Kemal Yusuf
Composer, London

Kemal is a composer whose music reaches into the worlds of contemporary classical, jazz, musical theatre, pop, opera and improvisation. Amongst his 150+ works are pieces premiered by leading ensembles and organisations, including the BBC Singers, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Carducci Quartet, Ligeti quartet, the National Children’s Orchestras of Great Britain, the Bristol Old Vic, the Cheltenham International Music Festival and the Fidelio Trio. In 2020 he developed a new form of “glitch writing” which has gained the interest of artists including Stephanie Wake Edwards (Royal Opera House), the Oriana Choir, the Ora Singers and the Ligeti Quartet. He teaches composition at the Junior Royal Academy of Music, and has an active role within music education, most recently completing a mentorship programme with the ABRSM. His 2022 projects include a pop album called “Son of Max”, named after his late mentor Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.

Opera, as a form, has existed for hundreds of years. And it’s potency as an expressive idiom has largely been felt by certain sects of society and within certain types of venues. Very few organisations go as far as Streetwise Opera to spread its efficacy across all society, and even fewer have done so as boldly and successfully. I’ve known the company for a while, and am always amazed at the raw and powerful creative experiences made and shared by its performers. This project is akin with that spirit, and I jumped at the chance to be involved in such a pioneering and inspired process. I can’t wait to begin.