Derek Bourgeois passes away

At approximately 3.40am on Wednesday 6 September, the prolific English composer, Derek Bourgeois, sadly lost his battle with cancer.

Having graduated with a first class honours degree and a subsequent Doctorate from Cambridge University, Derek was a former Lecturer in Music at Bristol University, Musical Director of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Director of Music of St Paul's Girls' School in London, Artistic Director of the Bristol Philharmonic Orchestra, Chairman of the Composers’ Guild of Great Britain, member of the Music Advisory Panel of the Arts Council, and conductor of the Sunlife Band.

A composition student of Herbert Howells, Derek wrote a considerable amount of music for television productions, but also composed 116 symphonies, 17 concertos, 7 major works for chorus and orchestra, 2 operas, a musical, a considerable quantity of chamber, vocal and instrumental music, 7 symphonies for symphonic wind orchestra and 15 extended works for brass band, including two Concerti, Concerto Grosso, Blitz, Diversions, The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, and Apocalypse.

Having retired to Mallorca in July 2002, Derek moved back to Dorset, England in the spring of 2009. Our thoughts are with his widow, Norma, born in the Philippines, educated in Hawaii and a former Administrator to the Vassar College Department of History for nearly forty years. A full tribute will appear in the next edition.

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