Photo by William Marsey
Euchar Gravina (b. 1994) is a composer and artistic director from Malta based in London. His compositions, performed at international festivals and prestigious venues, span pieces for soloists and chamber ensembles to choral and orchestral works, as well as compositions featuring electronics. Euchar holds the position of Artistic Director at St John’s Waterloo and Waterloo Festival.
Recent commissions and projects include a work recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra, a released set of three orchestral pieces with fixed audio for the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, a piece for GBSR Duo (George Barton and Siwan Rhys), a chamber orchestra work for Aldeburgh Festival, a touring opera for children for Teatru Malta (in collaboration with Three Palaces Festival), an interactive dance-theatre piece for Valletta 2018 (European Capital City of Culture) and a concerto for Teatru Manoel and the Valletta International Baroque Festival. Performances of his music have also been given by Christ Church Cathedral Choir (Oxford), Psappha Ensemble, Chroma and mezzo-soprano Marvic Monreal and pianist Gabi Sultana. Upcoming compositions include a work for Southbank Sinfonia and a piece for strings.
The recipient of the special jury prize at the APS National Composition Competition (2012), Euchar was the composer-in-residence with the young ensembles at Sage Gateshead (2017/18) and a Britten Pears Young Artist (2019/22), ahead of performances at Aldeburgh Festival 2022. He was also awarded a place on the Peter Reynolds Composition Studio 2020/1, as part of the Vale of Glamorgan Festival, working with Solem Quartet and Magnard Ensemble. Similarly, he participated in the Dartington Summer School and Festival, led by Larry Goves and Juliet Fraser, alongside the House of Bedlam. His choral work ‘Soneto XIII’, in memory of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, has received multiple performances in the UK and his score to the documentary ‘Children of the Underground’ has travelled between museums in Malta and the Netherlands.
Euchar was appointed Artistic Director at St John’s Waterloo in 2019, ahead of a redevelopment project which has transformed the venue into an accessible and inclusive hub for arts and the community. At St John’s, Euchar has built and led several creative projects including residencies, concert series, educational and outreach programmes as well as residencies. He has forged strategic partnerships between St John’s and Accumulate (the Art School for Homeless People), the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Group society of artists and Streetwise Opera, amongst several others, and attracted the support of Arts Council England and the Foyle Foundation.
Alongside being the Director of The Daphne Festival, Euchar has also curated exhibitions that bring the arts and social justice together, including ‘Banned by Beijing’, featuring artists facing transnational repression, and ‘Loving Earth’, a community-textile project focused on climate action. Euchar is Artistic Director at Waterloo Festival, an annual summer arts and community festival in the heart of London which draws inspiration from and celebrates the local neighbourhood.
Following studies in piano and organ, Euchar read composition at the Royal Academy of Music (London) with Simon Bainbridge and Edmund Finnis and participated in masterclasses and lessons with Oliver Knussen, Bent Sørensen, Magnus Lindberg and Judith Weir, amongst others. At the Academy, Euchar also took classes in choral conducting with Patrick Russill.
Euchar sings with the London Symphony Chorus, is a London Symphony Orchestra Soundhub Associate and is a member of PEN Malta. He is also a private music tutor.
Over the years, Euchar has been generously supported by the Janatha Stubbs Foundation, the BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation, Arts Council Malta and is a recipient of Arts Scholarship, financed by the Government of Malta.
Royal Academy of Music, 2015-2017
Master of Music in Composition (Distinction)
Tutored by Simon Bainbridge and Edmund Finnis. Lessons and masterclasses with Oliver Knussen, Bent Sørenson, Judith Weir, John Adams, Magnus Lindberg, Michael Finnissy, and others.
University of Malta, 2012-2015.
B.A. Hons in Music Studies (First Class)
Commissioned by Teatru Manoel, Teatru Malta, the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, the Old Hispanic Office and the Malta Society of Arts, amongst others. Works programmed at Aldeburgh Festival, Dartington Festival, Valletta International Baroque Festival and RAM Piano Festival. Performances and recordings, including by the London Symphony Orchestra, Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and Christ Church Cathedral Choir. Currently a London Symphony Orchestra Soundhub Associate.
Curator / Partner / Director
'Utopia' by Accumulate (2022)
'Running Commentary' for The Daphne Festival (2022)
'Banned by Beijing' with Index On Censorship (2023)
'The Loving Earth Project' (2023)
'Drummond Street Artists' Showcase' (2023)
Artistic Director, St John's Waterloo and The Bridge At Waterloo, since 2019
An arts and community venue in the heart of London delivering a year round creative programme in partnership with the local community and organisations like Southbank Sinfonia, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Streetwise Opera amongst others.
Artistic Director, Waterloo Festival, since 2018
An annual arts, community and heritage Festival in Waterloo taking place in and around St John's Waterloo every summer.
Festival Director, The Daphne Festival, 2022
A festival commemorating the fifth anniversary of the assassination of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. In partnership with PEN International, Reporters Without Borders, Index On Censorship, Women in Journalism, Foreign Policy Centre, the Frontline Club and Repubblika.
Music Director, St John’s Waterloo, 2016-2022
Choir and music director.
Composer-in-Residence, The Glasshouse International Centre for Music, 2017-2018
With Quay Voice and Young Sinfonia on a new work inspired by Beethoven.
Organist, Coro Bel Canto, 2009-2015
Organist, Siggiewi Parish Church, 2009-2015