Biography of

Nigel Butterley

13 may 1935 (Sydney) -
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Nigel Henry Cockburn Butterley AM (born 13 May 1935) is an Australian composer and pianist.

Life & Career

Butterley learnt to play the piano at the age of five. He attended Sydney Grammar School, but as music wasn't taught at the school at that time, he also sought training from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.[1] He then travelled abroad and spent a year in Europe. He studied with Priaulx Rainier in London.

After returning to Australia he composed his work Laudes in 1963. He won the Italia prize for his work In the Head the Fire in 1966. In 1967 he was the inaugural winner of the Albert H. Maggs Composition Award. He continued to compose through the proceeding decades, composing works for the Sydney Proms concerts such as Interaction for Artist and Orchestra, music performed while artist John Peart painted[2] and First Day Covers, a collaboration with Barry Humphries' character Dame Edna Everage .[3] Butterley went onto win the Paul Lowin Orchestral Prize in 2001.[4]

Butterley's compositions are strongly influenced by poetry, and are sometimes accompanied by recitation when performed. He composed a series of pieces inspired by the poetry of William Blake, and in more recent times has appreciated the work of Kathleen Raine.[5]

He lectured at the Newcastle Conservatorium from 1973 to 1991, and later at the Sydney Conservatorium. He has also broadcast programs on ABC Classic FM.

On 10 June 1991 Nigel Butterley was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), "in recognition of services to music".[6]

In 2007 the Sydney Chamber Choir commissioned a new work Beni Avshalom, which was completed almost fifty years after Butterley's frequently performed landmark choral work The True Samaritan.[7]


  1. ^ Birthday bash of note for Butterley, The Canberra Times, 17 September 2005
  2. ^ Mark O'Sullivan: The Biggest Mind Bending Event So Far, Sydney University Honours Thesis, 1994. p. 33
  3. ^ ibid, p. 44
  4. ^ Grace notes - Nigel Butterley, Composer, The Australian, 26 October 2001
  5. ^ Nigel Butterley, Profile
  6. ^ It's an Honour: AM
  7. ^

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Nigel Butterley. Allthough most Wikipedia articles provide accurate information accuracy can not be guaranteed.
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