Edwin Roxburgh

Visiting Tutor, Guest Conductor

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

The diverse activities of performing, conducting and teaching have been constant motivations to Edwin Roxburgh’s principal profession, composing. Having won several prizes as a student, his professional work has been acknowledged in many awards such as the Cobbett Medal for Services to Chamber Music, a British Composers’ Award for his Elegy for Ur and an Elgar Trust Award for a BBC SO commission. His fellowships range from the Collard Fellowship to his position at the Royal College of Music (where he taught) as Vaughan Williams Fellow in Composition. Commissions have been constant throughout his life. They disclose a wide variety of stylistic characteristics from his BBC Prom commission, Montage to incidental music to the World About Us television series. Recordings of his music are on NMC, Naxos, Warehouse, Oboe Classics and Metier labels. His music is published by United Music Publishers, Ricordi and Maecenas.

Roxburgh’s work as an instrumentalist began with his appointment as principal oboist of Sadlers’ Wells Opera (now ENO). Subsequently he pursued a distinguished career as a virtuoso, establishing himself as a major interpreter of contemporary repertoire, giving the UK premieres of Berio’s Sequenza V11 and Holliger’s Cardiophonie. Many of his compositions reflect his research in multiphonics and other extended techniques, which demonstrate his significant contribution to the development of the oboe in the second half of the twentieth century. Whilst a member of the Menuhin Festival Orchestra he was co-author with Goossens of the Menuhin Music Guide ‘The Oboe’.

As a conductor he has premiered a vast number of works, originally with the Twentieth Century Ensemble of London, which he founded, and later with several of the principle orchestras of the UK. This was reflected in his role as teacher at the Royal College of Music until 2003, where he created a department of Twentieth Century Performance Study which included annual orchestral concerts of contemporary music which he conducted for BBC broadcasts. His contention is that all musicians have a responsibility towards the music of their own time and should give as much attention to it as to music of all periods. This is reflected in his choosing the Renaissance as his special subject when he was a Cambridge student.

Currently he is a visiting tutor and researcher at Birmingham Conservatoire.

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