Grace-Evangeline Mason (b.1994) is a composer of orchestral, chamber, choral, electronic and operatic music based in the UK. Described as having a ‘keen ear for musical texture - from dreamy hazes of electronic sound to sumptuous choral writing’ [BBC], Mason creates ethereal sound-worlds often inspired by art, poetry and literature to take a listener on a narrative journey. Her music has been performed as part of the BBC Proms, broadcast on BBC Radios 3 and 4, and at venues both across the UK and internationally.
Her work 'RIVER', described as 'highly charged [with] pungent harmonies rippling downwards, fierce accents, and the odd detuned chord' [The Times], was co-commissioned by BBC Radio 4's 'Front Row' Programme and the BBC Proms to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Handel's 'Water Music.' 'RIVER' was premiered live on BBC Radio 4 by London Early Opera on a boat on the River Thames followed by three performances at the 2017 BBC Proms by the Royal Northern Sinfonia under Nicholas McGegan, which was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.
She has worked with ensembles and artists including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Manchester Camerata, BBC Singers, Ensemble 10/10, Trio Atem, the Aurora Orchestra and San Francisco-based Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in venues such as the Royal Festival Hall, Tate Britain, The Sage, BBC Maida Vale Studios, Liverpool Victoria Gallery and Museum and Birmingham Symphony Hall. Her choral pieces have been performed by choirs including Commotio, the Sarum Consort, the Philharmonia Baroque Chorale and college chapel choirs at both Oxford and Cambridge universities. Mason's works have also been performed as part of the biennial New Music North West Festival 2013, 2015 and 2017, the latter of which her orchestral work 'KINTSUKUROI: (Golden Repair)' was performed by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 2017, Mason wrote a work for the London Symphony Orchestra as part of their Panufnik Composer’s Scheme and was subsequently commissioned to write her work ‘Fafaia’ for the LSO Community Choir. She is the recipient of awards including the BBC Proms Inspire Young Composer of the Year (2013) for her piece ‘Convergence’, the Rosamond Prize (2016), the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra's Christopher Brooks Prize (2017), the prestigious RPS Composition Prize (2018) and was Very Highly Commended in the UK’s Inter-Collegiate Theodore Holland Composition Prize (2018).
Mason's work 'Diamond Dust II' for clarinet and piano was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 for inclusion in their 2015 'Young Artists Day' concert. Her pieces have been included in festivals such as the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music 2017, the Open Circuit Festival 2016, in which John Kenny selected to perform her work 'Let The Rain Kiss You' for solo trombone and electronics, and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Connecticut, in which her work ‘RIVER’ received it’s US Premiere by Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra under Nicholas McGegan. Her chamber opera in one act entitled 'The Yellow Wallpaper', described as having a ‘strong theatrical flair…which made an immediate impact on us all’ [Brian Dickie], was based on the short story of the same name by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and commissioned by the Helios Collective for performance at ENO Lilian Baylis House, London, in 2016. Her work 'Per Aspera Ad Astra', for female voices and large ensemble was commissioned for the GDST biennial Young Musician and Vocalist of the Year Competition Final, which Mason conducted in St John's Smith Square, London. In addition, Gillian Blair commissioned her work ‘Amongst The Cinders’ for soprano saxophone and piano for performance at EurSax 2017, Porto.
Recent commissions include a chamber work for the 2019 Cheltenham Music Festival by the Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS), a work for Ensemble 10/10’s 21st Birthday Concert and a work for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s Youth Company as part of the Wilfred Owen Commemoration Festival 2018. In addition, her work ‘Into The Abyss, I throw Roses’, described as a ‘beautiful and muscular piece’ [The Guardian], was commissioned by the Park Lane Group for performance by the Eblana String Trio as part of the Southbank Centre SoundState Festival.
Mason studied Composition at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, where she held a scholarship. She currently studies at the University of Oxford generously funded by the AHRC.