Biographical Chronology

1927Born Kidderminster, Worcestershire, 15th January
1935/40The Old Hall School, Wellington, Shropshire
1940/45Malvern College / Harrow School
1945/48Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR)
1948/51King’s College, Cambridge
1951/53Royal Academy of Music Composition - William Alwyn, Piano - Wesley Roberts, Organ - Douglas Hawkridge
1954/55 Studies composition with Matyas Seiber
1956/59Marries (1) Virginia Raphael 2s., 2d.

Studies works of Olivier Messiaen

Organist St Luke’s Church, Redcliffe Square, London SW10

Founds the Redcliffe Festival of British Music
with singer Norman Tattersall, composer Roy Teed
1961/63Organist St Philip’s Church, Earls Court Road, London W8

Meets soprano Ilse Wolf, who commissions A woman young and old and Four Shakespeare Songs

Festival evolves into Redcliffe Concerts, whose vision was to bring together the best composers with the best performers in a revitalised tradition of British music. This had the endorsement and backing of 15 established composers named as Patrons of the Redcliffe Concerts of British Music.
1964 Redcliffe Concerts moved to Arts Council , 4 St James’s Square, London SW1.

First concert 4 April, 1964

Elegy Op.6 , Songs of farewell commissioned and performed by Ilse Wolf.
1965/66The Manger Throne (A Sacred Tetralogy I) first performed and broadcast by Gillian Weir
1967Redcliffe Concerts open in London, South Bank , funded by the London Orchestral Concert Board, representing the Arts Council of Great Britain and the Greater London Council.

The Redcliffe Concerts of British Music was accepted by the Charity Commission as a Registered Charity, whose purpose is to educate the public in the arts and sciences, in particular the art and science of music, by the presentation of professional concerts, which shall consist principally or entirely of the works of British composers, both living and dead. After 1980 the concerts evolved to include recordings, and Redcliffe Recordings was set up, on the advice of the Charity Commission, as an associate trading company.

Duo and Dance Suite for Strings first performed
196815th January First London concert of electronic music

Contemporary Music - an introduction published
1969Directs course at Dartington Hall, Devon , for setting up a British Music Centre, leading to the British Music Information Centre (Composers' Guild of Great Britain)

Begins Contemporary British Music 1945-1970

Dialogue for violin and orchestra first performed
1970Lumen Christi (A Sacred Tetralogy II) first performed

Double Concerto for violin, violoncello and orchestra commissioned
1971Begins teaching at Morley College

Aeterne Rex Altissime (A Sacred Tetralogy III) first performed and broadcast
1972/73Spring Night first performed and broadcast

Early English Organ Music, from the Middle Ages to 1837 published
1974Symphony 1 commissioned

Forms Redcliffe Ensemble for the performance of British composers’ music
Cello Concerto first performed and broadcast

Gloria tibi Trinitas (A Sacred Tetralogy IV) first performed and broadcast

Special Award by the Composers’ Guild of Great Britain, on tenth anniversary of Redcliffe Concerts of British Music, for “consistent promotion of twentieth – century British Music through the Redcliffe Concerts”.

Member of Artists Now panel, enquiring and reporting into the patronage of the creative artist. This enquiry was a result of widespread concerns at the Arts Council of Great Britain’s apparent indifference to the role of the composer in British musical culture. The enquiry covered all the arts and identified a consistent trend away from the creative artist which, as far as music was concerned, resulted in only about 4% of funding being directed to the support of British composers.
1975/76Tour of Germany with Christopher Bunting. Performances included
Cello Sonata No.1 and Sonata for solo cello

Co-Chairman, with Klaus Schulz , of international seminar held at the Goethe Institute, London, leading to exchange concerts between UK and (West) Germany

Mosaics for two violins commissioned and toured by Klaus Assmann

Oboe Quartet commissioned and toured by Janet Craxton, London Oboe Quartet
1977Redcliffe Concerts celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee with a Gala Concert on 26 September, in the presence of the Minister for the Arts, Lord Donaldson

Performances include Piano Concerto 1, with Yonty Solomon, and the first modern performance of Samuel Wesley’s Ode to St Cecilia (1794)

First Anglo-German exchange concerts, arranged by Redcliffe Concerts in Association with WDR, BBC Radio three, the Goethe Institute and the British Council.
1978Member of the jury of 27th International Music Competition, Munich

Begins writing on the aesthetics of music in the twentieth century, in Performance and Records and Recordings, both edited by Cis Amarel, and with special reference to British Music, in Composer, the magazine of the Composers' Guild of Great Britain.
1980Editor of Composer until 1987 when the Composers’ Guild of Great Britain was abolished after a life of 40 years (1947-1987) and the magazine ceased to exist.

Series of articles, Music, commissioned for the Annual Register, edited by H. V. Hodson, editor of the Sunday Times
Fantasy for violin and piano first performed
1981/82The idea of a record label for British composers, entitled British Musical Heritage, first put forward in an article in Performance, Autumn 1981.

Recording in Coventry Cathedral of A Sacred Tetralogy I – IV
by Christopher Bowers – Broadbent

Concerto for Ensemble 1 performed and broadcast on tour of Hungary by the
Redcliffe Ensemble
1982/83North Camden Schools Orchestra formed from schools in the London Borough of Camden.
Redcliffe Concerts promoted three concerts, in association with ILEA, on the South Bank, as part of the Camden Festival.
1984/85 Redcliffe Concerts 21st anniversary, “The Tippett Generation” (Alan Rawsthorne, Constant Lambert, Michael Tippett, b 1905)
Celebration for piano commissioned and toured by Jeffrey Jacob

First performance of Constant Lambert’s Piano Concerto No.1 (1924)
1986 “University Series” of Redcliffe Concerts inaugurated with concerts in Wakefield, Guildford and Oxford

Oboe Concerto commissioned and toured by L’Orchestre de Picardie,Performed by Bernard Philippe, conducted by Alexandre Myrat

Tragic Interludes for solo oboe commissioned by Robin Canter and performed on a tour of Greece
1987/89Concerto for Ensemble 2 performed at “University Series” in Edinburgh

Plans Four Marian Antiphons for organ

Redcliffe Concerts 25th anniversary includes Jonathan Harvey’s From Silence for soprano and electronics at his 50th birthday concert.

The Composers' Guild of Great Britain ceased to exist as a separate organisation representing the professional interests of composers. It had lasted 40 years, 1947-87.
1989/90Final Redcliffe Concerts season on the South Bank

First Redcliffe Recordings released

Serenade performed and recorded by Redcliffe Ensemble in Sheffield

Alma Redemptoris Mater for organ first performed
1991/92Concerto for Ensemble 3 performed and broadcast by Redcliffe Ensemble in Sheffield, Edinburgh and Manchester

Fantasy Duo for violin and piano commissioned and performed by Tasmin Little and Piers Lane

Marries (2) Diana Cardell Oliver
1993/94Commissions and performances by the Royal Academy of Music:

Suite for string orchestra
Touraine (Scenes for Piano 2)
Sonata for solo violin


Capriccio for orchestra commissioned

Woefully Arrayed performed at Dulwich College
1995/96Clarinet Quintet performed and recorded by Redcliffe Ensemble
1997 Samuel Wesley’s Missa de Spiritu Sancto (1784) first published, with world premiere 10 September at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin in association with RTE, BBC
1998Divertimento for String Quartet commissioned and recorded by the
Bochmann String Quartet
1999/2001Angels of Albion (Scenes for Piano III), Bretagne (Scenes for Piano IV) toured and recorded by Lora Dimitrova
2003/05Sonata festiva (Scenes for Piano V) first performed by Charles Matthews.

Symphonic Variations for clarinet and piano commissioned and performed by Nicholas Cox.

Symphony 2 composed, arising from Symphonic Variations
2006A Parish Songbook and An English Organ Book published
2007/09The Well-Tempered Pianist, 24 Preludes first performed by Charles Matthews
2010/12Complete recording by Charles Matthews of The Well-Tempered Pianist.

Symphony 3 composed, arising from The Well-Tempered Pianist

 

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