Robin Holloway profile
Compositions by Robin Holloway
Transcriptions by Robin Holloway
profile of Robin Holloway, composer, teacher and writer
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This is the definitive website for the work of Robin Holloway, composer, teacher and writer. The contents of the site are largely written and presented by Robin Holloway himself.


Scroll down for latest information:

  • information about the Sheva Contemporary series of CDs of music for horns and other chamber works, including the latest, released in February 2021;
  • an audio player in which Robin talks to his old friend Paddy Gormley (who designed this site) about each of the three works featured on the CD;
  • a link to a YouTube video interview, featuring a broader perspective of Robin's work.
Robin Holloway at home in Cambridge.
Sheva CD: Moments of Vision

The 2020 CD on the Sheva Contemporary label features music for horns by Robin Holloway and his past-pupil Peter Seabourne.

Robin's pieces are as follows:

  • Partitas 1 & 2 for solo horn (Op 62);
  • Lament for 4 horns (1999).

The Partitas are performed by Ondřej Vrabec, principal horn in the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.

In the Lament, he is joined by Hana Sapáková, Michaela Vincencová & Daniela Roubíčková.

Scroll down for reviews.

Click the image (right) to buy the CD.

Promotional video on YouTube:

Promotional video by Ondřej Vrabec

Cover image of new CD - click to buy

Click for audio player

The February 2021 CD on the Sheva Contemporary label features Robin Holloway’s Moments of Vision, op. 58, with works by his past-pupil Peter Seabourne.

Moments of Vision was written originally for Sir Peter Pears in 1984.

Click the image on the left to buy the CD from Willowhayne Records, a distributor and partner label. They ship internationally.

Scroll down for reviews.

Click below for details of Peter Seabourne's music on his personal website.

Holloway the Progressive - article in Musical Opinion Quarterly

The 2018 CD on the Sheva Contemporary label includes recordings by the Rest Ensemble of Robin Holloway's:

  • Trio for clarinet, viola & piano, op.79;
  • Trio for oboe, violin & piano, op.115;
  • Sonata for viola, op. 87

Click the image on the left to buy the CD.

Click below left for an audio player, in which Robin Holloway discusses the works featured on the CD with his old friend Paddy Gormley. The interviews are adorned with illustrative fragments from the Rest Ensemble recordings.

Click below right for a video interview on YouTube.

Click for interview on YouTube


"Matching spoken word with music is difficult to do well, but Holloway’s songless song cycle pulls it off. An obvious gain is that the texts, by Virginia Woolf, Walter Pater, Rilke and Siegfried Sassoon, are always audible, and Holloway’s musical response to them is correspondingly vivid. There’s a particularly bleak excerpt from Woolf’s diaries, Holloway alert to every detail. Having composer (and former Holloway pupil) Benjamin Harris as speaker is a plus – he speaks as a musician, not an orotund actor. He’s especially good in the reflective final section. Holloway’s economy is striking, and this spare, elegant work becomes more expressive with repeated listening."
The Arts Desk

"Holloway's work, for trio and narrator, really captures the imagination ... bags of character and wonderful contrasts - from light and shade to whimsy and introspection."
BBC Music Magazine

"...a triumph, beautifully proportioned, beautifully balanced in a single unbroken span (set up as a series of episodes on common material) of some twenty minutes. The character is sunlit and autumnal, a terrific addition to the repertoire ... The Avant Trio sound immaculately prepared, with fine ensemble and and nicely rendered solos and duos."
Musical Opinion

"The performances are well shaped, finely balanced and lively. The Avant Trio is used to dealing with modern pieces, so that the music is easy to handle for them. With two Italian artists, violinist and pianist, they present interpretations that are as well formulated as they are life-affirming. Benjamin Harris, himself a composer mainly of works that involve words, gives the text a life of its own even though remaining close to the music, making Moments of Vision attention-grabbing and thought-provoking."

"Piano trios seem relatively unusual in contemporary music, perhaps burdened with memories of florid 19th-century works. However these trios by Robin Holloway and Peter Seabourne escape the problem, using sharp, and often beautiful textures and unexpected groupings within the trio. Superbly played and vividly recorded, these recordings offer new takes on the form."
John Hawkins, composer

"An important addition to the piano trio medium: intricate and exploratory, with a wealth of wonderful textures. Excellent committed, perceptive performances throughout."
David Collins, composer (ex-pupil of Robin)


"...when the works are performed as dazzlingly as they are here, the result is simply a joy. Ondřej Vrabec’s virtuosity is certainly put to the test here but he does not put a finger – or tongue! – wrong..."
"Holloway’s moving Lament, a fine example of an occasional piece (for two horns, 2013) rethought as a more substantial composition (2019)."

"Ondřej Vrabec's gift is that one simply forgets the textured limitations and appreciates his virtuosity, always at the service of the music. This is very audible in his interpretations of Holloway's two Partitas, both written in 1985... the music is anything but baroque or quasi-neoclassical."
Horn Magazine

"Holloway’s two Partitas for solo horn are sequences of short movements modelled on Bach’s cello suites. He writes so idiomatically for the horn... Holloway wrote the [first] for Barry Tuckwell, and the Czech virtuoso Ondřej Vrabec brilliantly impersonates Tuckwell’s huge, bold sound when it’s called for. ... The central “Sarabande” is the work’s eloquent heart, before Holloway rounds things up with two fiendish, extrovert dances. Playing, engineering and documentation are consistently impressive."
Arts Desk


"Both the Op 115 Trio and Sonata for solo viola, Op 87, adopt a formal structure where the final movement’s bipartite design telescopically conflates the mood and tempo of the previous two movements. This works especially well in the sonata, where the preceding trios’ animated chatter has given way to an internal musical dialogue at peace with itself. The performance by members of the Rest Ensemble is accurate and assured throughout."

"This is quick-witted music, nicely captured by the lively playing of the Rest Ensemble."
"The Trio for Oboe, Violin and Piano is more traditional in outline, sparer in language, but engaging in its keenly argued craftsmanship."

Richard Fairman - Financial Times

"The single movement Trio for clarinet, viola & piano, Op. 79 constantly ebbs and flows from tonal to atonal, basic to complex rhythms, old logic to new logic. But despite these schizophrenic or contradictory elements, it's Robin Holloway's fine weaving of the various motivic aspects of the work that forms a binding... thread. The Rest Ensemble present an engaged and convincing account of this challenging music."
Jean-Yves Duperron - Classic Sentinel 7/18

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