BILL BARCLAY, composer, actor, director, conductor and multi-instrumentalist, is the Director of Music at Shakespeare’s Globe. He has composed music for several Globe productions including Hamlet Globe-to-Globe (2014-2016) which toured to every country on earth, Romeo & Juliet (2015), and Taming of the Shrew (2016). During his tenure he has programmed over 150 concerts in the Globe's candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse since its construction in 2013, including series events such as XXXX
In 2016, Bill's work has spanned conducting, composing, directing, adapting and narrated. The past year featured special adaptations for the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the British Film Institute, The Tanglewood Music Center, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra at Barbican Hall. He also launched this year the Shakespeare's Globe first record label, Globe Music, producing a combination of music taken from productions at the Globe, as well as unique collaborations with world-wide renowned artists such as tenor Ian Bostridge and guitarist Xuefei Yang - Songs from Our Ancestors.
Bill has collaborated with some of the world's leading conductors - Andris Nelsons, Charles Dutoit, Trevor Pinnock, Bramwell Tovey, Sakari Oramo, Hans Graf, Harry Christophers, and Federico Cortese - creating original works of concert theatre such as xxx, xxx,xxx
His credits on Broadway as Music Supervisor include Twelfth Night and Richard III on period instruments featuring Mark Rylance.
In 2017 he publishes Shakespeare, Music, and Performance as co-editor with David Lindley with Cambridge University Press. He is the co-editor of The Jon Lipsky Play Collection, Volumes 1 & 2 (Smith and Krauss). He regularly speaks on music in Shakespeare and has lectured on Shakespeare and The Music of the Spheres on three continents.
Bill directorial credits include the New England Premiere of Shakespeare's Timon of Athens (Actors' Shakespeare Project), and the only known production of Comedy of Errors with two sets of identical male twins. He has directed concert theatre for the Boston Symphony Orchestra for several seasons.
Winner of a Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship, the largest grant for actors in the United States, Bill was a member of Shakespeare & Company and the Actors' Shakespeare project for 10 years each as an actor, director, sound designer, and teacher.
His music has been performed for Barack Obama, for His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, for the Olympic Torch in 2012, at Buckingham Palace in a live premiere, in 42 US states and in 197 countries throughout the world - more than any composer alive or dead.
A Shakespeare specialist, he has collaborated with the Globe (four seasons as a composer including the Globe to Globe Hamlet to every single country in the world), Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA (ten seasons as actor, director and composer incl. Resident Music Director ’06-’11), the Actors’ Shakespeare Project in Boston (nine seasons, former Artistic Associate and director of the acclaimed Timon of Athens), the Tanglewood Music Center and Boston Symphony Orchestra (four seasons), The Mercury Theatre in Colchester, England (past member of the Resident Acting Company) and a composer with ConsARTium, an art installation collective in Geneva, Switzerland.
Bill is the creator of several original musical works including CALL OF THE WILD (with playwright Jon Lipsky), THREE SISTERS (with adaptor Fly Steffens), THE HAMLET SYMPHONY, EVERYMAN FOUND, THE MAD PIRATE AND THE MERMAID (with playwright Michael Burnet), and has created several solo performances including MUSE ON FIRE; SHAKESPEARE & THE MUSIC OF THE SPHERES, which has been performed in universities and theaters in the US and abroad. He has performed roles or composed original scores for regional theaters in Boston and throughout the US including The Huntington Theatre, SpeakEasy Stage, W.H.A.T., Central Square Theatre, North Shore Music Theatre, the New Repertory Theatre, the Vineyard Playhouse, The Olney Theatre Center, Connecticut Rep, La MaMa ETC and Theater Row (NYC). In the last five years he has held Artist Residencies for directing, composing, or conducting at Columbia University, the University of Connecticut, Purdue University, Brandeis University, the University of Wisconsin and the University of Virginia, has taught acting at Emerson College and Boston University and been a guest lecturer at Harvard University. In 2014 Bill directed his original adaptation of The Magic Flute with The Boston Symphony Orchestra and Youth Orchestra, and has performed as narrator with the Longwood Symphony, the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the ALEA III Orchestra (including his adaptation of Peter and the Wolf and Stravinski’s L’Histoire du Soldat). Bill has appeared on television in recurring roles on Showtime (Brotherhood) and PBS, and can be seen in the films Ocean Boulevard and The Time Machine (Dreamworks).
As an educator, Bill has led Shakespeare and devising workshops in over 50 schools, theaters, and youth treatment centers throughout Massachusetts. He has longstanding collaborative relationships with the Aurea Ensemble (who commissioned Bill’s latest concert work, Five Sonnets to Orpheus), and is a founding member and past Chorus Master of The Mahagonny Ensemble in Poughkeepsie, NY. He studied conducting with Isaiah Jackson and composition with Richard Wilson, composing music for His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh as well as for the Olympic Torch in the 2014 London Olympics. A 2008 WINNER of the Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship (the nation’s largest grant for actors in the country), Bill is also a winner of the Boston Globe Monologue Scholarship Competition, a two-time Elliot Norton Award Nominee for sound design, and has twice received Metlife’s Meet the Composer Grants in 2009 and 2010. A 1999 Weston High School graduate, Bill is an alumnus of Vassar College, the National Theatre Institute, and earned his MFA at the Boston University School of Theatre.
He is currently editing a two-volume anthology of the plays of Jon Lipsky, beloved Boston-area playwright, to be published by Smith & Kraus in 2014.