Geoffrey Burgon

(1941 - 2010)
Geoffrey Burgon was born in Hampshire in 1941. He taught himself the trumpet in order to join a jazz band at Pewley Grammar School in Guildford and entered the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with the intention of becoming a professional trumpeter. However, under the direction of his mentor, composer Peter Wishart, he found that he was more interested in composition. Burgon initially supported himself and his family as a freelance jazz trumpeter. At the age of 30 he sold his instruments, except one, and devoted himself to composition. He lived through a lengthy period of poverty before critical success eventually brought financial reward. The critical success of his Requiem at the Three Choirs Festival in 1976 sealed his reputation as a composer and led to many commissions from major organisations. Burgon also had considerable success writing for film and television and twice received both BAFTA and Ivor Novello Awards. His style was essentially conservative, influenced by Benjamin Britten and medieval music rather than modern styles. His music was therefore not favoured by music critics and was sometimes labelled as commercial, but nevertheless it was widely appreciated.

Geoffrey Burgon Composition Timpani and Percussion Requirements

Cello Concerto

No Timpani + 3 percussion
Tambourine, 2 wood blocks, orchestral bass drum, tam tam, 6 tom toms, suspended cymbal, clash cymbals, marimba, vibraphone


Think on Dredful Domesday

Timpani + 2 percussion + celeste
Small suspended cymbal, snare drum, orchestral bass drum, clash cymbals, tam tam, whip, glockenspiel, vibraphone, xylophone, celeste

Viola Concerto - Ghosts of the Dance

No Timpani + 1 percussion
Drum kit

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