Obituary: composer Gordon Crosse dies at 84
(Credit: Marc Yeats 2019)
English composer Gordon Crosse passed away on November 21, 2021. He was 84 years old.
Born December 1, 1937 in the industrial town of Bury, near Manchester, Crosse’s musical education as a child was sporadic. However, when he was 12, a student at Cheadle Hulme School, he started improvising on a public piano at school, launching him into a career in music. From there, he decides to take lessons to be able to write his improvisations.
After a friend asked him to write a piece for violin and piano, Crosse discovered he wanted to be a composer at the exact same time he found out he wanted to be a musician. He then went to the University of Oxford to study with Egon Wellesz and Bernard Rose and then spent several years studying in Italy. Upon his return to England, he taught at various universities, including King’s College, Cambridge, and was invited as a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Crosse wrote several operas, including “The Story of Vasco” and “Purgatory”. He has also composed a series of works for orchestra and numerous chamber works. His last known composition was “Brief Encounter” for oboe d’amore, recorder and string orchestra, completed in 2009. That year he also completed a concerto for viola and a fantasy on “Ca ‘the Yowes” . His last work for voice was “Wintersong” for six singers and percussion option, completed in 1986. He wrote the music for the television adaptation of Shakespeare’s “King Lear” with Sir Laurence Olivier.