S Westwood.jpeg

short bio


I compose music for dance, music-theatre, installation, and concerts. My music is concerned with: memory and the failure of memory; embodiment and transcendence; somatics (perceiving the body and enviroment from within) and matters of the heart. Working in both acoustic and electronic music, with traditional notation, open scores, and improvisation.


extended bio

Notable attainments include being awarded the Bliss Trust Scholarship for artistic development to USA (for  University of California San Diego); selected for a Creative Retreat at The Red House Aldeburgh (supported by Britten-Pears Foundation); selected composer for ISCM World Music Days New Zealand 2020; winner of the 21st Left Coast Chamber Ensemble Competition San Fransisco; selected as a composer for Phoenix Dance Theatre’s inaugural Choreographers and Composers Lab Leeds, and a musician in Ircam Academy's In Vivio Danse Paris.


My work has been received in eleven European countries, across four continents, commissioned, and awarded; with performances of my work by The Interstring Project (DE), Après l’Histoire, Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble, Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, Ensemble L'imaginaire (FR), Prism Piano Trio Boston, and soloists Dan Thorpe, Aleksandra Demowska-Madejska, Jelena Makarova, and Karin Hellqvist, amongst others; in venues and festivals including Bitesize Proms (UK), Echofluxx (Prague), Queen Elizabeth Hall (London), CROSSROADS Festival (Mozarteum, Salzburg), Snape Maltings (UK), Le Petite Cabinet (Strasbourg), Being Human Festival (Horniman Mueseum and Gardens London), St John's Smith Square (London), Constellations (Chicago), OUA Festival (Osaka Japan), Electric Lodge (Los Angeles), Cheltenham Music Festival (UK), Siobhan Davies Dance Studio (London), and Dance Limerick (Ireland). 


My work has been broadcast on Resonance FM and BBC Radio 3, and published on BabelScores and Tetractys Publishing.  

Alongside composing, I am Director of Programmes at 'Estalagem da Ponta do Sol Contemporary Music and Electronic Residency' Madeira (Portugal), since 2017; bringing expert practitioners and practising sound artists, composers and performers from varied backgrounds together. I am also a Co-Director for Illuminate Women’s Music, since 2018. The project aims to promote the work of women composers and performers, performing across UK. Illuminate has received funding from Arts Council England, Ambache Charitable Trust, GEMMA Trust, The Hinrichsen Foundation, ISM, and RVW Trust. Since 2019, I serve as a board member and webmaster for the International Alliance for Women in Music 


Currently, I'm studying for a PhD in composition at Goldsmiths, University of London, under the supervision of Patricia Alessandrini, Lauren Redhead, and Holly Rogers. My project at Goldsmiths is on "Somatic Composition: Embodied Threads of Composing".


Additional mentorship includes from Chaya Czernowin, Kenneth Hesketh, Toshio Hosokawa, Justė Janulytė, Zygmunt Krauze, Andrew Lewis, Anton Lukoszevieze, Katharina Rosenberger, and Scott Wilson; masterclasses with Mira Calix, Nic Collins, Beat Furrer, Philippe Leroux, Gilbert Nouno, and Rebecca Saunders; and workshops with Christopher Fox, Hemult Lachermann, Robin Minnard and Miller Puckette. 

I grew up in Cornwall and am currently based in the Cotswolds (UK).


Summer in Norfolk by Sarah Westwood

Portrait of Sarah by James Harvey

The Interstring Project plays speaking within \ fragmented lines at Crossroads Festival, Salzburg 

Photo: Fabian Schober. 8 Nov 2019

Hong Kong New Music Ensemble play The Hands We Used To Make Were Clay at EchoFluxx Fetival, Prague. 6 April 2016