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Butterley, Nigel (Henry)

Butterley, Nigel (Henry)

Butterley, Nigel (Henry), Australian composer, pianist, and teacher; b. Sydney, May 13, 1935. He attended the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music in Sydney (1952–55), his principal mentors being Frank Warbick (piano) and Raymond Hanson (composition), and later pursued training in composition with Priaulx Rainier in London (1962). In 1966 he won the Prix Italia for his choral work In the Head the Fire. He was active as a pianist, especially as a proponent of contemporary music. He also was on the music staff of the Australian Broadcasting Commission. From 1973 to 1991 he was a lecturer at the Newcastle Conservato-rium. In 1991 he received an Australian Creative Artists’ Fellowship and was made a Member of the Order of Australia. In 1996 he was awarded an honorary D.M. degree by the Univ. of Newcastle. As a composer, Butterley pursues a thoroughly individualistic style, notable for its assured technical command and penchant for lyricism.


DRAMATIC: In fe Head the Fire, radio piece (1966); Watershore, radio piece (1978); Lawrence Hargrove Flying Alone, opera (Sydney, Sept. 24, 1988). orch.:Meditations of Thomas Traherne (1968); Pentad (1968); Refractions (1969); Explorations for Piano and Orch. (1970); Violin Concerto (1970; rev. 1975); Fire in the Heavens (1973); Sym. (1980); Goldengrove for Strings (1982; rev. 1993); In Passing (1982); From Sorrowing Earth (Sydney, Aug. 21, 1991); Poverty (1992). chamber:Laudes for 8 Instruments (1963); 4 string quartets (1965, 1974, 1980, 1995); The White-Throated Warbler for Sopranino Recorder or Flute or Piccolo and Harpsichord or Piano (1965); Variations for Wind Quintet and Piano (1967); Voices for Wind Quintet (1971); Fanfare and Processional for 4 Trumpets, 2 Trombones, and 2 Timpani (1977); Evanston Song for Flute and Piano (1978); Trio for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano (1979); Forest I for Viola and Piano (1990) and II for Trumpet and Piano (1993); The Wind Stirs Gently for Flute and Cello (1992); Of Wood for Cello (1995). keyboard: piano:Arioso, Toccata, Comment on a Popular Song (1960); Grevillea (1962; rev. 1985); Letter From Hardy’s Bay (1971); Uttering Joyous Leaves (1981); Lawrence Hargrove Flying Alone (1981); II Gubbo (1987). organ : 3 Pieces (1961, 1979, 1989). vocal:The True Samaritan for Chorus (1958; rev. 1976); Carmina: 4 Latin Poems of Spring for Medium Voice and Wind Quintet (1968; rev. 1990); Sometimes with One I Love for Soprano, Baritone, Male Speaker, Flute, Clarinet, Horn, 2 Cellos, and Piano (1976); The Owl for Soprano, Flute, Clarinet, Violin or Viola, Cello, Piano, and Percussion (1983); There Came a Wind like a Bugle for Chorus (1987); The Woven Light for Soprano and Orch. (1994); Spring’s Ending for Chorus (1997); Towards Autumn for Women’s Voices, Flute, Clarinet, and Chinese Gong (1998); various other choral pieces and songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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