Graham Buckland is an English / German conductor and composer.
Born in Weymouth on 27th January 1951 he studied at Cambridge University (Corpus Christi College, 1970), at the London Opera Centre and at the Janáček Academy in Brno. His conducting mentors were George Hurst, with whom he studied at Canford Summer School and privately, and František Jílek, who later recommended him for the position of Opera Director in Brno.
Graham held opera conducting appointments in Prague, Ústi-nad-Labem (Aussig), Nuremberg, Hanover and Oldenburg and was principal conductor in Hildesheim and Brno. His opera repertoire includes over 50 titles such as Jenůfa, The Flying Dutchman, West Side Story and Eight Songs for a Mad King. He has conducted most of the standard symphonic literature and has worked with such soloists as Mitsuko Uchida, Manfred Jung, Ronan O’Hora, Roy Howat, Ashley Fripp and Hans Kistler.
From 1995 to 2016 he was music director at the University of Regensburg where he expanded the symphony orchestra to include over 100 musicians as well as founding a professional chamber orchestra (CD recordings with Spektral Records) and a baroque orchestra. He was awarded the title of Universitätsmusikdirektor in 2003 and received the Pro Arte Prize in 2006.
Upon retiring from this position he co-founded the Prague International Youth Orchestra, which made its first concert appearances in 2019.
Since 2000 he has been working as an arranger and editor with the publishing house Bärenreiter. Christmas a Cappella, Christmas for Female Voices, 66 Spirituals a Cappella and 33 Spirituals for Upper Voices are known throughout the world. More recently a few original compositions have been added to the list, especially the Ancient Modes of Transport for piano duet. His setting of SAID’s poem Die Stadt, for a cappella voices, won a prize in 2019 at the international Gegenwart competition.
Notable orchestral premieres were Sol (Oldenburg 1991), Threnody (Schierling 2005), The Bumps (Wörth 2009), and Dances from Don Gil (Hildesheim 2012). Works presented by university ensembles include Chanticleer (Regensburg 2006) and the music theatre productions Prometheus (Krumau 1995), Graham’s Anatomy (Kallmünz 2010) and Der Kontrahent (Regensburg 2013). Two Chapters, a passion according to St Mark was performed in Regensburg in 2014 and 2019.
Several of Graham’s orchestral arrangements were premiered by Regensburg University Chamber Orchestra, such as Brahms’ Schumann Variations and Bartók’s 6 Dances from Mikrokosmos. His arrangement of Janáček’s Presto was performed by the renowned Janáček Quartet in 1997 at their 50th anniversary concert in Brno and the same composer’s suites On an Overgrown Path were recorded on CD by Spektral.
Graham’s full-length oratorio David was performed to mark his retirement from the university and he is now busy composing a series of church musicals for performance with his children’s choir in Tegernheim. The first of these, Balaam’s Donkey, was staged in Tegernheim in 2019 and had been scheduled for performances in Munich and Cambridge in June 2020.
Graham teaches conducting, composing and piano and has recently made a series of YouTube videos encouraging young musicians to take up composing.
Graham became a German citizen in 2020. He is married to the artist Andrea Buckland and has four children.
Graham welcomes enquiries for compositions and arrangements and offers tutorials and weekend courses in composing and arranging. Enquiries to:
Zum Fischerberg 18
Telephone: +49 9473 950 498