Richard Cartmale - as Composer

Having spent much of his teenage years writing music for both 'serious' and   jazz/rock ensembles, Richard Cartmale  took the opportunity to study composition at  Trinity College of Music with the late Richard Arnell, who introduced him to, amongst other things, the possibilities of film music. Being involved  with performances of many new pieces of music, either as performer or conductor also led to his coming under the influence of John Tavener and several of his students. 

He was  one of the founding students of the Electronic Music Department. His continuing involvement with and use of music technology right through the earlier days of MIDI technology has shaped many of his working practices, and was an integral component of his decision to build his own  studio.

He has, in the past, composed music for a number of short films and two plays, but is finally concentrating  on 'serious' concert pieces, most significantly the Cello Concerto. This is a large scale 1 movement work, dramatic and  lyrical, but  essentially tonal and consciously conservative.

 Cello Concerto  in C minor  (2009)

After a somewhat interrupted gestation, the composition  and orchestration were  completed in February 2009. A small  amount of editing remains.  

Scored for 2222, 4230,Timps(4),1 perc, piano and strings.

 The Concerto runs to 29 minutes in a single movement.

The piece has been recorded in a MIDI orchestral simulation, and a short section of the exposition can be heard 

here- Cello Concerto -short taster clip (first subject)

Here is a longer clip - the whole of the Adagio introduction- as well as the Allegro first subject :   

Cartmale - Cello Concerto Clip 1  

(c 6 minutes)


the final 2 sections 

here  Cello Concerto clip5     -  includes draft cadenza 


here  Cello Concerto clip6  - the conclusion of the work - a reflective coda

It is now hoped that the work will receive a first performance during 2015-16, although this is subject to finding the right Cellist. Any further news on this will appear on this website.

One reason Richard Cartmale cites for avoiding concert platform music for so long was the still dominant fashion for serial composition  techniques in his student days. His teacher, the late Richard Arnell, was one good example of a composer  who  swam against that  tide, but received too little attention as a result. 

You can also hear a sample clip of some of his film music here

More news on this will follow. Please email if you have comments. The address is on the main page


 'The Woodcutter's Daughter' previewed at Grimeborn Festival  2009


Currently he is working on a new project -  his first opera - 'The Woodcutter's Daughter'.  

This is a dark fairytale based on Grimm,  writing  in partnership with librettist Buffy Sharp and  Eclectic Opera, with whom a workshop performance of  an embryonic Act 2  was given at the Grimeborn Festival, London,   in September  2009.  One soprano aria from this has been performed separately in concert several times - including two performances in 2014 with Opera Foundry.  


Subject to funding, further development and a full production are currently being planned 

Sample clips will appear  on this site soon.


After a hiatus of several years, work on the libretto  began again in 2014.  Most of the substantial new opening scene for act 2 has now been composed and will be previewed on this site in the near future.


 A Respectful Reminder

All material on this site is copyright. Recordings are provided for promotional and reference purposes, and may not be re-used under any circumstances without the explicit permission of the composer.