SHAKESPEARE ALOUD

Biography

BILL BARCLAY, director, composer, writer and producer, is the Director of Music at Shakespeare’s Globe, where he has produced music for over 100 full scale productions and 150 concerts since 2011. Scores include Romeo & Juliet, Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night, Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, Emilia and Hamlet Globe-to-Globe, which toured 197 countries in 2014-6. Broadway and West End credits include: Farinelli and the King, Twelfth Night, Richard III, all starring Mark Rylance.

This season Bill celebrated his 10th season with the Boston Symphony Orchestra directing his original adaptation of Ibsen and Grieg’s Peer Gynt featuring the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and puppetry in Boston’s Symphony Hall. He was music director and pianist for comedienne Meow Meow’s Apocalypse Meow at Shakespeare’s Globe. He composes four productions with the Globe this summer and music directs the Mark Rylance/Andre Holland Othello.

As an innovator in the form of concert theatre, Bill has written and directed unique and integrated concerts with actors for the LA Philharmonic at The Hollywood Bowl (Bramwell Tovey), Tanglewood (Charles Dutoit), the BBC Symphony Orchestra (Sakari Oramo, Barbican), The Boston Symphony (Andris Nelsons), City of London Sinfonia and the British Film Institute. 

Earlier this year he collaborated with Max Richter as Arranger and Music Director for a new Four Seasons Recomposed with the puppetry masters Gyre & Gimble (War Horse). His new album conducting City of London Sinfonia, King of Ghosts, features sarod master Soumik Datta and is now on Spotify. He will direct his new staged adaptation of Faure’s Requiem at Southwark Cathedral this November, directs his original Antony & Cleopatra adaptation for the Virginia Arts Festival, and directs Yo-Yo Ma’s Grammy-winning Silkroad Ensemble on tour in their new narrative project: Heroes Take Their Stands.

Bill is the founder of the new label Globe Music recognised by the BBC (Album of the Year nomination), the Royal Philharmonic Society, and Songlines (Top of the World, 2016).  His original music has been performed live in 197 countries, 42 US states, for President Obama, the English Royal Family, the Olympic Torch, at the UN, Buckingham Palace and in refugee camps in Jordan and Calais. He recently conducted on tour in South America, and tours the UK in 2019 with the City of London Sinfonia.

His noted Candlelit Concerts series in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse regularly merges music and story, and has featured major collaborations including The Sixteen, The English Concert, Orchestra for the Age of Enlightenment, Arcangelo, BBC Proms, London Jazz Festival, and Portishead, with guest curators including John Williams, Trevor Pinnock, Lauren Laverne, the Brodsky Quartet, and Anoushka Shankar.

A regular contributor to the Guardian, Bill recently published Shakespeare, Music, and Performance for Cambridge University Press, and The Jon Lipsky Play Anthology for Smith & Kraus. He has lectured on the Music of the Spheres on three continents and is an active speaker on Shakespeare’s music. He is a lauded actor, having won a Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship, the largest grant for actors in the US, and was a member of the resident acting company at Shakespeare & Company (10 years, Resident Music Director), and Actors Shakespeare Project (10 years, Artistic Associate). In both companies he worked as a director, actor, composer, and teacher. His MFA in devising is from Boston University. Training: National Theatre Institute, Shakespeare & Co, New England Conservatory and abroad in Bali.

 

Bill playing the Balinese gender with his teachers in Bali.