Guest Composers


Adrian Budgen

Adrian Budgen began a career in sound and video with the BBC in London, and later studied composition at Huddersfield University. He now lives in Suffolk and is a lecturer in media and music technology. Adrian received an MA in Composition with Distinction from APU after a period of postgraduate study with Alan Bullard at the Colchester Institute.

Family Concert 2017 ~ Finding Big Ben
This audience participation piece, commissioned by Ipswich Symphony Orchestra, travelled into space - faster than the speed of light to overtake radio signals - and hear the chimes of Big Ben first broadcast on BBC Radio on 1 January 1923.  The audience provided a countdown to launch our space rocket, and accompanied the orchestra by playing sound files of chimes on their smartphones.

Family Concert 2012 ~ Faster - Higher - Stronger
The Ipswich Orchestral Society commissioned this series of fanfares, based on the five Olympic values, which shows off the different sections of the orchestra. The fanfares were used throughout the concert, to accompany our very own torch being passed through the audience.

Family Concert 2006 ~ On The Phone
This piece, commissioned by The Ipswich Orchestral Society, enabled the audience to participate by switching on their mobile telephones and setting their ring tones to the loudest volume. The audience accompanied the orchestra, when instructed by the conductor, whilst the orchestra played some very clever variations on the Nokia mobile standard ring tone.

Family Concert 2005 ~ Ping Pong's Magic Spell
The Ipswich Orchestral Society commissioned this audience participation piece, which formed one step of 'James' Magic Journey' in our themed concert, . Great fun was had by all as the audience helped the magician, Ping Pong, guess the correct magic word that would enable James to proceed.

Family Concerts 2004, 2008 & 2017 ~ The Whale's Tale
This audience participation piece, commissioned by The Ipswich Orchestral Society, followed the winter journey of hump-backed whales from Alaska to Hawaii to breed and give birth. The orchestral representations of the seasons, and the threat to hump-backs from orcas, were enhanced by the audience - who made many 'Mexican Waves' and sssssssshhhhhhooooooing noises! Played-back recordings of real whale song were replied to by children who joined the orchestra on stage.


Luke Fitzgerald

Family Concert 2011 ~ The Suffolk Miracle



Luke was born in 1997 and began learning the piano aged five, later learning the trumpet and the trombone. He plays trombone with his school’s wind and jazz bands, as well as singing with the Jesus College Choir in Cambridge. He enjoys composing and arranging, and gained a highly commended prize in the Cambridge Young Composer of the Year competition in 2009.






Alexander Woolfe

Family Concert 2010 ~ The Circus



Alexander is a member of Aldeburgh Young Musicians, from whom Ipswich Orchestral Society commissioned this piece for the 2010 Family Concert.  He is 14-years old and plays violin, piano, mandolin, and alto and tenor saxophones.  Alexander attends Swavesey Village Collegte and is a member of its choirs, the Gypsy Swing Society, and the Folk Ensemble - which he jointly directs.  Currently Alexander is studying composition and piano at the Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama.




Stewart Green

Family Concert 2007 ~ Buckle My Shoe


Stewart began writing music for the piano at an early age.  Taking up viola and oboe in his teens, he later went to University College of North Wales (Bangor) where he studied composition with William Matthias and Reginald Smith Bringle among others.  Gaining a B.Mus (Hons) Degree in 1960, Stewart taught class and instrumental music, before enlisting as oboist to the Bank of HM Coldstream Guards, which opened many doors including performances of his compositions and arrangements in many national venues, on disc, and broadcast by the BBC on Radio 2 and Radio 3.  Whilst at Bangor, Stewart also learned to play the harp, and he has many compositions on the harp examination syllabus for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.  In 2006, the Philharmonia Orchestra performed the horn concerto Stewart had written as a twenty-first birthday present for his son, Oliver.






Ian Harris

Family Concert 2003 ~ The Invisible Magician.



Ian Harris composed this short audience participation piece, specially commissioned by The Ipswich Orchestral Society. 


The audience was divided into different groups, and 'conducted' in the jangling of their keys (house, car etc), as the Invisible Magician had turned all keys into magic keys.  The shaking of keys sprinkled magic dust in the air, and the children had to fill the Corn Exchange with magic dust to ensure the magician appeared at the end of the piece. 


Special lighting effects were used to enhance the magical atmosphere.