Brindle, Reginald Smith 1917-2003

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BRINDLE, Reginald Smith 1917-2003


See index for CA sketch: Born January 5, 1917, in Bamber Ridge, Lancashire, England; died September 9, 2003, in Caterham, Surrey, England. Composer, educator, and author. Brindle was a modernist composer and advocate of twentieth-century music. The son of musicians, he learned to play a variety of instruments as a boy, including piano, clarinet, saxophone, and guitar. It was his gift with the guitar that he became particularly noteworthy as a youth, and many of his early compositions were for this instrument. His parents, however, pressured Brindle to follow a more practical course in education, and so he initially studied architecture. World War II interfered with these pursuits, and Brindle joined the British Army, serving in the Royal Engineers as a captain and seeing action in Italy and North Africa. It was while he was still in the army that he took a correspondence course in music and won the Army Arts Festival competition in 1946. He studied further in Florence before returning to England and, on scholarship, earned his B.Mus. at the University College of North Wales at Bangor in 1949; ten years later he would receive a D.Mus. from the same institution. But before that, Brindle continued his studies at the Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome and also studied under Luigi Dallapiccola and Francesco Germani. He continued to compose music while in Italy, earning a living by working variously as a journalist, import-export manager, and translator. Returning to Britain in 1957, he joined the faculty at his alma mater, where he would teach until 1970. He then became a professor of music at the University of Surrey, remaining there until his retirement in 1981. One of Brindle's most notable accomplishments while in academia was his creation of the Tonmeister course, a program that combined the disciplines of music and physics and that has since been of great importance in the education of recording engineers. As an author, Brindle has been influential, too, and many of his books are considered required reading for musicians. Among these are Serial Composition (1966), Contemporary Percussion (1969), The New Music (1975), and Musical Composition (1980). A painter as well as a musician, Brindle also held a number of local exhibits of his artworks. But despite this other interest, he will likely remain best remembered for his compositions for orchestras, chamber music, organ music, and the opera.



Guardian (London, England), October 29, 2003, p. 27.

Independent (London, England), September 17, 2003, p. 16.

Times (London, England), September 22, 2003, p. 28.