My Top Five iPod tracks – Robert Peate

Robert Peate is a composition student at the Royal Academy of Music. His new piece Images Part One (for nine instrumentalists) will be premiered during the pre-concert chamber music at our upcoming Nicholas Maw:The Master concert on Sunday 30 October. We asked him what his favourite iPod tunes currently are and here are the results!

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Vaughan Williams An Oxford Elegy

Although familiar with most of Vaughan Williams music, I was introduced to this piece relatively recently. Written for Chorus, Orchestra and Speaker it uses texts by Matthew Arnold and is one of the most powerful and moving pieces I know, with its messages of humanity and timelessness.

Stravinsky Agon 

Apart from its brilliantly conceived and infectious cocktail of early music meets serialism meets neo-classisism, all sounding unmistakably like Stravinsky, this witty and characterful score always fills me with energy and good humour.

Knussen – Symphony No. 3

From its opening glimmers of sound I am always transfixed by the clarity and musicality of this symphony. I find the way Knussen carries the listener through all kinds of varied, effecting and inventive sound worlds completely seamless in its masterly judgement of pacing and tensions.    

CastiglioniQuodlibet (piccolo concerto for pianoforte and chamber orchestra)

As with the Stravinsky and the Knussen, I find the clarity and character of this music very affecting indeed. The humour, eccentricity, but complete control of material, seems to effortlessly bridge the gap between different musical worlds and historical perspectives. 

BirtwistleThe Fields of Sorrow

When hearing this music I become completely engrossed by the dark, brooding and fluid world Birtwistle creates. The simplicity and directness of the material lures one in to a veiled, almost ceremonial atmosphere, and from the opening of the piece one can feel the overwhelming power of its dramatic vision.      

To listen to a selection of Robert’s favourite iPod tunes, check out our Spotify playlist.

Hear the world premiere of Images Part One at 4.00pm on Sunday 30 October at QEH, Southbank Centre.


Nicholas Maw: The Master
Sunday 30 October, 7.00pm
Queen Elizabeth Hall

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