John Metcalf is a leading Welsh composer who has composed major works in many musical forms. While his cultural roots are in the heart of Wales, his work has a broad international following and is represented in a growing catalogue of recordings.
In 2009 he received one of four inaugural Creative Wales Ambassador Awards from the Arts Council of Wales. The awards recognise artists’ achievements, their standing in the arts in Wales and their capacity to push the boundaries of their art inherently as form and as a point of contact with contemporary Wales.
2010 highlights included the release in September by Signum Records of the Paths of Song CD, containing Septet, Llwybrau Cân (Paths of Song), Castell Dolbadarn (Dolbadarn Castle) and Mapping Wales and a recording of his six piano palindrome Never Odd or Even in a multi-track version by Dutch pianist Jeroen van Veen on Brilliant Classics 9171⁄7. On October 29th his new saxophone quartet On Song was premiered by the Lunar Saxophone Quartet at the Riverfront Centre, Newport. Several performances followed and the work was also released on Signum Records SIGCD233.
In Her Majesty the Queen’s 2012 New Years Honours List John was awarded an MBE for services to music.
His seventh opera based on Dylan Thomas’ UNDER MILK WOOD went into rehearsal in November 2013. The opera is a international co-commission - from the Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea, Le Chien Qui Chante, Montreal and Companion Star, New York. The world premiere took place at the Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea on April 3rd 2014 and a tour of Wales followed.