|This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2008)|
Born Timothy Andrew James Souster in Bletchley, Buckinghamshire, Souster was educated at Bedford Modern School (from 1952 through 1961) and New College, Oxford (from 1961 through 1964). His teachers included Bernard Rose, Sir David Lumsden and Egon Wellesz. In 1964, he attended summer courses at Darmstadt taught by Karlheinz Stockhausen, and took composition lessons with Richard Rodney Bennett the following year.
Before the end of 1965, Souster was a producer with the BBC Third Programme, and put on many performances of contemporary music by composers such as Boulez, Berio, Barraqué, Cardew, Feldman, Henze and Stockhausen. After leaving the BBC in 1967, he began to devote more time to composing and songwriting.
Foray in electronic music
In the late 1960s Souster began experimenting with electronics. His first acknowledged composition involving electronic techniques was Titus Groan Music (1969) for wind quintet, ring modulator, amplifiers and tape. In August of the same year he moved to King's College, Cambridge and formed a live-electronic group with Roger Smalley, Andrew Powell and Robin Thompson called Intermodulation. As well as compositions by Souster and Smalley, the group performed contemporary music by Cardew, Riley, Rzewski, Stockhausen and Wolff.
In 1971, Souster became a teaching assistant to Stockhausen in Cologne, and in 1973 he moved to Berlin where he remained for two years. In 1975, Souster returned to England, where he lived for the rest of his life, except for a six-month stint in California) in 1978. In the 1980s and 1990s he wrote music for film and television, including music for The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, including the main theme, which was a re-arrangement of Journey of the Sorcerer by The Eagles. His music for the BBC drama miniseries The Green Man, adapted from the Kingsley Amis novel and starring Albert Finney, won the BAFTA award for best TV music of 1990 (Griffiths 2001). During this period, Souster composed a large amount of concert music.
He wrote a number of important works for brass and electronics including; Equalisation (1980) for Equale Brass and Echoes (1990). His last completed work was La marche (1993), a brass quintet (Griffiths 2001).
- Griffiths, Paul. 2001. "Souster, Tim". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Publishers.