Cowie, Edward , English-born Australian composer, conductor, teacher, and painter; b. Birmingham, Aug. 17, 1943. He studied with Fricker and took hisB.Ed, at the Univ. of London (1964); after training fromA. Goehr (1964–68), he worked with Lutoslawski in Poland (1971); he also studied at the Trinity Coll. of Music in London (L.T.C.L., 1968), and at the univs. of Southampton (B.Mus., 1970; D.Mus., 1979) and Lan-caster (Ph.D., 1983). From 1974 to 1983 he was senior lecturer at the Univ. of Lancaster; in 1979 he also was a visiting prof, at the Univ. of Kassel. From 1983 to 1986 he was composer-in- residence at the Royal Liverpool Phil., and from 1983 to 1989 prof. of creative arts at the Univ. of Wollongong in New South Wales. In 1988 he became a naturalized Australian citizen. In 1989–90 he was prof. of creative arts at James Cook Univ. in Queensland. He then served as artistic director and prof. of arts fusion of the Australian Arts Fusion Centre in Brisbane (from 1991). He also was active as a conductor. His talent as a painter has been highlighted in various exhibitions. As a composer, his technique ranges from static triadic tonality to serialistic atonality; reflections of nature, including birdsong, and a preoccupation with form, are pervasive aspects of his works.
DRAMATIC Corn-media, opera (1976–78); Kate Kelly’s Roadshow, music theater (1982). ORCH.: 2 clarinet concertos (1969, 1975); Moon, Sea, and Stars (1974); Leviathan, symphonic poem (1975); Columbine (1976); Piano Concerto (1976–77); L’Or de la trompette d’ete for 18 Strings (1977); Concerto for Orchestra (1980–81); Leonardo for Strings (1980–81); two numbered syms.: No. 1, The American (1980–81; Liverpool, Feb. 1, 1984) and No. 2, The Australian (1982); Choral Symphony: Symphonies of Rain, Sea, and Speed for Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (1981–82); Concerto for Harp and Strings (1983); Atlas (1984; Liverpool, May 13, 1986); 15-Minute Australia for Youth Orch. (1985); Cello Concerto (1992). CHAMBER : four string quartets (1973, 1976, 1980, 1981); Cathedral Music for Brass (1976); Harlequin for Harp (1977); Commedia Lazzis for Guitar (1977); Kelly-Nolan-Kelly for Clarinet (1980); Cartoon Music for Percussion, Keyboard, Violin, and Cello (1984); Flute Quartet (1991). KEYBOARD : Piano : Piano Variations (1976; rev. 1981); The Falls of Clyde for two Pianos (1976); Kelly Variations (1980); Sonata (1985). VOCAL : Shinko-Kinshu for High Voice and Instruments (1968; rev. 1972); Gesangbuch for 24 Voices Unaccompanied or With Instruments (1971); Endymion Nocturnes for Tenor and String Quartet (1973; also for Tenor, Horn, and Strings, 1981); A Charm of Finches for Soprano and three Flutes (1973); Leighton Moss for Chorus and Chamber Orch. (1974–75); Columbine for Soprano and Chamber Orch. (1979); Missa Brevis for Chorus and Organ (1982); Avium Cencentus for Chorus (1988); The Roof of Heaven for Tenor, two Oboes, two Horns, and Strings (1988); ’48 for High Voice and Chamber Ensemble (1992).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire