Full Biography

Anna Appleby (1993-) is a Manchester-based composer. Originally from Newcastle Upon Tyne, she has a great love of folk and jazz, and now specialises in writing contemporary classical music. Her work often consciously revolves around the human voice or body, with opera and dance being particular interests. Collaboration is at the heart of her creative practice.


Anna has been the Music Fellow with Rambert Dance Company (2016/17). She is a recipient of the Alan Rawsthorne Prize (2016), the Rosamond Prize (2015), and was a finalist in the RNCM Gold Medal competition (2015). She received 2nd Prize at the Royal Northern Sinfonia's 'Mozarts of Tomorrow' competition in January 2016, when they premiered her piece Federalizing Zoo at the Sage Gateshead. Anna has been a musician in residence with Brighter Sound Artistic Directors' Series (2016), a composer in residence at the Cohan Collective (2016), Manchester composer in residence with Streetwise Opera (2016/17) and artist in residence with Quay Voices (2016/17). She has written for artists including Jonathan Powell, A4 Brass, The Hermes Experiment and for workshops with The Royal Scottish National Orchestra, The Manchester Camerata, The BBC Singers, Het Balletorkest and the Cavaleri Quartet, who went on to premiere her string quartet Eschaton at the Holywell Music Room (2014). 'In the Beginning was the Word', a piano miniature, was commissioned and premiered by Grace Francis on BBC Radio 3 for the International Women's Day celebrations on March 8th, 2015, and was released on the album 'SACRED' by Launch Music International in the same month. In Autumn 2017, Anna featured in US documentary 'Turning Point' in an episode about Streetwise Opera.


Anna's work has been funded by the PRS Foundation and the Arts Council 'Grants for the Arts'. Her music has been performed at Tete-a-Tete opera festival, the Southbank centre, the National Theatre River Stage, Rambert, the Sage Gateshead, the Holywell Music Room, the Jacqueline du Pré music building, the Royal Northern College of Music concert hall, RADA studios, Colourscape music festival, the Manchester Art Gallery, RichMix, HOME theatre and on BBC Radio 3.


Anna also works with the performing arts in a community setting: she is a member of Peshkar's pool of participatory artists, was Music Assistant with the Iona Community in Summer 2013, and is a Performing Arts specialist with Artis Education. She tutors privately in piano and composition. Anna studied for a Masters in Composition with David Horne, Adam Gorb, and Paul Patterson at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, between 2014 and 2016. Before that she studied with Martyn Harry at St Hilda's College, Oxford, where she received a First-Class Bachelor of Arts degree in Music.

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Website © Anna Appleby 2018. Images © Ann Wilkes, Claire Shovelton, Ian Watson, Pari Naderi, Guðbjörg Ágústsdóttir, Anna Appleby, Rachel Bywater.