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 2022;
  • 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.

The February 2022 CD on the Sheva Contemporary label features continues Sheva’s collaboration with Ondřej Vrabec, principal horn in the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.

Robin Holloway’s Horn Quintet, op. 135, is coupled with horn quintets by Peter Seabourne, Beethoven and Mozart.

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

Scroll down for reviews.

Sheva CD: Moments of Vision

The 2020 CD on the Sheva Contemporary label features music for horns by Robin Holloway and 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
Sheva CD: Horn Quintets

The 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.

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


"The ongoing collaboration between master hornist Ondřej Vrabec and Sheva Contemporary continues to result in plates of unusually high quality ... Holloway’s quintet is a compact and relatively modest work, with about 15 minutes of duration. In four movements, the first two – Allegro and Canzona – are played in one continuous span. Holloway treats the horn and the quartet members as equals with alternating musical focus between them, as in the lightning-fast scherzo with its lyrical trio."

"... an accomplished work by someone at the top of his game."
BBC Music Magazine

"[Holloway’s Horn Quintet] ends with a jubilant blissful coda, crowning a quintet CD that harmoniously unites pieces from earlier and contemporary times. "

"Vrabec is more than equal to [the demands of this music], the Pavel Borkovec Quartet probing each piece with understated commitment. "

"Mr. Holloway’s Quintet is clever, bright, and delightful."
The Horn Call


"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."
Musical Opinion

"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


"...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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