Radiohead guitarist takes prize in Radio 3 awards
Saturday 25 November 2006
An award ceremony to recognise achievements in contemporary classical music has been won by an artist best known for indie rock.
Jonny Greenwood, right, the lead guitarist of Radiohead turned classical composer, has confirmed his versatility after being nominated favourite artist in the 4th annual British Composer Awards by Radio 3 listeners. The station chose his work Popcorn Superhet Receiver from nine orchestral works commissioned by the BBC over the past year. The piece was inspired by radio static and the extended, dissonant chords of the Polish composer Penderecki's Threnody for the victims of Hiroshima. "It is a great example of Radio 3's unique cultural patronage" said Roger Wright, controller of Radio 3.
Greenwood, whose younger brother Colin also plays in the band, is the only one classically trained, taking viola lessons as a child. He is seen as the second major influence on songwriting after the frontman Thom Yorke.
In May 2004 he became composer in residence at the BBC, composing several pieces including Smear, Piano for Children and Popcorn Superhet Receiver. Smear premiered in 2004, and in April last year Greenwood premiered his new work commissioned by BBC Radio 3, with music performed live by the BBC Concert Orchestra.
Greenwood is greatly influenced by jazz. He is a big fan of the Mo'Wax label (one-time home of Blackalicious, DJ Krush, DJ Shadow and Dr Octagon). Along with other Radiohead band members he loves the Krautrock band Can and the Polish composer Penderecki. Greenwood and the band are working on another album and recently performed many new songs during a summer 2006 tour. However, no release date has been set.
In addition to guitar he also plays: viola, organ, piano, xylophone, glockenspiel, ondes martenot, banjo and harmonica.
Greenwood was just starting university when 'On A Friday' - Radiohead's initial choice of name - signed a recording contract with EMI in 1991; he abandoned his degree in favour of Radiohead shortly after starting his course. Greenwood's influence on Radiohead's recording and writing can be felt in many songs, taking the traditional lead-guitar role in most pieces, becoming known through the course of Radiohead's career as a contributor to Radiohead's sound.
Other winners in the British Composer Awards included Simon Holt, winner of the orchestral category for Witness to a Snow Miracle, Hugh Wood who won the vocal category for his Song Cycle Set to Texts by Robert Graves; and Judith Bingham winner of the choral category for My Heart Strangely Warm.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
- 2 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Cee Lo Green: It is only rape if the victim is conscious
- 5 Katie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge: ‘I hate fat people for making me do this’
Jessica Chastain demands Scarlett Johansson-fronted Marvel superhero movie
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
North Korea threatens Britain over 'mud-slinging' Channel 4 thriller focusing on Kim Jong-un's nuclear weapons programme
Olivia Colman and Mary Berry top Radio Times' female power list
New Netflix releases: Films and TV shows coming in September 2014
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain