Lawrence Killian was born in Keighley West Yorkshire in 1959, and now lives in Halifax. After playing trumpet with many local orchestras and the national Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, he commenced studies in composition at Bath University, where he gained a first class honours degree in composition. Whilst at Bath he studied with George Odam, John McCabe and Hans Keller; the Dartington String Quartet performed the premier of his Scherzo for String Quartet. He became an Associate of the Royal College of Music (ARCM) for trumpet performance in 1980 having studied trumpet with David Mason. David Mason is the trumpeter who is famous for the solo on the Beatles’ Penny Lane.
A year at the National Centre for Orchestral Studies (NCOS) followed where Lawrence played orchestral trumpet to a professional level. It was here that he had the opportunity to work with many conductors including Sir Colin Davies, Sir Charles Groves, Sir Simon Rattle, Genahdi Rohzdestvensky and George Hurst. Lawrence conducted the NCOS Orchestra in a performance and recording of his Overture for orchestra Main Street.
Since 1987, when he took up the post of conductor with the Todmorden Orchestra, Lawrence has conducted many regional orchestras including: Huddersfield Philharmonic (appointed Associate Conductor), Airedale Symphony Orchestra, The Sinfonia of Leeds, Halifax Symphony Orchestra and the West Riding Sinfonia. He is a founder member of the Orchestra of Square Chapel and has been their conductor since it’s formation in 1997. He was also conductor of the Halifax Chamber Choir in 1988.
To date he has had two works published, and his First Symphony was broadcast on Classic FM, the Orchestra of Square Chapel performed the premier of his Sinfonietta ‘A Christmas Carol’ for orchestra and narrator in 2001. More recently his orchestral piece ’The Three Lands’ was premiered by the Todmorden Orchestra in summer 2007 to great acclaim. The Derbyshire Youth Orchestra will also be performing this work in their spring concert in March this year.
Lawrence is presently busy composing a new orchestral suite to celebrate the life of Ted Hughes; the formal Poet Laureate. He won this commission from the Ted Hughes Society as part of their planned celebrations of the tenth anniversary of Hughes’ death in 1988. The premier will be in October this year at the first concert to open the new Ted Hughes Centre in Mytholmroyd.
A former primary Headteacher, Lawrence is now a Principal Education Officer in Calderdale with responsibility for developing learning in primary schools. He also sits on the strategic Arts Development Panel within the Authority.