Classical Music on the Web

Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

BUXTON ORR (1924 - 1997)

The death of Buxton Orr was announced on December 27th 1997 Obituary

The Works of Buxton Orr
The Music of Buxton Orr by Gary Higginson
Review of the Piano trios by Gary Higginson

CD review

Buxton ORR (1924-97) Tournament for 10 Piece Brass Ensemble (1985) Trombone Concerto (1971) Narration for Symphonic Wind Orchestra (1993) A Caledonian Suite (1980) Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama Wind Orchestra and Academy Brass/Bryan Allen and Nigel Boddice Rec. 2002. DDD DOYEN DOYCD118 [68:58] [CT]

Four contrasting works for brass and symphonic wind band by a composer who deserves to be better represented in the catalogue see Full Review


Born in Glasgow (1924), Buxton Orr gave up a career in medicine to study with Benjamin Frankel (early 1950s). First professional work in films (Karloff horrors, Suddenly Last Summer) and theatre (Flowering Cherry).

Joined the Guildhall School of Music & Drama (1965), founded its New Music Ensemble (1975). 1970-80 conducted the London Jazz Composers' Orchestra touring England and Europe. Composer-in-Residence, Banff, Canada (1985), awarded the Seagrams Prize by the American National Music Theatre Network (1988).

Later his compositions included songs, chamber music, works for brass and wind band, orchestral music and a one-act opera The Wager staged by the New Opera Company at Sadler's Wells in 1961 and subsequently broadcast. In 1965 he joined the staff of the Guildhall School of Music &

Drama and in 1975 founded the Guildhall New Music Ensemble. Between 1970 and 1980 he was the conductor of the London Jazz Composers' Orchestra, touring England and Europe and taking part in the 1972 Berlin Jazz Festival.

He has received commissions from Glasgow University, the Saltire Society, the Park Lane Group, the BBC (1979 Bath Festival), Radio Scotland, the City of London Festival and Merseyside Arts.

His interest in music theatre led to his writing Unicorn, The Last Circus, and Ring in the New, the latter during his period as Composer-in-Residence and Associate Director of the Music Theatre Studio Ensemble at the Banff Centre for Fine Arts in Canada, and for which he and Michael Bawtree were awarded the Seagrams Prize of the American National Theatre Network in 1988.

Compositions in all media, especially Brass and Wind Band (A John Gay Suite) and opera (The Wager, Sadlers' Wells 1961).

Commissions from Glasgow University, the Saltire Society, the Park Lane Group, BBC, Radio Scotland, City of London and Merseyside Arts.

Prepared the full score of Frankel's Marching Song (in vocal score at his death) and supplied analytic notes for the complete CDs of Frankel's works by CPO.

In 1990 he gave up regular teaching to devote more time to composition and moved to the Wye Valley.

All enquiries to:
E D Kennaway,
218a Finchley Rd,
London NW3 6DH.
( 0171 435 2897. Fax 0171 419 2404.

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