NYC Young Composers 4

NYC Young Composers 4

NMC Recordings
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Release date: 27 January 2023

The latest release in our annual partnership with the National Youth Choir (NYC) presents a new anthology of choral works by four talented, rising-star composers; Sun Keting, Thomas Metcalf, Ben Nobuto, and Claire Victoria Roberts.

These new works are the product of NYCGB's yearly Young Composers scheme, which comprises of an intensive schedule of full choir workshops, composing sessions with the NYCGB Fellowship Ensemble, and tutorials with distinguished composers and mentors. The result is a selection of engaging and thoughtful new choral music, as four unique compositional voices respond to the theme of 'environment'.

British/Japanese composer Ben Nobuto is inspired by ancient sun gods, and muses on the choir as an ecology, where multiple things happen simultaneously that are at once distinct, yet symbiotic. Sun Keting's music combines Eastern cultural, spiritual and philosophical elements, inspired by the beauty of the natural world, ancient Chinese tribal dances and mountain songs. Claire Victoria Roberts sets two poems by Emily Dickinson, using choral textures to reflect the nuances of human connection, and representing 'hope' as a restless bird with hand claps and jagged rhythms. Thomas Metcalf's surreal interpretation of the climate emergency sets texts and haikus generated by feeding words such as ‘environment’, ‘climate’, ‘endangered’ into an AI poetry-writing application, and explores ideas including ‘artificiality’ and 'eco grief'.

"The sheer imagination and ingenuity of our young composers, stimulated by this year’s theme of ‘environment’, is a constant source of enjoyment and engagement, not only for those of us who guide and mentor them, but equally to the choir members, who are actively immersed in the creation of these new pieces." Ben Parry, NYCGB Artistic Director & Principal Conductor

Explore previous NYCGB Young Composers releases here


1. Ben Nobuto Sol
2. Sun Keting Máng Gǔ
3. Claire Victoria Roberts Hope is the thing with feathers
4. Thomas Metcalf LIVING SENSE DATUM
5. Claire Victoria Roberts The Moon is distant from the Sea
6. Sun Keting thronged only with flowers
Thomas Metcalf H(AI)KU
7. I Artifice
8. II Human
9. III Life
10. IV Environment
11. Ben Nobuto The nearness of things

National Youth Choir of Great Britain (Tracks 2, 4, 5, 11)
Ben Parry director
NYCGB Fellowship Ensemble (Tracks 1, 3, 6, 7-10)



"Imaginative ideas from 4 composers, fully committed responses from these young singers, impressively performed and recorded," Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3 Record Review

"The National Youth Choir of Great Britain and its Fellowship ensemble rise to the challenges of exposed lines, vocal drones and extended techniques, delivering superb dynamic control and ensemble tuning….the range of concepts explored makes this a dynamic and engaging collection." BBC Music Magazine

"Crystalline singing from the National Youth Choir of Great Britain" Georgia Mann, BBC Radio 3 Essential Classics

"The performances on the disc are uniformly terrific and this is music that takes no prisoners....a dazzling kaleidescope of pieces, it is clear that all four composers are not only talented but each seems to have a clear idea of their voice and what they want to achieve. I look forward to hearing more from them." Planet Hugill


National Youth Choir tracks (2, 4, 5, 11) recorded at the Royal Academy of Music, London on 3 September 2022.
DAVID JONES engineer, producer
BEN PARRY producer

Fellowship tracks (1, 3, 6, 7-10) recorded at Audio Network, School Farm Studios, Essex
on 15 October 2022.
STEFANO CIVETTA engineer & mixing
HESTER JAMES studio assistant
BEN PARRY producer

Catalogue no.: NMC DL3051
Release date: 27 January 2023


We are also most grateful to the following for their kind grant support and advocacy:
RVW Trust, The Coln Trust, The Finzi Trust, The Michael Tippett Musical Foundation, Britten Pears Arts and with the friendly support of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation.