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large orchestra
2015 - 2016

Quanta was awarded first prize in the 2018 Toru Takemitsu Composition award.


The piece, which was one of four to be selected by Unsuk Chin for the final of the competition out of 143 entries from 40 countries, was first performed on 27 May 2018 in the Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Yoichi Sugiyama.​

"Barnaby Martin’s 'Quanta' – inspired by various aspects of quantum mechanics – was the longest and most dramatic of the four. With a work of multi-layered structures with quotations from Purcell and Tallis, Martin has a strong flair for bold orchestral colours and he succeeded in taking the audience on an exciting sonic journey." Nahoko Gotoh | Bachtrack


2015 - 2016



17 minutes


3fl(I, II+III=picc).3ob.3cln.2bsn(II=cbsn) – 4hn.3tpt.3tbn.1tub. – perc(3): 4 or 5 timp/anvil/2 bass drums/bell tree/2 bongos/crotales/cymbal/glass chimes/glockenspiel/guiro/marimba/snare drum/large tam-tam/2 tenor drums/2 timbales/2 tom-toms/triangle/tubular bells/vibraphone/whip – harp – grand pno – strings (


Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Yoichi Sugiyama, Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall, 27 May 2018

What I was particularly impressed about is the composer's readiness to fearlessly and open-mindedly explore a cornucopia of different compositional approaches. At the same time, the composer is able to command and develop complex structures and to write music that evolves in an organic manner.

Unsuk Chin

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