British composer Steve Martland died unexpectedly of a heart attack at the age of just 53 on May 6th 2013. Martland was born in Liverpool and studied at Liverpool University attending the Royal Conservatory in the Hague on a Mendelssohn scholarship. He studied with Louis Andriessen and then later with Gunther Schuller at the Berkshire Music Centre in Massachusetts.
Martland worked almost exclusively with artists outside classical institutions; his own band, The Steve Martland Band, as well as freelance musicians, Dutch and American groups. He was composer in residence at the ETNA Music Festival in Sicily (2006-7) and his music was published by Scott.
Martland’s music can be described as electric; powerful, muscular, rhythmic and exciting, combining elements of jazz, rock, folk and minimalism. He often wrote for small groups featuring many different instrument combinations. He was also an active force in the field of music education and was not afraid to speak his mind on political issues.
A tribute to Martland is being held on 5th June 2013 at the Nonclassical club, The Macbeth, 70 Hoxton Street at 8pm (£5 in advance / £6 on the door.
Performers include: members of the Steve Martland Band, Piano Circus, Gabriella Swallow, John Metcalfe, Richard Lannoy and more to be announced from the scene who have known, crossed paths with and influenced by him.
Photo above: Steve Martland, 1959-2013. Photograph: Schott Promotion
For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my two-book piano course, Play it again: PIANO (Schott). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, 49 progressive pieces from approximately Grade 1 – 8 level are featured, with at least two pages of practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.
You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.