Lionel Sainsbury began to play the piano at an early age and soon started to compose his own music. Born in Wiltshire, England, in 1958, he studied composition with Patric Standford at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. At the age of 21 he was awarded a Mendelssohn Scholarship, which brought him into contact with composers as diverse as Edmund Rubbra, John McCabe and Henri Dutilleux.
Sainsbury’s music has since been performed worldwide, and broadcast by BBC Radio 3, Radio France, NHK TV/Radio in Japan, and many channels in the US. Amongst artists who have performed his work are the violinists Tasmin Little, Vit Muzik and Rupert Marshall-Luck, pianists Mark Bebbington, Clara Rodriguez and Jack Gibbons, clarinetist Anna Hashimoto and guitarist Craig Ogden.
In 2002 his Violin Concerto was premiered at the Worcester (UK) Three Choirs Festival, with soloist Lorraine McAslan and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under Adrian Lucas. Lorraine McAslan subsequently recorded the concerto with the BBC Concert Orchestra under Barry Wordsworth (Dutton CDLX 7245).
The premiere recording of Sainsbury’s Cello Concerto followed in 2012 (Dutton CDLX 7284), performed by Raphael Wallfisch, with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Martin Yates.
Also available, on Navona Records, are two albums of Lionel Sainsbury’s piano music, SUNLIGHT & STORMS (NV5951) and ANDALUSIAN FANTASY (NV5999), performed by the composer.