Gabriel Prokofiev was born in London to a Russian father and English mother, and he studied composition at both Birmingham and York universities. In 1998 he won a composer residency in Seattle at the Bourges International Concours of Electroacoustic music. His first musical experiences were writing pop-songs and playing in a band aged 10, and his early compositional years were spent producing Dance, Electro & Hip-hop music under a variety of different guises. In 2003 he returned to his classical roots composing a critically acclaimed String Quartet for the Elysian Quartet (“Stunning” – DJ Magazine, “defies comparison” – The Daily Telegraph) which he released on his own independent label Nonclassical, complete with remixes of the original quartet. What gives his contemporary classical writing its unique edge is Gabriel’s background in dance music combined with his classical pedigree.
Composing music that both embraces and challenges western classical traditions, Gabriel has emerged at the forefront of a new approach to classical music in the UK at the beginning of the 21st century. His Concerto for Turntables was performed at
the BBC Proms in August 2011 to critical acclaim, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski with world champion DJ Switch as soloist, and broadcast on BBC2 television. Gabriel’s conducting debut came with his concerto for ‘dancing’ Viola, String Orchestra, Trombones & Percussion, premiered in the Paradiso, Amsterdam in 2008.
Other recent works include a poly-stylistic ‘orchestral remix’ of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony commissioned by John Axelrod and the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, France; performed sold-out concert halls in Angers and Nantes in June 2011; a 3rd String Quartet premiered by the Ruysdael Kwartet at the Wigmore Hall in 2010; a book for Solo Piano recorded by Russian virtuoso GéNIA; a piece
for percussion using two Fanta Bottles and electronics which toured in UK & USA by Joby Burgess’s Powerplant(‘Import/Export’, 2008); a piece for solo violin and solo dancer for the Rambert Dance Company (Sleeveless Scherzo’, 2008), ‘Cello Multitracks’ for solo Cello and eight multitrack cellos (2011), his Concerto for Bass Drum and Orchestra (2012) and his first Cello Concerto (2013).
2014 has seen the world première of Gabriel’s Violin Concerto No.1 ‘1914’ during the BBC Proms summer season. The dramatic concerto was premièred by Daniel Hope and the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic, conducted by Sascha Goetzel, and will be performed in 2014 all across Europe.
Gabriel also hosts a monthly ‘classical’ club-night: NONCLASSICAL, in various locations, where he is resident DJ. He lives in Hackney, London, with his partner and their three young children.
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