James Wishart (1956-2018)

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James Wishart (1956-2018)

James Wishart was a composer, lecturer, pianist and conductor, and a writer on music.

He was on the music staff at the University from 1980 until 2013 with the principle responsibility for the teaching of composition. His musical education was at the Universities of Oxford (Worcester College) and Surrey. He was also active as a promoter of new music concerts in the North-West region. He suffered a serious stroke in Autumn 2013 from which he never fully recovered.

As a composer, James wrote in a wide range of different genres encompassing orchestral works (such as St.Kilda Song, performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra); piano music (King Arthur: his funerall music); chamber music (Shiva Dances, Topologies of Sound and Silence); music theatre (Nornagest) and a number of works including an electronic component (...between...).

His more recent works include chamber music based on the Orpheus legend (Orpheus with his lyre), choral music (Le chant d’Ophielie, after Berlioz), and The Punishment of Lust, for solo soprano and large ensemble based on a painting by Giovanni Segantini, performed by Emma Morwood and Ensemble 10/10. The 23 Songs for a Madwoman was premiered by Louise Ashcroft and the RLPO 10/10 ensemble conducted by Clark Rundell in October 2016 to great acclaim and received a second performance in November 2017 at the University’s Lunchtime Concert Series. A further performance is scheduled at the Liverpool Philharmonic in 2019.

James’ funeral will take place at 15.30 on Monday 23 April at Springwood Crematorium, Springwood Avenue, Garston, Liverpool, L25 7UN.