Ian White began his musical career as an orchestral trombone player with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Having received encouragement from Herbert Howells in the early 1970s he returned to composition in 1992 with Spire Studies (wind quintet) and Renaissances (brass sextet). The latter was performed by the London Mozart Players conducted by the composer. Undertones (in memoriam Tony Hancock) for tuba and string quartet won the prestigious Clements Memorial Prize in 2000 and Island was premiered by the Orchestra of Opera North in 2002, subsequently becoming a set work in the Leeds Conductors' Competition. The BBC has since recorded Island for Radio 3’s contemporary music programme Hear and Now and commissioned Strata which was premiered by the BBC and later broadcast on BBC Radio 3. His Grey Abbey Echoes, a Whitgift Foundation commission for brass octet, proved an instant hit with performers and audience alike at its London premiere and subsequent performance in May 2014. He is currently writing Spirals, a string quartet. Strata, Grey Abbey Echoes and Spirals all reflect Irish heritage in various shapes and forms.
Other activities include designing and leading composition workshops, lecturing, writing on subjects ranging from new editions of baroque music for trombone, to number-crunching in relation to Roberto Gerhard’s Concerto for Orchestra, the subject of his doctoral thesis (available at www.surrey.ac.uk/library/sri) and exploring other cultures. He is also a member of the Bar of England and Wales (Lincoln’s Inn).