talks about his experience of the programme so far, and winning the Discovering Young Composers of Europe competition.

On my PhD focus

My research is focused on exploring the links between time, ritual, and growth, which will help me create new musical forms. 

Patrick Friel

Under the supervision of Professor Philip Grange, I am working towards submitting a portfolio of compositions for a variety of forces, from solo microtonal tuba to symphony orchestra.

How music unfolds over time underpins so many decisions a composer has to make. Therefore, this project allows me to pursue questions that will change the way I think about every aspect of composition.

This will surely change the way I think about music more generally. I think that's very exciting!

My supervisory team have challenged me to think deeper, aim higher and take greater risks. They have supported me every step of the way, too.

On the Discovering Young Composers of Europe competition

The main draw of the programme was the prospect of having the Cikada Ensemble, one of the best new-music ensembles in Scandinavia today, performing Waters, Spires, Skies, a work I completed near the start of my PhD. 

I am delighted that they will give the premiere of this demanding work - that lasts almost 20 minutes - in Oslo this April.

On my Manchester highlights

Working on the opening of my string quartet in a workshop with the amazing Quatuor Danel, artists-in-residence at The University of Manchester, was a recent highlight.

I tried something I had never done before, and they made it sound terrific.