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Gordon Crosse

Born 1937 in Bury Lancashire. Educated at Cheadle Hulme School, then St Edmund Hall Oxford where he gained a first class degree in Music in 1961. The following year he spent three months in Rome on an Italian Government Scholarship and attended Petrassi’s class at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia. From 1963 he worked in Adult Education first with the WEA then as Extra-Mural Staff Tutor in University of Birmingham. Other University appointments followed at Essex, Kings Cambridge and UCSB in California. He moved to Suffolk in 1968 and has lived there ever since. The year 1964 was specially important when his “Meet My Folks” (Ted Hughes) was first played at the Aldeburgh Festival.

While in Italy he wrote Concerto da Camera for Violin, wind and percussion later recorded by EMI with Manoug Parikian and the Melos Ensemble. A Second Violin Concerto for Manoug followed in 1969. A one-act Opera “Purgatory” (W.B. Yeats) was the first Opera broadcast on the new BBC 2 channel in 1966 and repeated together with “The Grace of Todd” (David Rudkin) at the Aldeburgh festival in 1969. During the 1970s .He wrote several semi-dramatic scores including “Memories of Morning:Night” for Mezzo and Orchestra based on “Wide Sargasso Sea” by Jean Rhys and “World Within” for Soprano, Actress and Chamber group; using the poems and diaries of Emily Bronte. Several more concertos followed - for oboe (“Ariadne”) for Flute (“Thel”) for Clarinet (“Wildboy”) and for Cello in 1978. The Symphony Number Two was Commissioned by the RPO in 1975 and the First String Quartet was commissioned by the BBC and played by the Gabrieli Quartet in 1980.

He has written several Choral Works - notably “Changes” (1966) for Soprano, Baritone, Chorus, Childrens’ Chorus and orchestra connissioned for the Three Choirs Festival , “The Covenant of the Rainbow” commissioned by St Mathew’s Northampton. In 1990 came “Sea Psalms” commissioned for the City Of Culture celebrations in Glasgow - since much shortened and revised.

He composed practically nothing between 1991 and 2007 but from 2008 to the present has written much for strings and also for choir. The list includes String Quartets 2,3 and 4, “Brief Encounter” for Oboe Recorder and Strings, A trio for Oboe Violin and Cello and Three Kipling Songs. There are also larger scale works notably A concerto for Viola, and symphonies 3 and 4. both for small orchestra. The semi-dramatic series has been continued with “Spring Awakening” for the group Opus Anglicanum setting a text drawn from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.