Artistic Director

Bill Carslake

Bill Carslake
Credit: Ali Eisa

Bill composes music and words inspired by immersive projects in outdoor places. He is interested in nature’s sonic structures and in how we interact with the natural world. He is a passionate supporter of sustainable maritime shipping, and he maintains a busy conducting career. He is delighted to be the new Artistic Director of St Albans Symphony Orchestra. 

His current composition commission is for the 25th anniversary of Imperial College Sinfonietta. Bog Music (provisional title) is inspired by raised bogs in Ireland and will premiere in December 2023. In 2018/19 he won a Finzi Scholarship to compose a piece inspired by Mountain Hares. Disco Ball – Mountain Hare (DBMH) was premiered by Farnborough Symphony Orchestra in January 2022. The research trips inspired the travel essay, Composing in the Cairngorms, and the project features in a Finzi Trust podcast. 

In 2016 Bill collaborated with the poet, Helen Mort, on an exploratory expedition in East Greenland. This inspired The Singing Glacier for The Little Baroque Company, with original, spoken poetry by Helen, and film by Richard Jones. Performances have included the Totally Thames Festival and the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival. Helen’s poetry and the project were celebrated in a publication by Hercules Press. Next year will see the launch of The Sea of Trees, a project inspired by the 6th century voyage of St Brendan. This will include a journey by sailing ship from Kerry to the Faroe Islands, and will highlight the plight of phytoplankton – the so-called ‘marine forest’.

Bill is Founder and Director of the business support agency, Clarity & Hart, which works exclusively with the sustainable maritime shipping sector. He is Co-founder of Guild of Ships, a booking system and circular economy platform for sustainable shipping. He is continually inspired by this incredibly hard-working community. 

Bill is Artistic Director of Farnborough Symphony Orchestra and is proud that FSO champions contemporary composers and hosts the FSO Young Composers Competition.