Peter Wishart (composer)

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This article is about the English composer. For the Scottish MP and musician, see Pete Wishart.

Peter Charles Arthur Wishart (25 June 1921 – 14 August 1984) was an English composer. Wishart was born in Crowborough. He studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris from 1947-1948 and taught at the Guildhall School of Music, Birmingham University, King's College London and Reading University where he was Professor of Music from 1977. His compositions include several neo-classical operas, orchestral and chamber pieces, and a large amount of church music. Critics have commented on Wishart's strong and individual lyricism,[1] and his admiration for the music of Igor Stravinsky.

He was married to the mezzo-soprano singer Maureen Lehane, with whom he worked with at Reading University and lived with in Bridge House, near Frome, Somerset. His son by a previous marriage James Wishart is also a composer. After his death, Maureen began a music festival in his memory, the Great Elm Music Festival, and later the Jackdaws Music Education Trust. She died on December 27, 2010.

The family is unrelated to that of the composer Trevor Wishart.

His Music[edit]

His music is published by various publishing houses, including Banks Music Ltd., Stainer & Bell, Hinrichsen, OUP and Jackdaws Publications. His output was primarily as a vocal composer, writing songs and operas.



  • Two Shakespeare Songs for medium voice
  • Spider - Words by Lord de Taberly
  • The Jackdaw - arguably Wishart's most well known song, dedicated to his wife Maureen Lehane with words by William Cowper and completed on 27 January 1965, Hampstead.

See also[edit]