Edward Gregson

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Edward Gregson
Born (1945-07-23) 23 July 1945 (age 74)
Sunderland, England
Alma materRoyal Academy of Music
EmployerRoyal Northern College of Music (Principal, 1996–2008)
TelevisionTitle music to BBC's Young Musician of the Year

Edward Gregson (born 23 July 1945),[1] is an English composer of instrumental and choral music, particularly for brass and wind bands and ensembles, as well as music for the theatre, film, and television. He was also principal of the Royal Northern College of Music.

Early life & education[edit]

He was born in Sunderland, England, in 1945. He studied composition (with Alan Bush) and piano at the Royal Academy of Music from 1963–7, winning five prizes for composition.


In 1988 he was nominated for an Ivor Novello award for his title music to BBC Television's Young Musician of the Year programmes, for which he also regularly officiated as a jury member and broadcaster.

He was Principal of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester from 1996–2008. There he faced criticism for the appointment of Malcolm Layfield, previously a violin teacher at the College, to the post of Head of Strings, despite Gregson's knowledge of allegations that Layfield had a history of sexual misconduct against students.[2]

In 2008 he retired from academic life to concentrate on his composition.

He has since completed orchestral commissions for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Bournemouth Symphony, the Hallé and the BBC Philharmonic orchestras. In 2014, the North American Brass Band Association honored both Edward Gregson and his brother Bramwell Gregson (best known for his conducting work with the London Citadel Band and Canada's Brassroots, modelled on the Philip Jones brass tentet). Each section's required test piece was composed by Edward Gregson.

He continues to sit on a number of Boards relating to music education and the music industry. He is a fellow at the RNCM, as well as at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music.


His music has been performed by many orchestras and ensembles worldwide, including in the UK: the London Symphony Orchestra and all the BBC orchestras; in the USA: Detroit, Louisville and Albany (New York); in the Far East: Tokyo Philharmonic and China National Broadcasting Orchestra; and in Europe: orchestras in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Scandinavia.

A major retrospective of his music was held in Manchester in 2002.


Chandos have released three complete discs of works by Gregson:

Several CDs of his music for brass have been recorded by various groups on the Doyen label:

  • Gregson Volume 1 (DOY CD 017) Desford Colliery Caterpillar Band, circa 1992
    • Dances and Arias
    • Concerto for French Horn and Brass Band (w. Frank Lloyd, horn)
    • Connotations
    • Of Men and Mountains
  • Gregson 2
  • Gregson 3
  • Gregson 4 The Trumpets of the Angels
  • Halle Brass plays Gregson
  • Edward Gregson Wind Music
  • Gregson 5 Symphony



  1. ^ "Birthdays". The Guardian. Guardian Media. 23 July 2014. p. 31.
  2. ^ "Correspondence over appointment of Malcolm Layfield at Royal Northern College of Music". Guardian. London. 8 February 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2013.

External links[edit]