Alastair White


Alastair White (b.1988) is a Scottish composer and writer. Described as “spellbinding” (Boulezian), “excellent” (BBC Music Magazine), “virtuosic” (Winnipeg Free Press), "deftly manic" (American Record Guide) "explosive" (Opera Magazine) and "passionately atonal" (Gramophone), his work is characterised by a lyrical complexity which draws influence from technology, science, politics and materialism. Recent projects include the fashion-opera cycle of WEAR, ROBEWOAD and RUNE ("a whole exciting new genre of art" - BBC Radio 3; "a perfect combination of show and costume" - Vogue Italia); a string quartet for the Altius Quartet’s album Quadrants Vol. 3 (Navona Records); the documentary opera A Boat in an Endless Blue SeaWORK and Time’s Grains for .alfabet; and The Drowning Shore, a Scots-Yiddish cantata. Full-length studio recordings of ROBE and WOAD were released by Métier Records in 2021. 

Shortlisted twice for a Scottish Award for New Music (in 2019 and 2020) and a Creative Edinburgh Award (2019), Alastair has created work for the opera festivals Tête-a-Tête and Opera in the City, the international poetry festival STanza, UKNA City Takeover, Compass Presents, The Scottish School of Contemporary Dance and The Scottish Poetry Library. His music is supported by Help Musicians UK, The Hinrichsen Foundation, The RVW Trust, The Marchus Trust, The Hope Scott Trust, The Sarah Caple Scholarship, The Royal Musical Association, and The Goldsmiths Graduate School Fund and Music Research Committee. 

Alastair was a founding member of the Edinburgh-based bands White Heath (Electric Honey) and Blank Comrade (Red Wharf), and has worked as a session pianist and producer. He is a PhD candidate (supervised by Roger Redgate and Lauren Redhead) and associate lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he organised the interdisciplinary conference on New Materialism Futures of the Real. He publishes and speaks internationally on his research interests, which include the theory of contingency dialectics and its methodological implications in fashion-opera.