Bayan Northcott

Bayan Northcott was born in Harrow-on-the Hill in 1940 and read English at Oxford, teaching the subject for six years before turning to writing on music and, later still, to composition. He was music critic successively of the New Statesman (1973-76), the Sunday Telegraph (1976-86) and The Independent (1986-2009) and has written for a wide variety of other publications. A selection of his articles entitled The Way We Listen Now, edited by Christopher Wintle (Plumbago/ Boydell) was published in 2009. For many years he was a frequent broadcaster on music on BBC Radio 3, while serving on the SPMN and the Holst Foundation, and between 1992 and 2010 he was also a director of NMC.  

He was a late starter as a composer and, apart from a one-year B.Mus. undertaken at 30, self-taught – though greatly encouraged by Hans Keller, Alexander Goehr and Oliver Knussen, among others. His music was later featured in a Composer Portrait concert during the 1994 Aldeburgh Festival and a Philharmonia Music of Today programme in 2004. Of his modest catalogue, his Fantasia for Guitar (1982) has been recorded by David Starobin and Antonis Hatzinikolaou and his Hymn to Cybele (1983) has been thrice broadcast by the BBC Singers – the third time as part of the 2010 BBC Proms - while his Sextet (1985) was premiered by The Fires of London. His Ave Regina Celorum (1997), the third of his Four Votive Antiphons (1997-2003), was commissioned by Gothic Voices; his Concerto for Horn and Ensemble (1998) was premiered in New York by Speculum Musicae and in England by The London Symphonietta and his Concerto for Orchestra (2016), commissioned by the BBC, was first performed by the BBC SO under Simone Young during the 2016 Proms. 

Though now in his ninth decade, he continues to hope that his best efforts are yet to come… 

Biography

Bayan Northcott was born in Harrow-on-the Hill in 1940 and read English at Oxford, teaching the subject for six years before turning to writing on music and, later still, to composition. He was music critic successively of the New Statesman (1973-76), the Sunday Telegraph (1976-86) and The Independent (1986-2009) and has written for a wide variety of other publications. A selection of his articles entitled The Way We Listen Now, edited by Christopher Wintle (Plumbago/ Boydell) was published in 2009. For many years he was a frequent broadcaster on music on BBC Radio 3, while serving on the SPMN and the Holst Foundation, and between 1992 and 2010 he was also a director of NMC.  

He was a late starter as a composer and, apart from a one-year B.Mus. undertaken at 30, self-taught – though greatly encouraged by Hans Keller, Alexander Goehr and Oliver Knussen, among others. His music was later featured in a Composer Portrait concert during the 1994 Aldeburgh Festival and a Philharmonia Music of Today programme in 2004. Of his modest catalogue, his Fantasia for Guitar (1982) has been recorded by David Starobin and Antonis Hatzinikolaou and his Hymn to Cybele (1983) has been thrice broadcast by the BBC Singers – the third time as part of the 2010 BBC Proms - while his Sextet (1985) was premiered by The Fires of London. His Ave Regina Celorum (1997), the third of his Four Votive Antiphons (1997-2003), was commissioned by Gothic Voices; his Concerto for Horn and Ensemble (1998) was premiered in New York by Speculum Musicae and in England by The London Symphonietta and his Concerto for Orchestra (2016), commissioned by the BBC, was first performed by the BBC SO under Simone Young during the 2016 Proms. 

Though now in his ninth decade, he continues to hope that his best efforts are yet to come… 

Compilations with this composer

Compilations
Sound Census CD Cover

Endymion: Sound Census

NMC Recordings

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The NMC Songbook

The NMC Songbook

NMC Recordings

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Music of Memory

Music of Memory

NMC Recordings

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Mary Wiegold's Songbook

Mary Wiegold's Songbook

NMC Recordings

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