Martin Humphries

Martin Humphries was appointed Musical Director of Ocean Brass in July 2016.

Martin Humphries (b.1989) is a Southampton-born composer and conductor currently based in South Wales. His music has been performed at numerous events and venues including the Barbican Centre, National Museum of Wales, Abacus Gallery (Cardiff), Fête de la Mare (France), ICTUS Academy (Belgium), Idstein Jazz Festival (Germany), Club Inégales (London), and the Cheltenham Music Festival. He has been featured four times in Cardiff’s longest running chamber concert series at the Cardiff University Concert Hall where his amplified French horn concerto was described as ‘exciting’, ‘innovative’ and full of ‘dark dramaticism’ by Sinfonia Newydd. Martin’s first opera was performed during his undergraduate studies and his first major orchestral work was performed by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at the Lighthouse (Poole) in 2015.

As a conductor, Martin works extensively with community music ensembles and was the inaugural recipient of the ‘Best Student Conductor’ award at the National University Brass Band Championships of Great Britain (2013). He is currently musical director of the Cardiff University Wind Orchestra and is the founder and director of Oblique3, a contemporary music group who have commissioned and performed more than a dozen new works. Recent performances include the European premiere of Ralph Steadman’s BLOT Symphony and AEON, a twelve-hour continuous improvising score co-composed by Martin.

Martin holds both bachelor and master’s degrees from Cardiff University where he studied composition under Robert Fokkens, Louis Johnson and Arlene Sierra as well as receiving extensive supervision in musicology from Professor Stephen Walsh. In 2014 Martin was awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council Studentship to fund doctoral studies across Bath Spa University (James Saunders), Cardiff University (David Beard), and the University of Southampton (Benjamin Oliver). The project explores ways of creating rewarding contemporary music for amateur musicians and in community settings. Martin is also an active academic and has presented conference papers at the universities of Bangor, Birmingham, Brunel, Cardiff, London (Institute of Education), Southampton, York, and at the Barbican Centre.