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. He recently worked with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra during their 2020/21 Composers Hub scheme with Stuart McRae and Roxanna Panufnik. He is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in music at the Royal Academy of Music, and is currenting working on a new opera, an upcoming orchestral work for the London Philharmonic Orchestra and chamber music for members of the Riot and Nash Ensembles.
Conrad lives with his partner, LeOui, where they both enjoy creative pastimes such as listening to opera, drinking wine and arguing.