born in 1945, 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 from 1963-7, winning five prizes for composition. He received early success with his Brass Quintet, which was broadcast and recorded by the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble and the Hallé Brass Consort. 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 the theatre, film and television. Most of his music has been broadcast and much of it is commercially recorded.
His major orchestral works include 'Music for Chamber Orchestra' (1968), 'Metamorphoses' (1979), 'Contrasts - a concerto for orchestra' (1983 rev 2001), and 'Blazon' (1992). In recent years he has completed commissions for the Royal Liverpool philharmonic, the Bournemouth Symphony and the BBC philharmonic (for whom he wrote his Clarinet Concerto in 1994 - premiered by Michael Collins). In the last two years he has completed a major choral/orchestral work entitled 'The Dance, forever the Dance' which was premiered in St Albans Cathedral, and a violin concerto (a commission from the Hallé orchestra) which received its premiere at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, with soloist Lyn Fletcher and the Hallé Orchestra conducted by Kent Nagano.
He has also written a wide range of chamber and orchestral music from his early Oboe Sonata of 1965, written when he was a student at the RAM, to his 'Six Little Pieces' for piano (1982) and his larger scale Piano Sonata in one movement of 1983. His concerti for wind instruments are established repertoire in many countries and he has also written major works for wind band - 'Festivo' (1985), 'The Sword and the Crown' (1991) and 'The Kings go Forth' (1996) and brass band - 'Connotations'(1997, 'Dances and Arias' (1984), 'Of Men and Mountains' (1991) and 'The Trumpets of the Angels ' (2000).
His music for the theatre includes commissions from the Royal Shakespeare Company - 'The Plantagenets' trilogy (1988) and 'Henry lV parts 1 and 2' (1990) - and the York Cycle of Mystery Plays (1976 and 1980). 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 officiated as a jury member and broadcaster.
Edward Gregson is Principal of the Royal Northern College of Music, having previously held the position of Professor of music at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He is an Honorary Professor of Music at the University of Manchester and in 1996 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from the University of Sunderland (his city of birth). He is a Fellow of the Royal Northern College of Music, the Royal Academy of Music, and the Royal College of Music. He was Chairman of the Association of Professional Composers (UK) from 1989-91 and has represented British composers' interests internationally on many occasions. He is currently a Director of the Performing Right Society, the Hallé Orchestra, the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music; a governor of Chetham's School of Music, and a trustee of the national Foundation for Youth Music.
Photo credit: John Clark
was born in Barking in 1944. He studied trumpet at the Royal Academy of Music during which time he developed a particular interest in the physical aspects of brass playing. His work as a player, teacher and researcher in this field has led to the publication of a series of books which have become standard works in the brass library.
His lecture tours have taken him to Australia, Japan and the USA in addition to his schedule in Britain, Europe and Scandinavia.
One of the most challenging aspects of his career is consultation work with professional brass players. This brings together his three main areas of interest; music, teaching and physiology of brass playing.
In education John Ridgeon has had appointments as Supervising Brass Teacher for the London Borough of Redbridge, Instrumental Organiser for the London Borough of Barnet and Senior music Adviser for Leicestershire. He established and directed the Instrumental Teaching Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and was Chairman of the National Association of Brass Teachers in Education. In 1986 he organised the annual conference of the International Trumpet Guild which brought to London some of the world's finest players and teachers of trumpet. Since 1986 John Ridgeon has devoted his time increasingly to the training of professional musicians in working in education and the wider community, establishing Access to Music which has rapidly become accepted as a leading organisation in the field.
In 1991 he was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music for his outstanding Services to music.