Martin Dalby

1942 - 2018



Martin Dalby was born in Aberdeen in 1942. He was educated at Aberdeen Grammar School and in 1960 he won a Foundation Scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London where he studied composition with Herbert Howells and viola with Frederick Riddle. In 1963 the Octavia Prize and a Sir James Caird Travelling Scholarship enabled him to spend two years in Italy where, besides, he played the viola in a professional chamber orchestra. In 1965 he was appointed as a music producer to the BBC's newly formed Music Programme (later to be Radio 3). In 1971 he became the Cramb Research Fellow in Composition at the University of Glasgow and in 1972 he returned to the BBC as Head of Music, Scotland. In 1991 he relinquished this post in order to pursue a more creative role. In 1993 he retired from the BBC and now composes full time.

Martin Dalby has written a large amount of music: for orchestra; for chorus; for brass bands and wind bands; for the church; many songs and song cycles, and chamber music ranging from duos and trios to octets and nonets. Most of it has been commissioned: from festivals such as Edinburgh, Cheltenham, Cardiff, Orkney and Peterborough, or from orchestras and ensembles. His music has been performed widely throughout the world notably at such festivals as the Warsaw Autumn Festival and the 1991 Henry Wood Proms in London for which he wrote The Mary Bean for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. This composer has a profound interest in Scotland - he produced BBC Radio Scotland's massive Radio History, Scotland's Music a few years ago for which he won a Sony award.Martin Dalby is currently the Chairman of the Composers' Guild of Great Britain.


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