Composer’s star just keeps burning bright

Heathman has been keenly following the meteoric rise of Highgate composer Debbie Wiseman over the last year, noting her numerous musical achievements on this very page.

Last year, she was the only woman to enter the Classic FM Hall of Fame with her award-winning soundtrack for 1997 biographical film Wilde about the flamboyant poet, Oscar Wilde.

And earlier this year, she graced this diary page again when her score for popular Tudor TV drama Wolf Hall shot to the top of the radio station’s classical musical charts.

Classic FM appear to be so taken with Ms Wiseman that yesterday (Wednesday) they named her its composer-in-residence.

Already they have commissioned Britain’s leading female composer to write her first work for the station, a twelve-movement suite entitled The Musical Zodiac.


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The album, to be released next year, will be inspired by the characteristics of the astrological signs.

Ms Wiseman said: “I am thrilled to be Classic FM’s new composer-in-residence, but also to be working on a new album project is especially exciting.

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“The idea of writing The Musical Zodiac presented a wonderful opportunity to create music inspired by the individual characteristics of each star sign. I hope that people might even recognise their own personality traits within the movement that is dedicated to their sign. It will be a huge honour to record the album and bring the music to life next year.”

As composer-in-residence, Ms Wiseman will also be a regular guest on presenter Charlotte Green’s Culture Club show to update listeners on the progress of her commissioned composition.

She is the fourth composer-in-residence, succeeding renowned musician Howard Goodall.

Classic FM’s managing editor Sam Jackson said: “I’m delighted that Debbie Wiseman has now agreed to take on this exciting position. I’m confident that the new work we’ve commissioned Debbie to write will be hugely popular with our audience and the whole team is looking forward to working with her.”

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