Professorial Staff - Jazz Trumpet / Jazz Composition
Byron Wallen (b. 1969) was raised in a musical family and as a child studied classical piano, euphonium, trumpet, flute, and drums. In the mid 1980’s the trumpet became Wallen’s primary instrument of choice. Wallen’s first major work, Tarot Suite (1994), was inspired by a love of mythology and symbolism, which reflected the archetypal journey of human life through an interdisciplinary pan-continental approach.
Wallen’s study of cognitive psychology has aided his transition towards conceptualising music as a medium for healing. Wallen raises awareness and invokes change by unlocking boundaries through the nature and science of sound. Widely recognised as a seminal figure in Jazz, Wallen is an acclaimed writer and producer whose original scores have been commissioned by the Science Museum; PRS, The BBC, Jerwood Foundation, Southbank Centre, National Theatre, Arts Council, FIFA and Sage Gateshead. He has also composed soundscapes for Universal Pictures, Warner Bros and Game of Thrones.
Wallen’s PRS commission (2017) Anthem for Woolwich forges new links between schools, venues, musicians and residents to strengthen the resilience and promote the cohesion of the community. His latest commision is a collaboration with Howard Skempton and Sheila Hill for Glyndebourne 2019 called Eye to Eye.
Wallen has received the BBC Jazz Innovation award (2003) and has been nominated several times for the MOBO award. In 2017 he was awarded the Paul Hamlyn Award for Artists.
Photograph credit: Urszula Tarasiewicz.