Edward Rushton grew up in Cambridge and Leeds and studied at Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester, King’s College, Cambridge, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and the Zurich University of Applied Arts. His composition teachers have included Robin Holloway and James MacMillan. He has been living in Zurich since 1998, and in 2013 received that city’s annual stipend for composition.
Recent concert works have been commissioned for and played by such groups as the Schubert Ensemble, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Leeds Lieder, London Symphony Orchestra, Counterpoise, Harry White Trio, Gemischter Chor Zürich, Origen Festival, University of Zurich. A new work for orchestra, I nearly went, there, was premiered in May 2015 by the London Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Harding.
Rushton is widely acclaimed as a composer of operas: Leinen aus Smyrna (2001), Harley (2005) and Im Schatten des Maulbeerbaums (2008), all to librettos by Dagny Gioulami, were commissioned and produced by Zurich Opera. Birds. Barks. Bones. Trojan Trilogy won the 2005 British Composer Awards in the category “Stage Works”. Die fromme Helene, commissioned by the State Opera of Hannover, was premiered there in 2007 and enjoyed an extended run of sold-out performances. Also in 2007 a further chamber opera, The Shops, was produced by The Opera Group and subsequently released on the NMC label. The Opera Group has also commissioned and produced The Young Man with the Carnation (libretto: Tom Smith), in 2002, and Babur in London (libretto: Jeet Thayil), in 2012. Im Schatten des Maulbeerbaums received a new production at the State Opera of Hannover in 2013; Gioulami and Rushton’s oratorio Cicadas was premiered in London in November 2010 by the LSO Community Choir and members of the London Symphony Orchestra.
Rushton is also in demand as a pianist specialising in chamber music and song, an area in which he also has a special interest as a composer, having already written almost twenty song-cycles and individual works for voice and piano.