Classical Music on the Web

Music Webmaster Len Mullenger


b. 1936 London England


ANTHONY PAYNE read Music at Durham University, after which he began a freelance career as a writer on music, reviewing regularly for publications such as The Times and The Daily Telegraph. As a composer, he first came to wider public attention with his PHOENIX MASS for chorus and brass ensemble, performed by the BBC Singers and the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble, and commissions for various chamber groups swiftly followed. His CONCERTO FOR ORCHESTRA was chosen for the ISCM World Music Days in Boston, USA in 1976, and BBC commissions have included 2 major orchestral works for the Proms (THE SPIRIT'S HARVEST, 1985, and TIME'S ARROW, 1990) as well as the STRING QUARTET ( 1978 ) and EMPTY LANDSCAPE - HEART'S EASE, composed for Fairest Isle Year ( 1995 ).

He has also had works premiered by the Halle and English Chamber Orchestras, and an extensive catalogue of choral and chamber works includes pieces performed by such groups as the BBC Singers, New London Singers, Joyful Company of Singers, the Chilingirian and Medici String Quartets and the Nash, Endymion, Fires of London, Capricorn, Lontano and Spectrum Ensembles, as well as by the outstanding young ensemble
which he and his wife, the soprano JANE MANNING
, formed in 1988. His work is regularly heard in London, and at leading Festivals, such as Aldeburgh, Cheltenham and Spitalfields, and has also been much performed abroad, especially in the USA and Canada, Australia and Scandinavia. Several of his works, including TIME'S ARROW
are currently available on compact disc, and a disc of chamber works will be released in the Summer of 1998. His most recent work, a Piano Trio
, was premiered at the Wigmore Hall in April 1998.

February 1998 saw the premiere, by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Andrew Davis, of his realization of ELGAR'S 3RD SYMPHONY, rapturously received by Press and public, and the subject of unprecedented media attention world-wide. The compact disc issued by NMC Recordings has been enjoying exceptional sales, and UK performances in the near future will be at the Royal Albert Hall Proms (to be televised), and in Birmingham, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Bristol and Manchester, as well as the Barbican Centre, with orchestras including the LSO, Halle, Bournemouth and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestras. In November 1998 the Philadelphia Orchestra will give the US premiere under Andrew Davis, and this will be followed in March 1999 by performances by the Chicago Symphony (A. Davis) and National Symphony Orchestra (Slatkin) in Chicago, Washington and New York (Carnegie Hall) . The work will also be heard in Bergen, Ljubljana, St. Petersburg, Liege and Brussels. And at Cheltenham and Malvern Festivals in the coming year.

He continues to write on musical topics: his books on SCHOENBERG (OUP) and
FRANK BRIDGE (Thames) are still available.. He currently reviews for The Independent, Country Life and BBC Magazine, and is much in demand as a broadcaster and lecturer. He has been Darius Milhaud Professor at Mills College, Oakland, Visiting Composition Tutor at The New South Wales Conservatorium and at the University of Western Australia, and given classes at Cornell, Yale, Princeton, Rice, Stanford and USC, as well as at many of the leading conservatories and Universities in the UK and Australia, and he has given workshops in Sweden and Finland, as well as at Dartington International Summer School.. His book about the ELGAR 3 experience will be published by Faber & Faber in August 1998.

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Time's Arrow BBCSO/Andrew Davis NMC D037S purchase

Symphonies of Wind and Rain, The song streams in the firmament, Evening land, Paraphrases and Cadenzas, A day in the life of a mayfly, Jane Manning (sop), Dov Goldberg (cl), Owen Gordon (va), Dominic Saunders (pf) Jane's Minstrels/Roger Montgomery NMCD056 purchase

ELGAR Symphony No 3 elaborated by Anthony Payne BBCSO/Andrew Davis NMCD053 purchase

ELGAR The sketches for the Third Symphony commentary by Anthony Payne NMCD052 [69.30] purchase



Contrapuncti (1955 revised 1979)
solo string quartet/strings

Concerto for Orchestra (1974)
first performance S January 1975
New London Ensemble conducted by
Richard Bradshaw
Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

Song of the Clouds (1979/8O)
First performance 29 June 1980
Orchestra of St John's Smith Square
with Sarah Francis (oboe)
conducted by John Lubbock
Cheltenham Festival

Spring's Shining Wake (1980/81)
First performance 21 December 1983
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
conducted by Michael Lankester
BBC Radio 3 Broadcast

Songs and Seascapes (1984)
First performance 6 June 1984
Divertimenti String Orchestra
conducted by Peter Broadbent
St John's Smith Square, London

The Spirit's Harvest (1985)
Commissioned by the BBC for European Music Year
First performance 31 July 1985
BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted
by Elgar Howarth in the Royal Albert Hall, London
BBC Promenade Concert

Suite from a Forgotten Ballet (1955, revised 1986)
Recorded on 1 February l989 for broadcast on Radio 3
BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Ashley Lawrence

Half-Heard in the Stillness (1987)

Commissioned by Loughborough University
of Technology for their 21st anniversary
First performance 1 7 September 1987
Halle Orchestra conducted by Bryden Thomson
Assembly Rooms, Derby

Time's Arrow (1990)

Commissioned by the BBC for the Promenade Concerts
First performance 24 July 1990
BBC Symphony Oi'chestra conducted by Andrew Davis
Royal Albert Hall, London

Orchestral Variations (1994)
'The Seeds Long Hidden'

Fire on Whaleness (1994) 14'
for concert band arrranged from original version for brass band (1976)
Commissioned by the York Festival
First performance by the Grimethorpe Band, conducted by Elgar Howarth in Selby Abbey on 25 June 1976.
UYMP 0115


Fire on Whaleness (1976)
First performance 25 June 1976
Grimethorpe Colliery Band
conducted by Elgar Howarth
Selby Abbey, York Festival

Fanfares and Processional (1986)
Commissioned by the London Brass Ensemble
First performance 19 September 1986
London Brass Ensemble
Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

Echoes of Courtly Love (1987)
Firstperformance 13 May1988
London Brass Ensemble
Wigmore Hall, London


Paraphrases and Cadenzas (1969, revised 1979)
First performance 20 November 1969
Clifton Ensemble
Conway Hall, London

Sonatas and Ricercars (1970)
First complete performance 28 May 1974
Twentieth Century Ensemble of London
BBC Radio 3 Broadcast

String Quartet (1978)
First performance 4 December 1978
Chilingirian String Quartet
St John's Smith Square, London

The Stones and Lonely Places Sing (1979)
First performance 2 September 1979
Nash Ensemble conducted by Mark Elder
Round House, London
BBC Promenade Concerts

A Day in the Life of a Mayfly (1981)
First performance 25 September 1981
Fires of London conducted by John Carewe
Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

The Song Streams in the Firmament (1986)
Commissioned by Spectrum
First performance 19 April 1986
Spectrum conducted by Guy Protheroe
Cathedral Church of St John the Divine -New York

Consort Music (1987)
Commissioned by the Medici String Quartet
First performance 27 July 1987
Medici String Quartet with Brian Hawkins (viola)
Music School, West Road, Cambridge
Cambridge Festival

Sea-Change (1988)
flute/clarinet/harp/string quartet
Commissioned by the Nash Ensemble
First performance 12 June 1988
Nash Ensemble conducted by Lionel Friend
Union Chapel, lslington
Almeida Festival

Symphonies of Wind and Rain (1991)
Empty Landscape - Heart's Ease (1995)

Engines and Islands (1996) 14'
for fl cl vln va pno perc
Commissioned by the Contemporary Music Ensemble of Wales
First performance at the Welsh College of Music and Drama, conducted by Gordon Downie, on 26 March 1996.
UYMP 0117

Piano Trio (1988) 14'
Commissioned by the Lake Piano Trio
First performance performed by Lake Piano Trio at the Wigmore Hall in April 1988



Phoenix Mass (1965/72)
First performance 2 October 1973
BBC Singers and the Philip Jones Brass
conducted by John Poole
BBC Radio 3 Broadcast

Two Songs Without Words (1970)
First performance 4 February 1971
Baccholian Singers
Purcell Room, London

A Little Passiontide Cantata (1974, revised 1984)
First performance 22 March 1976
BBC Singers conducted by John Poole
St John's Smith Square, London

First Sight of Her and After (1975)
Text by Thomas Hardy
First performance 11 December 1975
John Alldis Choir conducted by John AlIdis
Wigmore Hall, London

First Sight of Her and After (chamber version for Jane's Minstrels)
First performance 27 April 1989
Jane's Minstrels conducted by Peter Ashe
Purcell Room, London

The World's Winter (1976)
soprano & flute(d piccolo)/oboe/clarinet
First performance 4 July 1976
Nash Ensemble with Jane Manning (soprano)
conducted by Lionel Friend
Cheltenham Festival

The Sea of Glass (1977)
First performance 2 July 1977
BBC Singers with John Clough (organ)
conducted by John Poole
St Albans Abbey

A Little Ascensiontide Cantata(1977, revised 1984)
First performance 29 August 1978
Three Cathedrals Choir conducted by Donald Hunt
Three Choirs Festival

A Little Whitsuntide Cantata (1977, revised 1984)
First performance 29 August 1978
Three Cathedrals Choir conducted by
Donald Hunt
Three Choirs Festival

Evening Land (1981)
Soprano and piano
First performance 4 April 1981
Jane Manning (soprano)
John McCabe (piano)
Assembly House, Norwich

A Little Christmastide Cantata (1983)
written for the BBC Singers
First performance 2 March 1985
BBC Singers conducted by John Poole
BBC Radio 3 Broadcast

Alleluias and Hockets (1987)
based on Machaut's 'Hoquetus David'
2 trumpets/3 trombones
Commissioned by the South Bank Board
for the Summerscope Festival
First performance 3 September 1987
Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

Adlestrop (1989)
Text by Edward Thomas, for soprano and piano
First performance 10 June 1989
Jane Manning (soprano) and
Dominic Saunders (piano)
Leiston Church
  Aldeburgh Festival

Break, break, break (1996) 5'
for SATB
Commissioned by the Cheltenham and Spitalfields Festivals
First performance by Trinity College Choir, Cambridge, conducted by Richard Marlow in July 1996.
UYMP 0116

From the Woodlanders (1999) 18'
for soprano, 2 clts, vln and cello.
Words by Thomas Hardy
Commissioned by Keele University
First performance by Jane Manning and Jane's'trels, conducted by Roger Montgomery at Keele University on 8 November 1999.


Betwixt Heaven and Charing Cross (2001)
for SATB choir
Words by Francis Thompson.
Commissioned by the Musician's Benevolent Fund for the Festival of St. Cecilia
First performance at Westminster Abbey by the joint choirs of Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral and St Paul's Cathedral, directed by James O'Donnell, 21 November 2001.



Paean (1971)
First performance 9 December 1971
Susan Bradshaw (piano)
Conway Hall, London

Footfalls Echo in the Memory (1978)
First performance 22 August 1980
Erich Gruenberg (violin) and John McCabe (piano)
Three Choirs Festival

Miniature Variations on a Theme of E.L. (1980)
First performance 6 March 1981
Michael Finnissy (piano)
British Music Information Centre, London

Reflections in the Sea of Glass (1983)
Solo organ

A 1940's Childhood (1987)
Commissioned by Clive Conway and
Gerald Garcia
First performance 10 April 1987
Clive Conway (flute) and Gerald Garcia (guitar)
Wigmore Hall, London

A 1940's Childhood (arranged 1989)
First performance 19 February 1989
Judith Hall (flute) and Elinor Bennett (harp)
Wigmore Hall, London

Amid the Winds of Evening (1988)
Commissioned by OUP New Music '88
First performance 26 April 1989
Paul Silverthorne (viola)
British Music Information Centre, London

The Enchantress Plays (1990)
For Bassoon & Piano

Hommage to Debussy - Study in 4ths and Tritones (1988) 6'
Commissioned by Stephen Gutman
First performance in the Purcell Room on 26 May 1998

Of Knots and Skeins (2000) 12'
Commissioned by Fenella Barton for violin and piano
First performance by Fenella Barton (violin) and Simone Dimmerstein at the Purcell Room on 2 November 2000.


Additional Information can be obtained from the Publisher
Chester Music 8/9 Frtith Street London W1V 5TZ

and University of York Music Press
T/F: +44 20 8291 6694
48 Woolstone Road
London SE23 2SG

Reg Williamson Norwich Music Society June 1998 updated 2001

  see also:

  Elgar 3: Whose Symphony is it? by David Wright

  Ancestral Voices by Arthur Butterworth

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