Justin Connolly (1933-2020)

Justin Connolly (1933-2020)
© Alix MacSweeney

British composer and teacher Justin Connolly passed away on September 29th 2020 at the age of 87.

Born in London in 1933 and educated at Westminster School. He studied composition and conducting at the Royal College of Music, with Peter Racine Fricker and Sir Adrian Boult respectively. Whilst at the RCM he was awarded numerous prizes, including the Cobett prize. In 1963 he was awarded a Harkness Fellowship and studied at Yale University where he later taught. He returned to England in 1967, in which year he won the Clements Memorial Prize. Justin Connolly has since held the John Clementi Collard Fellowship of the Worshipful Company of Musicians 1983-1986, before his appointment to the staff of the Royal Academy of Music.

Connolly was a leading figure in modernist music in Britain throughout the 1960s and 70s, first with virtuosic chamber pieces that led to larger orchestral commissions for the likes of BBC Symphony Orchestra and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. His organ concerto Diaphony is one of this composer's most substantial works with the London premiere given at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in September 1978. Other key works include Nocturnal (1991), Spelt from Sybil's Leaves (1989), Anima (1974) and Tesserae C (1971).

The music of Justin Connolly is published by Novello.