About the Composer

 

Garry Wilkinson (FTCL, FRAS, FBIS, LTCL, BSc Hons, BA, GradInstP) is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning composer. He has more than 200 musical works published by Trinity/FaberTCL PressRIAMForton Music and UMP Ltd. He composes in many genres, including solo instrumental, solo voice, choir, bands, educational, chamber ensemble, orchestra and music theatre. Music archives are in the New York Public Library, USA, and the Katalog der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek, Germany.

Awards

Wilkinson is a highly accomplished composer who has received numerous awards and accolades for his work. He is a Fellow of Composition from Trinity College of Music in London and has won several prestigious prizes in the UK and abroad. In 1986, he won first prize in the UK’s Six Counties Composition Competition for Orchestral Music and was awarded a performance by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. In 2013, his work was featured in the Call-for-Scores programme of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s Chamber Ensemble, Kokoro. In 2017, he was the first prize recipient in the Busan Maru International Music Festival Competition for Orchestral Composition held in South Korea. Wilkinson also received the Honourable Mention Award in the Ravel International Orchestral Composition Competition, Milan (2018), and most recently, he won first prize in the Inaugural West Wicklow Festival Composition Competition (2021).

Education

A founding student member of Margo Fagan’s Young Music Makers, the Centre for Young Musicians, Wilkinson further studied with the London Schools’ Symphony Orchestra and Trinity College of Music in London. He pursued a degree in composition at the University of London, studying under Felicity Young and Madge Musgrave, and also studied Piano with Christine Croshaw, and the Trombone with George Maxted, earning a Licentiateship (LTCL) in performance and teaching, and Fellowship (FTCL) in music composition. Later studies in music composition continued under the supervision of John Hall at the Royal Academy of Music and Edwin Roxburgh at the Royal College of Music in London.

Notable Performances

From 1987 to 1998, Wilkinson composed music for various outstanding drama productions at London’s Cockpit Theatre, Sherborne Castle, and Powell Theatre. The esteemed oboist Elizabeth Jacoby commissioned and performed Wilkinson’s Cor Anglais Sonata. Remarkably, three of Wilkinson’s compositions were performed by the renowned Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, under the batons of Richard Hickox, Patrick Shelley, and Maxime Tortelier. Wilkinson’s orchestral works for youth debuted in the UK to high praise, conducted by Ian Davies.

Wilkinson’s Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, featuring the renowned flautist, Karen Evans, was introduced in 1997, commissioned by Owen Clarke and the Sherborne Community Orchestra. His second symphony received its premiere at St. John’s, Smith Square, London in 1998, earning critical acclaim.

Additionally, Wilkinson crafted a two-act musical theatre work that debuted in June 2000, now available on Compact Disc. In 2009, his Fanfare for Band was commissioned and conducted by the distinguished Vivienne Sands in New Zealand. The piece ‘Citadel of Light’ had its Irish premiere in 2021, performed by Phoebe White (Violin) and Peter Regan (Piano), and is published by UMP Ltd.

In 2023, Wilkinson’s popular piano composition was showcased at the Eisteddfod festival in Wales and broadcast on S4C Television. Four piano works were performed as test pieces in the 2017 Grieg International Piano Competition for young musicians, live-streamed from Oslo, Norway. These pieces are included in Wilkinson’s album, 24 Piano Pieces in Diverse Styles, Piano Portraits, and ‘A Recital Anthology’ (TCL Press). Notably, Wilkinson is the sole living composer featured in the anthology covering three centuries of piano music, an extraordinary honour.

Educational Compositions

Wilkinson’s compositions for Solo Piano have gained popularity as examination repertoire at various grades and diploma levels. These include Grade 1 (2022), Grade 4 (2009), Grade 6 (2015 & 2021), and Solo Piano ATCL, Associate Recital Diploma (2021) and LTCL, Licentiate Recital Diploma (2024). Additionally, Wilkinson’s examination repertoire includes the complete Concerto for Flute and OrchestraSonata for Cor Anglais and Piano, the Legende de l’Oiseau Bleu, and Citadel of Light, both latter pieces for Solo Violin with Piano. Wilkinson’s educational pieces are in the syllabuses of Trinity College London music examinations published by TCL Press, Trinity/Faber and the Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM), together with ten pieces for Brass (2019), eleven pieces for Strings (2020) and six pieces for Woodwind (2023).

Performer, Conductor, Teacher and Examiner

The composer is also an accomplished trombonist and an all-round musician who has performed with renowned music ensembles such as the Glyndebourne Opera, Dorset Opera, the John Wilbraham Brass Ensemble, the Bournemouth Sinfonietta, and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. He has also conducted the Sherborne Community Orchestra and Sherborne Schools Symphony Orchestra for several years. He conducted the world premiere of the second symphony at St. John’s, Smith Square in London. He has taught individually and at several schools and colleges, including those of special needs, and many of his former students are now professional musicians and composers. Additionally, he is an international examiner and was awarded the UK’s Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) 2019 Award for services to examining. Wilkinson sits on the Arts Council of Ireland as a peer panellist.

Publications and Affiliations

TCL Press, RIAM, Forton Music, and UMP Ltd. publish Wilkinson’s music, with many works available in print and as eBooks from Forton Music and Amazon. His collaboration with the illustrator Amori produces many fun and enthralling works for younger musicians. He is a registered composer with the Performing Rights Society including works archived in the New York Public Library, USA, and the Katalog der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek, Germany.

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