Judith Weir CBE, Master of the King's Music
David Matthews

Nick Ray

I was born in Gillingham  (Kent) and began piano lessons at the age of four.  I went on to study piano and composition at Trinity College of Music (1994-98), winning prizes for piano and composition.  I continued as a composition stiudent of Alexander Goehr at St John’s College, Cambridge (1998-9).  I remain active as a composer and occasionally as a pianist. Originally I was strongly influenced by Debussy, Charles Ives, and to a lesser extent, Schoenberg.  At Trinity College of Music I found myself in a hostile environment dominated by the idea that no composer could be any good unless he or she imitated John Cage.  I reacted against this and declared myself  a proud and defiant cultural conservative who retains an unfashionable interest in music that has a clear line and develops its material and is intended to be intelligble to the audience. Thanks for your interest.  (More can be heard on nickray55 at Soundcloud)

Sample works

Works by Nick Ray:

Piano solo

Three Preludes (1997)
Three Studies (1997)
Mirror Variations (2003)
Two Localities (2003)
Sonatina (2006)
Three Transcriptions from Songs of Collision (2006)
Variations and Finale on a theme by Anthony Green (2008)
Recollections Book 1 (2009)
Recollections Book 2 (2013)
Recollections Book 3 (2015)
Sonata (2015)
Panegyric for Anthony Green (2016)
Phoenix (2017)
Recollections Book 4 (2017)
Recollections Book 5 (2020)
Recollections Book 6 (2021)

Solo instrument and piano
Resonant Blackness (2006) [vibraphone and piano]
Bren Tor (2007) [clarinet and piano]
Epitaph for Michael Tippett (2007) [double bass and piano]
Antic Murmurs (2007) [double bass and piano]
Rough Edges I and II (2010-12) [clarinet and piano]
Two pieces (2011) [vibraphone and piano]
Sonata (2020) [‘cello and piano]

Solo instrument (other than piano)
London Stone (2008) [‘cello]

Vocal with piano
Four Poems of Elizabeth Daryush (1999) [soprano and piano]
Dirge (Kenneth Fearing) (2000) [tenor and piano]
Two Longfellow songs (2017) [SATB, piano]

Vocal with ensemble
Songs of Collision – Twelve Poems of Stephen Crane (2004/16) [tenor, horn, clarinet, vibraphone, string quartet]
Three Walter de la Mare Songs (2008) [baritone, clarinet and ‘cello]

String Quartet (2008-10/revised 2017)
Five Facets for Wind Quintet (2016)
String Quartet no.2 (2022)

Symphony (2014)
Concerto (2018) [piano and orchestra]

Further information
See page on composition today website – also nickray55 on
Contact: 1 Tor Park Road, Paignton, Devon TQ4 7PL. 01803 521895 or 07434 191829; email