Composer Tarik O'Regan is one of the composers selected to write music for the Coronation of King Charles. Here's all you need to know about Tarik.

Who is Tarik O'Regan?

Tarik Hamilton O'Regan is a London-born composer based in San Francisco. In recent years much of his work has investigated and been influenced by his dual Arab and Irish heritages.

Tarik is currently composer-in-residence with the American historically informed ensemble Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (PBO).

Read more of our Coronation composers series:

When was Tarik O'Regan born?

Tarik was born in 1978 in London.

Where did Tarik O'Regan grow up?

The composer grew up predominantly in Croydon, South London, spending some of his childhood in Morocco, where his mother was born, and in Algeria.

Where did he study?

After studying at Pembroke College, Oxford, Tarik O'Regan worked for four years as the classical recording reviewer for The Observer newspaper. He then took postgraduate studies in composition under the direction of both Robin Holloway, at Cambridge University, and Robert Saxton.

What is Tarik O'Regan's music like?

O'Regan's compositions incorporate the influence of Renaissance vocal writing, the music of North Africa, British rock bands of the 1960s and 1970s, jazz and Minimalist music. His music is often rhythmically complex and employs varying approaches to tonality.

His music has been described as 'exquisite and delicate' by the Washington Post, and as 'beautifully-imagined, holding the audience rapt' by the Financial Times. The Philadelphia Inquirer has noted how his music generates 'previously unheard sound worlds with astonishing effect'.

Who has Tarik O'Regan worked with?

He has worked with various ensembles including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, and the Royal Opera House in London.

What are Tarik O'Regan's most famous pieces?

Tarik O'Regan's music features on more than 40 albums and has been nominated for two Grammy awards. A frequent television and radio broadcaster, he has written and presented two documentaries for BBC Radio 4: Composing LA and Composing New York.

Some of his best known pieces are choral works, including Triptych (2005) and Threshold of Night (2006).

What is Tarik O'Regan writing for King Charles's Coronation?

We don't know exactly what music Tarik is writing for the Coronation, but he did tell us this:

'I was really surprised and delighted to be asked to compose for the Coronation.

'I come from a diverse family, both in terms of heritages and nationalities. My Arab mother was born in Morocco, my father - of Irish background - in Sri Lanka. I now live in San Francisco with my wife who was born in Zimbabwe, and my two sons, one of whom was born in Eswatini.

'So when I was asked to write something, I really wanted this part of my life to be represented in what will undoubtedly be an event of international interest. I wrote the piece here in San Francisco, where I live, so I guess this wonderful city has also influenced the composition too in some way!

'On another note, I'm just a huge fan of Andrew Nethsingha and the forces he's put together for the coronation service, so it's also a professional honour too to be writing for him and his colleagues. I can't wait to hear the piece in situ!'


Steve Wright
Steve WrightMulti-Platform Content Producer, BBC Music Magazine

Steve has been an avid listener of classical music since childhood, and now contributes a variety of features to BBC Music’s magazine and website. He started writing about music as Arts Editor of an Oxford University student newspaper and has continued ever since, serving as Arts Editor on various magazines.