Philip Venables


Press reviews for 4.48 Psychosis can be found here.

Press reviews for Bound to Hurt can be found here.

Reviews of other work as follows:

“Philip Venables’s Illusions, a collaboration with performance artist David Hoyle, batters at the limits of form, emotion and sexuality in a ferocious assertion of LGBT individualism in the face of establishment nihilism and uncertainty – a brilliant, extreme work that grips like a vice and won’t let go.”  on Illusions, The Guardian, UK

“Best of the bunch by far was Illusions, in which aggressively rhythmic music by Philip Venables engaged in a jerky dance with the on-screen diatribes of “anti-drag queen” David Hoyle… It was the one moment that put us all on the spot.” on Illusions, The Telegraph, UK

“Venables’s String Quartet — contrasting gestures, driven through three compact movements by a powerful sense of drama and structure.” The Times

“Unleashed for me qualified as true opera where it’s the music which both engages and moves the audience. Mr Venables has fused the disparate areas of real life stories, theatre, symbolism and artistic expression into one artistic whole.”  on Unleashed, Opera Brittania (2012)

“Original and intelligent in both form and content…reminiscent of Matthew Barney’s Cremaster Cycle; dripping in inexplicable meaning” on Unleashed, Exeunt Magazine (2012)

“a dark and violent portrait of sexual desire”  Sosogay Magazine (2011)

“really terrifically flamboyant writing for the instrumentalists… This composer is gaining a great reputation for original and sometimes quite brutally exhilarating music.” on Numbers 76 – 80: Tristan und Isolde, Christopher Gunning, Seen and Heard (2011)

“Venables’s text is an extract from Simon Howard’s surreal epic Numbers, concerning a swarm of wasps sculpted into a bust of the Marquis de Sade and presented to the local police. The music is duly playful and occasionally disturbing. The sound image of a face forming from shapeless buzzing was beautifully achieved, as was the concluding high G sustained by the soprano, capturing a nicely pared-down Liebestod.” on numbers 76 – 80: Tristan und Isolde, Guy Dammann, the Guardian (2011)

“Philip Venables’s Fight Music, evoking a community beating up an outsider (the poor whimpering cello) was brutally effective” on Fight Music, Richard Morrison, The Times (2009)

“…a work filled with strong ideas, some of them Bartokian, justifying the re-positioning of the instruments by the eloquence of its viola part.” on String Quartet, Conrad Wilson, The Scottish Herald (2006)

“15 minutes of contrasting gestures, driven through three compact movements by a powerful sense of drama and structure.” on String Quartet, Geoff Brown, The Times (2006)

“Delicately spun melodies dissolved into bursts of aggression…gritty, soulful.” on I fed my wardrobe to the night wind, Catherine Nelson, The Strad (2004)