In summer 2018, William Carslake was appointed as the FSO’s Artistic Director. In the role, Bill is responsible for helping the committee plan both the musical programme and the development of the FSO. He also rehearses and conducts at least two concerts a year, whilst we continue to welcome Guest Conductors for the other concerts.
Bill composes music and writes words inspired by immersive projects in outdoor places. He is interested in nature’s sonic structures and in how we interact with the natural world. He is a passionate supporter of sustainable maritime shipping, and he maintains a busy conducting career.
His current commission is from the Harry Woolhouse Charitable Trust to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Imperial College Sinfonietta. Bog Music (provisional title) is inspired by raised bogs in Ireland and will premiere in December 2023 at Imperial College, London. In 2018/19 he won a Finzi Scholarship to compose a piece inspired by Mountain Hares. Disco Ball – Mountain Hare (DBMH) was premiered by Farnborough Symphony Orchestra in January 2022. The research trips for DBMH inspired the travel essay, Composing in the Cairngorms – and the project features in a Finzi Trust podcast. In 2016 Bill collaborated with the poet, Helen Mort, on an exploratory climbing/composing/writing expedition in East Greenland. This inspired The Singing Glacier for The Little Baroque Company, including original, spoken poetry by Helen, and film by Richard Jones. Helen’s poetry and the project were celebrated in a publication by Hercules Press.
Bill has collaborated with Nashashibi/Skaer and Olivia Ray on the sound-track for Lamb (S.M.A.K., Ghent; Cooper Gallery, Aberdeen). He has also composed five short soundtracks for Sands Films Studios, London. Next year will see the launch of The Sea of Trees, a project inspired by the 6th century voyage of St Brendan. This will include a journey by sailing ship from Kerry to the Faroe Islands, and will highlight the plight of phytoplankton – the so-called ‘marine forest’.
Bill is Founder and Director of the business support agency, Clarity & Hart (C&H). C&H works exclusively with the sustainable maritime shipping sector. C&H is proud to have worked with companies in Central America, Scandinavia, UK and The Netherlands, and Bill is continuously inspired by this incredibly hard-working community. He is Co-founder – along with Grayhound Ventures of Sweden and Saffa Digital of Finland – of Guild of Ships: a booking system and circular economy platform for the sustainable maritime shipping sector.
Bill holds degrees in English Literature (Cambridge University) and Orchestral Conducting (Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama) and has held two composing residencies at Banff Centre, Canada.
Bill was Music Director for The Royal Ballet’s productions of Elizabeth in 2016 and 2018. He is proud that Farnborough Symphony Orchestra champions contemporary composers and hosts the FSO Young Composers Competition.
Find out more at Bill’s website.