I have to say what a delight Sally Beamish is proving to be this week!
Until this series of programmes, I had only ever heard her 1995 Violin Concerto, a Proms commission iirc, and her 1998 "Between Earth and Sea", beautifully written for the flute, viola and harp combination Debussy used in his late sonata, again iirc for Aldeburgh.
Yesterday we heard her first symphony among other delights, and today a 10-minute string quartet which will definitely bear repeated listening.
I seem at last to have found someone for whom I have been waiting now more than 2 decades: a new modernist composer whose music acknowledges her great modernist predecessors - she has referred to Tippett and Berio. She strikes me as one of the few composers to have emerged since the mid-70s who fully embraces the expressive oportunities atonality opened up, this now informing her more tonally-orientated pieces (such as those heard today) with the expanded musical universe therein revealed, rather after the manner of the great late Nicholas Maw.
It is interesting that Ms Beamish has taken to jazz - the one form (apart from free improvisation) in which I feel the language of music to be still evolving - and if there is anything that appears anomalous in her story, I am surprised that the genre had earlier escaped her notice, and that she had found it necessary to study under Branford Marsalis, when Scotland, where she has chosen to live, offers so much in terms of an indigenous jazz scene, having absorbed folk idioms without resort to the American approach and vernacular.