The music of composer Conrad Asman (b. 1996) has gained international recognition as being “innovative and cutting edge” (Chorosynthesis) and spans a wide emotional range from “heart-rending” (The Esoterics), to “fun and festive” (Creative Feel). His works have been performed in Africa, Asia, Europe and America in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and the Jinji Lake Concert Arena. Engagements with ensembles such as the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, the Esoterics singers, the CHROMA ensemble and the Cape Town Youth Choir have led to his work winning multiple major awards, scholarships and commissions worldwide.
Conrad Asman grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa where his early interest in composition began to show in parallel to taking piano lessons. He began studying at the South African College of Music in 2015 where, as the youngest undergraduate participant, he won the Cone of Composition competition. His first major orchestral piece Igniting Kites & Flying Fireworks received multiple performances by KwaZulu-Natal and Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestras, and went on to claim both the Jan Royce Foundation and Priaulx Rainier prizes, as well as second place in the New York Metropolian Youth Orchestra composition competition.
These opportunities led to Asman’s works receiving international attention. He made his Carnegie Hall début with the Cape Town Youth Choir with his work On a Night, which went on to win the Stefans Grové National Choral Composition Competition. Asman was recognised as the Polyphonos Young Composer award laureate in 2017, which sparked a new commission for The Esoterics choral ensemble in Seattle. In 2018, Asman was named as the main winner of the SAMRO Overseas Scholarship; enabling him to pursue further compositional engagements abroad.
Asman’s more recent work involved being selected as a finalist for the Thailand International Composition Festival and went on to be named the joint winner of the Jinji Lake Composition Competition in China. Following this competition, Asman was then commissioned by the Shanghai Conservatory of Music to compose a new work for the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra as part of its annual Listening to China project. In 2020, he wrote two new orchestral art songs for the iSing! Music Festival, one of which was named one of the Grand Winner of the festival’s international composition competition.
Conrad lives and works in London. Recently, Asman worked on with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra on their 2021 composer’s hub scheme with Stuart McRae and Roxana Panufnik. He is currently working on completing a new upcoming opera, and plans to begin his doctoral studies in September at the Royal Academy of Music in London as an Oppenheimer Memorial Trust fellow.