Renowned Irish composer John Browne will swap the opera house for the Health Service in 2010 when he becomes the first ever composer in residence at the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing & Midwifery at King’s.
The one-year residency has been made possible by a £10,000 grant and expert advice from the PRS Foundation. Additional funding of £15,000 was provided by the National Lottery through Arts Council England (London).
The project marks the Florence Nightingale School’s 150th anniversary and is part of its unique and innovative Culture in Care programme, offered to both staff and students, which explores the role that the arts, and in particular music, can play in the professional development of nurses.
Mr Browne’s brief at the school will see him explore the nature of care in clinical environments through music and compose an entirely new work reflecting upon his experience at the end of the year. His role will involve observing and working with students, practicing nurses, academics and members of the King’s College London Community, experiencing life in the hospital and meeting patients.
Mr Browne said: “This is a very different and very exciting opportunity for me. I am being inspired by the people, the buildings and the rituals of the school and its partner hospitals - but most of all by the themes of nursing and care. On the one hand I’ll be observing and responding to nursing practice on a very intimate level, and that’s very moving, and at the same time I’ll be looking at “care” as one of the really big themes of our times, and of all times.”
Professor Anne Marie Rafferty, Head of School said: “We are thrilled about John Browne’s appointment as the School’s first ever composer in residence and look forward to working closely with him over the next year. The work he will produce will play an important part in forging the link between clinical practice and learning as a performing art.”