Edward Lambert (b. 1951) has composed music for a wide variety of performers and has also conducted many choral and orchestral works and accompanied many singers and instrumentalists. From a modest background, he was educated at Christ’s Hospital and studied at Oxford and the Royal College of Music under John Lambert. A pupil also of Paul Hamburger and an alumnus of the London Opera Centre, he went on to work for several opera companies here and abroad; for several years he was on the music staff of the Royal Opera House, where he worked alongside many of the greatest singers and conductors of recent times. As a chorus master and coach he also worked in Schleswig-Holstein, Dublin, Wexford, Amsterdam, Florence, and Aix-en-Provence. At the Royal Opera House he helped to develop an innovative outreach programme in which schools and communities across the country created their own operas; as a result, he was commissioned to write the opera The Button Moulder for comprehensive schools, followed by All In The Mind for W11 Opera at the Britten Theatre in 2005.
His compositions have been heard at many venues in this country: having attended the Gulbenkian Choreographers’ Course, some early works were written for dance groups including those of Scottish Ballet and Jonathan Burrows. In the 1980s, the Chamber Concerto was performed at the Bath Festival and his Mass for Four Voices at the Huddersfield Festival and on Radio 3. His first chamber opera, Caedmon, to a libretto by Christopher Fry, was performed by the Royal Opera at the Donmar Warehouse. Chamber works include 3 String Quartets, the Piano Quartet Emplay, which won the Humphrey Searle Memorial Competition, works featuring the harp, and the piano duo Aspects of Work, which was performed by the Jacobson-Brown Duo at Manchester Art Gallery in 2016 in front of the painting which inspired it. Recently, he has composed a series of short, small-scale operas which have been produced by The Music Troupe, beginning with six characters in search of a stage (mini-tour 2014) and including five contrasting works performed in the internationally renowned Tête-à-Tête Festival of new opera in London: The Catfish Conundrum (2014), Opera With A Title, The Art of Venus, The Cloak and Dagger Affair and Apollo’s Mission (2019). Together with The Butterfly’s Spell and The Parting, four operas have been adaptations of dramas by Lorca. Two more projects are already in the pipeline for 2019/20.
He conducts Newbury Chamber Choir with whom he has been able to explore territory into which few groups dare to venture: in the past few years he has re-created Cavallieri’s Drama of Body and Soul, The Play of Daniel, Purcell’s King Arthur, The Visit to the Sepulchre and the Florentine Wedding of 1539. He has devoted concerts to the works of Cima and Biber with period instruments and included discoveries ranging from Dunstable and Jean Gilles through to Julian Edwards (an Englishman who conquered Broadway) and James Maunders. For the choir he also composed his Te Deum and the Rossetti Requiem.
He was instrumental in giving life to three daughters and is based in London and Wiltshire where for many years he has been restoring a gamekeeper’s cottage adopting the principles of ‘building biology’.
There’s a blog here, but it’s not always up-to-date.