Gordon Crosse

Gordon Crosse

Gordon Crosse was born in December 1937 at 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, after which he did two years’ research on early fifteenth-century music.

From 1963 he worked in Adult education (WEA) then was Haywood Fellow in Music at Birmingham University from 1966 until 1969. Other posts included University of Essex, Fellow of Kings College Cambridge, and finally teaching at UCSB (Santa Barbara California) and at RAM in London. He moved to Suffolk in 1968 and has lived there ever since.

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.

The year 1964 was specially important when his Meet My Folks (Ted Hughes) was first played at the Aldeburgh Festival. 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.

From 1990 till retirement in 2004 worked as a Computer Programmer. Finally returned to composing in 2007 and now writing pretty well non-stop. The list includes String Quartets 2,3,4 and 5; “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.

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