Bush, Geoffrey, English composer and teacher; b. London, March 23, 1920; d. there, Feb. 24, 1998. He received training in composition from Ireland and then pursued his education at Balliol Coll., Oxford (B.Mus., 1940; D.Mus., 1946). After lecturing in the extra-mural dept. at the Univ. of Oxford (1947–52), he tutored in the extra-mural dept. at the Univ. of London (1952–80), where he subsequently served as music consultant (1984–87). He also was a visiting prof, at King’s Coll., Univ. of London (1969–89). In 1957 he was chairman of the Composers Guild of Great Britain. He ed. works for Musica Britannica and for the collected edition of El-gar’s works. He publ. Musical Creation and the Listener (London, 1954; rev. 1967), Left, Right and Centre: Reflections on Composers and Composing (London, 1983), and An Unsentimental Education and Other Musical Recollections (London, 1990). His works were written in an engaging neo- Classical style.
DRAMATIC: The Blind Beggar’s Daughter, opera (1952; rev. 1964); If the Cap Fits, opera (Cheltenham, July 12, 1956); The Equation, opera (1967; BBC Radio, Feb. 7, 1976); Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime, theater piece (1972; BBC Radio, July 27, 1986); The Cat who went to Heaven, music theater (1974); Love’s Labours Lost, opera (1988). orch.:Natus est Immanuel for Strings (1939); Rhapsody for Clarinet and Strings (1940; also for Clarinet and String Quartet or Piano); The Spanish Rivals, overture (1941); Divertimento for Strings (1943); Sinfonietta Concertante for Cello and Small Orch. (1943; BBC, Sept. 28, 1945); In Praise of Salisbury (1944); The Rehearsal, overture (1945); Concerto for Oboe and Strings (1948); 2 Miniatures for Strings (1948); Yorick, overture (1949); Concertino No. 1 for Piano and Orch. (1953; London, Feb. 11, 1961); 2 syms.: No. 1 (Cheltenham, July 8, 1954) and No. 2, The Guilford (1957); Concerto for Light Orch. (1958); Hornpipe for St. Cecilia’s Day (Birmingham, Nov. 22, 1960); Old London, suite for Concert Band (1961); Concerto for Trumpet, Piano, and Strings (1962; London, Dec. 16, 1963); Finale for a Concert (1964); Music (1967); Consort Music: 6 Victorian Sketches for Strings (1987). chamber: Violin Sonata (1945; BBC, Oct. 31, 1949); Trio for Oboe, Bassoon, and Piano (Canterbury, Nov. 18, 1952); Dialogue for Oboe and Piano (London, March 25, 1960); Homage to Matthew Locke for 3 Trumpets and 3 Trombones (1962); Wind Quintet (1963); Concertino No. 2 for Piano and 12 Players (1976); Tributes: 5 Respectful Pieces for Clarinet and Piano (1986); Pavans and Galliards for Wind Quintet (1992); piano pieces; organ music. vocal:A Christmas Cantata for Soprano, Chorus, Oboe, and Strings (1947); A Summer Serenade for Tenor, Chorus, Piano, Timpani, and Strings (1948); Twelfth Night, an Entertainment for Tenor, Chorus, and Chamber Orch. (1950); Farewell, Earth’s Bliss for Baritone and String Quartet or String Orch. (1950); In Praise of Mary for Soprano, Chorus, and Orch. (Hereford, Sept. 7, 1955); Songs of Wonder for High Voice and Piano or String Orch. (1959); A Lover’s Progress for Tenor, Oboe, Clarinet, and Bassoon (London, April 26, 1961); Cantata Piccola for Baritone, Chorus, Strings, and Harpsichord or Piano (1965); Dajfydd in Love for Baritone, Chorus, and Piano (1974); Phantoms for Soprano, Girl’s or Boy’s Chorus, and Instrumental Ensemble or Brass Band (1978); Love’s Labours Lost for Soprano, Baritone, and Orch. (1986); 4 Chaucer Settings for Baritone, Oboe, and Piano (1987); many other choral pieces; various other songs, including Archy at the Zoo for High Voice and Piano (1994).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire