Edward Gregson is an English composer of international standing, whose music has been performed, broadcast, and recorded worldwide. 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. Since then he has worked solely to commission and has written orchestral, chamber, instrumental and choral music, as well as music for the theatre, film, and television.
Edward Gregson was Principal of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester from 1996–2008, when he retired from academic life to concentrate on his composition. 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.
In recent years he has completed orchestral commissions for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Bournemouth Symphony, the Hallé and the BBC Philharmonic orchestras. His music has also been performed by many other 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, Holland, Luxembourg, and Scandinavia.
He has made a major contribution to the repertoire of brass and wind bands and ensembles including for brass: Connotations (1977), Dances and Arias (1984), Of Men and Mountains (1991), The Trumpets of the Angels (2000) and Rococo Variation (2008); and for wind: Festivo (1985), Celebration (1990), The Sword and the Crown (1996), Concerto for Piano and Wind (1997), and The Kings Go Forth (1998).
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. A major retrospective of his music was held in Manchester in 2002 which coincided with the release of a CD of his orchestral music (including the clarinet and violin concertos) on the Chandos label. This disc, with the BBC Philharmonic under Martyn Brabbins, received wide critical acclaim, and in 2008 another CD of his concertos (those for trumpet, piano, and saxophone) was released on the same label. A third volume of his concertos, including his recent cello concerto and the trombone concerto, was recorded in March 2010.
Chandos have released two complete discs of concertos by Gregson:
Several CDs of his music for brass have been recorded by various groups on the Doyen label;
- Gregson 1
- Gregson 2
- Gregson 3
- Gregson 4 The Trumpets of the Angels
- Halle Brass plays Gregson
- Edward Gregson Wind Music