Rebecca Saunders was born in London in 1967. She studied composition at Edinburgh University with Nigel Osborne and with Wolfgang Rihm in Germany. She currently lives in Berlin.
One of the leading and most original compositional voices of her generation her music has been recognised with several prestigious awards, including the Ernst von Siemens Förderpreis, the ARD und BMW musicaviva Prize, the Paul Hindemith Prize, the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Award For Chamber Music (twice, in 2008 and 2012), and the GEMA Music Prize for Instrumental Music 2010. Following nominations in 2012 und in 2013. She won a British Composer Award in 2014. Most recently in 2015 Saunders received the Happy-New-Ears-Prize from the Hans und Gertrud Zender Stiftung, and the prestigious Mauricio Kagel Musikprize 2015.
In 2009 she became a member of the Berlin Academy of Arts, and in 2013 she was honoured with membership of the Sachsen Academy of Arts in Dresden. Saunders was Composer-in-Residence at the Staatskapelle Dresden for the 2009/2010.
Rebecca Saunders is regularly in demand as a guest composition tutor and has taught at the Darmstadt Ferienkurse, most recently in 2010 and 2012, at Impuls in Graz in 2011 und 2013, and at the Ostrava Music Days.
Since 2003, Saunders has intensified her interest in the sculptural properties of organised sound. Chroma (2003-2013) explores a collage of twenty-four chamber groups and sound sources in several spaces. Since its premiere in 2003, 19 new versions have been created for radically different performance spaces.