I have been trying to write symphonies since 1970. This may seem a rather pointless exercise, but since the invention of Sibelius software, of which I was a very early user in 1994, and with ever improving digital playback devices, it’s possible to get a impression of what they are like – though a live performance is always twice as exciting. A few smaller ones have been performed. But the point of all this composing is that there is nothing more exciting than exploring the form and language of music.

The official first symphony was completed in 1994, and was the last work I wrote in manuscript, before I became a very early user of Sibelius software.

Here are some examples of my symphonies.

Symphony No. 21 (2020)

Symphony No. 20 “The English Mystery”

Symphony no. 19 “Thalia”

Symphony no. 18 “The Consolations of Wandering” Op. 116 (2016)

This was a 90th birthday present for Eric Bennett, who conducted several of my choral works.

Symphony no. 17 “The Consolations of Music

Symphony no. 9 Op. 91 (2006)

The finale is an imaginary journey on a French narrow gauge line, the Vivarais.

Symphony no 10 “A Garden Symphony” Op. 97 (2008)

This was written for Wendy Davies, inspired by her design for a prayer garden.

Symphony no. 4 Op. 53 (1996)

This is probably the most complicated one. The finale is partly a tribute to Alma Cogan, though that might not be obvious.

Symphony no. 6 “A Song of Pilgrimage” Op. 70 (2000) 

This is a fragment of the rehearsal for this work for chamber group, two singers and kathak dancer.