Composers Profiles

    Robin Dewhurst
    Robin Dewhurst has had many year's experience in the field of media music, writing and arranging music for TV, Film and Radio. As a performer he has worked with big bands, small jazz groups, brass bands and orchestras both on trombone and piano. Currently Musical Director of the University of Salford Big Band, he also holds the post of Head of Popular Music within the University's Music Department, is a Senior Lecturer in Music and is in charge of the department's successful Popular Music & Recording degree programme.
    His diversity as a composer/arranger has brought him acclaim in a wide range of idioms, and he has received commissions from many named artists (Lisa Stansfield, Paul Young), ensembles (Halle Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Williams Fairey Brass Band, Andy Prior Orchestra), and media clients (BBC and Independent Radio, Granada, Yorkshire and Channel 4 Television companies). He was awarded the Marty Paitch Arranging Prize for his Big Band arrangement of Prokofiev's Troika in the 1990 BBC Radio Big Band Competition.
    Robin's Masters degree thesis which examined the works of jazz composer Gil Evans (De Montfort University, 1994) has been well received internationally and Robin is regularly invited to give talks on jazz arranging including guest lectures at the University of York (1996), City of Leeds College of Music (1995/6), and Orchestre Nationale de Jazz, Paris (1996).
    His recent works for Brass Band are exclusively published by Gramercy Music and are succeeding in establishing his growing reputation as a writer of quality in this field. Panache (1995) and Brasilia (1996) were commisioned and recorded by the top brass soloists Steven Mead (Euphonium) and Brett Baker (Trombone) respectively, whilst other works including his lyrical reading of Bess You Is My Woman Now (1995), arranged for Williams Fairey's Listen to the Band recording session, demonstrate his subtle approach to scoring in the context of the full band feature. His work is noted for its keen sense of colour and fluency of style and he applies his knowledge of jazz and popular idioms to the potentials of the Brass Band in new and exciting ways. Hallmark (1997), an exciting "opener" composed for Brass in the Big Band style, is indicative of Robin's refreshing approach in which the barriers that traditionally exist between brass band repertoire and jazz are pushed aside and the band's potential in this new field explored. The work is soon to be released in the Gramercy Music catalogue.

    Peter Graham
    Peter Graham was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland, where his introduction to music came through brass and piano lessons from his parents. He read music at Edinburgh University, graduating in 1980. During this period he came into contact with Ray Steadman-Allen and Edward Gregson, both of whom encouraged his early efforts at composition. He later undertook postgraduate compositional studies with Edward Gregson at Goldsmiths` College, University of London and holds a PhD in Composition.
    From 1983 until 1986 he was resident in New York City, USA, where he worked as a freelance composer /arranger and as a publications editor with the S.A. Music Bureau. Since his return to the U.K. he has worked regularly as an arranger for BBC Television and Radio and has specialised in composition for the British style brass band. Since the publication of Dimensions (1983), he has carved out a niche as an outstanding arranger for brass bands, and a leading figure amongst contemporary band composers. His original compositions, which include The Essence of Time, Montage and On Alderley Edge, are performed worldwide and have been selected as test-pieces for National Championships in Australia, New Zealand, North America and across Europe.
    His music for wind and concert band has been recorded and performed by many of the world’s leading ensembles, including the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra and the Royal Norwegian Navy Band. Harrison's Dream, commissioned by the United States Air Force Band, Washington D.C., won the 2002 ABA/Ostwald Award for composition. Commissioned by BMG/RCA Red Label to arrange and compose an album of xylophone music for virtuoso Evelyn Glennie, the resulting recording was nominated as Best Classical Crossover Album at the 1999 Grammy Awards held in Los Angeles.
    He is published principally by Rosehill Music and Boosey & Hawkes, and since 1994 by his Gramercy Music, a company he formed together with his wife, Janey, which specialises in the publication of brass, wind and vocal music. Peter Graham is Professor of Composition at the University of Salford, Greater Manchester, and has held various posts with some of the UK’s finest bands including Music Associate/Conductor with the famous Black Dyke Band (1997-2004) and the first civilian composer-in-residence with Her Majesty’s Coldstream Guards Band (2003-2005).
    Peter Graham lives in Cheshire, England with his wife Janey, son Ryan and daughter Megan.
    To view Peter Graham's web site click here.

    Edward Gregson
    Edward Gregson is one of Britain's most versatile composers, whose music has been performed, broadcast, and recorded worldwide. He studied composition and piano at the Royal Academy of Music (1963-67), winning five prizes for composition. Early success was achieved with his Brass Quintet, which was broadcast and recorded, as well as being a finalist piece in the 1968 BBC Young Composer's Competition. This was followed by many commissions from, amongst others, the English Chamber Orchestra and the York Festival. Since then he has written orchestral, chamber, instrumental and choral music, as well as music for theatre, film, and television.
    His concerti for wind instruments are established repertoire in many countries (the Trumpet Concerto of 1983 has received performances from the Detroit and Louisville orchestras in the USA, as well as the Rotterdam Philharmonic and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestras). Other major orchestral works include Music for Chamber Orchestra (1968), Metamorphoses (1979), Contrasts (1983), and Blazon (1992). His output also includes: two brass quintets, an Oboe Sonata (1965), Piano Sonata (1983),Sonata for Four Trombones (1984), and three choral works:In the beginning (1966), Missa Brevis Pacem (1987), and Make a Joyful Noise (1988), as well as many works for brass and wind bands. He has recently completed commissions for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestras, as well as a Clarinet Concerto for Michael Collins and the BBC Philharmonic, and premiered in Manchester in 1994.
    His music for theatre includes commissions for the York Cycle of Mystery Plays (1976),The Plantagenets (1988) and Henry IV Parts I and II (1990). which were both commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company for performances in Stratford-upon-Avon and London. In 1988, he was nominated for an Ivor Novello award for his title music for BBC Television's Young Musician of the Year programmes, for which he has also regularly acted as a jury member.
    A noted conductor of contemporary music, Edward Gregson has also held numerous academic posts, including Professor of Music at Goldsmith's College, University of London and visiting teacher and conductor at the Royal Academy of Music. Edward Gregson is Principal of the Royal Northern College of Music.
    To view Edward Gregson's web site click here.