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Music & Science | Science & Music

Welcome to Julian Wagstaff's Music and Science page - operas and chamber music inspired and informed by chemistry, physics and computer science.

In 2007, British composer Julian Wagstaff completed a one-hour chamber opera entitled The Turing Test, inspired by Alan Turing's famous test for human-level intelligence in a machine

The show was a sell-out hit on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe that year. Partly as a result of the success of the opera, a number of commissions to write new pieces of music followed from science-based organisations and university departments. Since 2007, Julian Wagstaff has written music inspired and informed by physics at extreme conditions, chemistry, and the role of scientists in wartime.

Click the 'picture buttons' below to find out more about each piece of music, listen to audio clips, and order CDs and sheet music (also available from Amazon and SheetMusicPlus).



The Turing Test - Computer opera by Julian Wagstaff Listen to The Turing Test - Computer opera by Julian WagstaffThe Turing Test

- an opera

The Turing Test - opera inspired by Alan Turing's test

String trio In Extremis by British contemporary composer Julian Wagstaff Listen to String trio In Extremis by British contemporary composer Julian WagstaffIn Extremis

- for string trio
('music at extreme conditions')

In Extremis - music at extreme conditions by Julian Wagstaff
A Persistent Illusion - piano trio by Julian Wagstaff Listen to A Persistent Illusion (Chemistry of Music) by Julian WagstaffA Persistent Illusion

- piano trio
('chemistry of music')

A Persistent Illusion (Eine hartnaeckige Illusion), piano trio by Scottish composer Julian Wagstaff
By the CD recording of Wagstaff's opera Breathe Freely on Linn Records
Breathe Freely - Chamber opera by Julian Wagstaff Listen to Breathe Freely - Chamber opera by Julian WagstaffBreathe Freely

- a new short opera

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Breathe Freely - Scottish opera by Julian Wagstaff By the CD recording of Wagstaff's opera Breathe Freely on Linn Records

Of the above works, the piano trio A Persistent Illusion has been particularly widely performed. It appears on the CD recording of the chamber opera Breathe Freely available on the Linn Records label.

In addition to introducing performances of the above works and leading workshops in schools, Julian Wagstaff has also been asked to give illustrated talks on the subject of music and the sciences, particularly in relation to the above pieces of music. The lecture 'When Worlds Collide - Composing the Sciences' includes many musical excerpts and has been delivered to enthusiastic audiences on numerous occasions, including at the NoSIC Conference on Inorganic Chemistry at Prullans de Cerdanya, Catalonia in 2014, and the Imagining Natural Scotland event in Edinburgh in 2013. A video of the latter talk may be viewed on Vimeo here.

If you require further information or materials not found this website, if you wish to discuss performances of any of the above works, or if you wish to book Julian Wagstaff for a lecture engagement, please contact the composer directly.




Click the buttons below to browse scores and CDs by Julian Wagstaff on Amazon and Sheet Music Plus:

Buy Julian Wagstaff / Jules Reed CDs and scores on Amazon Buy Julian Wagstaff / Jules Reed CDs and scores on Sheet Music Plus



Scottish classical music publisher Europa Edition

Julian's music is published by
Europa Edition Ltd,
Edinburgh, Scotland.




Major current projects:

Breathe Freely - a 'chemistry opera' by Julian Wagstaff

The Firrenes - Scottish Singer/Songwriter-based band feat. Jules Reed and Clare Cairns

John Paul Jones - epic musical about the American Revolutionary hero

The Turing Test opera - Support the UK Tour 2013!
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Catalogue of Works:

Scottish composer Julian Wagstaff - Catalogue of works

Click on the image above to download Julian's catalogue (12 page .pdf)