John Exton (composer)

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John Albert Exton (28 March 1933 – 13 September 2009) was a British composer of classical music.[1]

John Exton was born in Wolverton, and started to play the violin at the age of 11. In 1950 he became leader of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.[2] He started to read music at the King's College in Cambridge. In 1956 he won the Mendelssohn Scholarship[3] and studied with Luigi Dallapiccola in Florence for a year. After that he continued his studies in Cambridge with Robin Orr and Matyas Seiber.[4] He became Doctor in Music in 1963 and in the same year the director of music at Bedales School.

In 1966 John Exton followed an appointment as a senior lecturer at the University of Western Australia in Perth. He taught composition there until his retirement. Notable students of John Exton include Carl Vine,[5] Jennifer Fowler,[6] Ross Bolleter[7] or Stephen Benfall. He died in Perth, aged 76.

Compositions[edit]

  • 3 pieces, for oboe (1955, rev. 1961)
  • Dialogues, for 2 violins (1957)
  • Partita for string quartet (1957)
  • 3 simple pieces, for piano (1961)
  • 6 caprices, for violin (1961)
  • String trio (1961)
  • Variations for piano (1961)
  • Concertante for piano and five instruments (1961)
  • Fantasy for violin and piano (1961)
  • String quartet No.2 (1961)
  • Movements for orchestra (1964)
  • The story of Christ's nativity according to St. Luke, for narrators, singers and instruments (1965)
  • 2 Psalms and a Homily, for choir and organ (1966)
  • Wind quintet (1967)
  • String quartet No.3 (1969)
  • Breathing space, electro-acoustic work (1972)
  • String quartet No.4 with electronics (1972)
  • String quartet No.5 (1972)
  • Ryoanji, for 40 strings and percussion (1973)
  • String quartet No.6 (1974)
  • Give or take a few db, for piano (1975)
  • String quartet No.7 (1975)
  • Cantio obliqua, for violin (1993)
  • 3 pieces for organ "Contrapuncti“
  • In memoriam Joseph Haydn, for baritone and string quartet

References[edit]

  1. ^ obituary, found at: ozartsreview.hostingsuccess.com/1299/john-exton-an-appreciation
  2. ^ obituary, found at: ozartsreview.hostingsuccess.com/1299/john-exton-an-appreciation
  3. ^ news.mendelssohn-schol.com/newsarchive.aspx
  4. ^ obituary, found at: ozartsreview.hostingsuccess.com/1299/john-exton-an-appreciation
  5. ^ Gordon Kerry (2008): New Classical Music: Composing Australia. University of New South Wales Press. p.148
  6. ^ Stephen Pleskun (2012): A Chronological History of Australian Composers and Their Compositions, volume 2. Xlibris.[self-published source]
  7. ^ interview with Ross Bolleter, see: http://musicguy247.typepad.com/my-blog/ross-bolleter-ruined-pianos/