Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Some Scottish Composers...Famous and Forgotten

The Composer journal (Spring 1969) carries a short article by the late Professor Frederick Rimmer about the Scottish Music Archive (now the Scottish Music Centre) which had been established in 1968 at the University of Glasgow. It officially opened to the public on 16 April 1969 based at Lilybank Gardens, Hillhead. At that time, there were more than sixty composers represented in the archive with over a 1000 works.
Rimmer provides a list of some of these composers to give ‘some indication of the degree of interest in composition in Scotland at the present time (1969)…’  Those named were still alive at that time and their music ‘was receiving prior attention during the first phase of the archive’s work.’ He added that composers ‘not recognisably Scottish, qualify for admission either by their Scottish descent or by their domicile in Scotland’.
The list is presented in alphabetical order: I have emboldened those who are still active. It is good to see that out 35 names there are still 11 going strong –which is nearly 33%! Alas a number of these composer are barely remembered, except by enthusiasts.  There is much potential here for exploration.

Reginald Barrett Ayres (1920-1981)
Robert Crawford (1925-2012)
Martin Dalby (b.1942)
Marie Dare (1902-1976)
David Doward (b.1933)
Ronald Duncan (1914-1982)
Isobel Dunlop (1901-1975)
James Easson (1895-1980)
Kenneth Finlay (1882-1974)
Sebastian Forbes (b.1941)
Norman Fulton (1909-1980)
Hans Gal (1890-1987)
Maxwell Geddes (b.1941)
David Gow (1924-1993)
John Guthrie (1912-1986)
David Gwilt (b.1932)
Iain Hamilton (1922-2000)
Kenneth Leighton (1928-1988)
George McIlwham (b.1926)
John McQuaid (1909-2004)
Thea Musgrave (b.1928)
Peter Naylor (b.1933)
Sidney Newman (1906-1971)
Arthur Oldham (1926-2003)
Buxton Orr (1924-1997)
Robin Orr (1909-2006)
John Purser (b.1942)
Frederick Rimmer (1914-1998)
Eric Smith (1906-1984)
Frank Spedding (1929-2001)
Ronald Stevenson (b.1928)
Cedric Thorpe Davie (1913-1983)
Thomas Wilson (1927-2001)

Hugh Wood (b.1932)

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