Sad news with the dead of two renowned British composers.
Derek Bourgeois (1941–2017)
Derek Bourgeois died on 6th September aged 75. Born in Kingston upon Thames, he was educated at Magdalene College, Cambridge and the Royal College of Music, where his composition tutor was Herbert Howells.
As well as composing he taught at Bristol University (1970–84) and St. Paul’s Girls School. He also became the Musical Director of the National Youth Orchestra, in 1988 also founding the National Youth Chamber Orchestra. His career as a conductor included with the Sun Life Band (1980–83), which also served as his introduction to the brass band world. He was also active in arts administration, as Chairman of the Composers’ Guild of Great Britain and as a member of the Music Advisory Panel of the Arts Council.
Bourgeois was a highly prolific composer, especially in the field of brass and wind. By 2009 he had already composed some 44 symphonies. Astonishingly, at the time of his death this number had increased to 116.
A Cotswold Symphony, Derek Bourgeois
John Maxwell Geddes (1941-2017)
John Maxwell Geddes died on 7th September aged 76. He grew up in the Maryhill area of Glasgow later studying at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Whilst there he won a scholarship that enabled a period of study with Niels Viggo Benton at the Royal Danish Conservatoire in Copenhagen.
He is particularly known for his long association with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, though his composing life was far from parochial, his work taking him to the US, Europe and Russia. He was also composer in residence in Hamburg, Berlin and Bremen.
Major works include three symphonies, a number of commissions from the BBC (including, Symphony 1, Voyager, Alley Cat, An Ayrshire Suite ), works for choir, chamber music and film scores.
Symphony No. 2, John Maxwell Geddes