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Robert Sherlaw Johnson
Robert Sherlaw Johnson photo © Franta Provaznik

‘One of the most advanced British composers of his generation.’
Musical Times

‘Pieces of the sheer musical quality of Asterogenesis for piano and Carmina vernalia for soprano and ensemble are masterpieces of British music.’
Robert Saxton


Robert Sherlaw Johnson was born in Sunderland in 1932 and died in November 2000. He was educated at Gosforth Grammar School, Newcastle upon Tyne, and at King's College in the University of Durham. After graduating, he won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music where he studied piano and composition. In 1957 he won the Charles W Black award and went to Paris where he studied piano with Jacques Février and composition with Nadia Boulanger, as well as attending some of Messiaen's classes at the Conservatoire. After that, he taught in schools, played the piano for a touring ballet company and a group of Spanish dancers, and established a considerable reputation as a concert pianist, specialising in performances of piano music by major 20th-century composers.

In 1961 he joined the staff of Leeds University, later becoming Lecturer in Music at the University of York. From Autumn 1970 until his death he held a lectureship at Oxford and a Fellowship at Worcester College. In 1971 he was awarded the degree of DMus by Leeds University and in 1984 was elected to a Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Music. He was invited by the Eastman School of Music at Rochester University to be their visiting Professor of Composition in 1985.

A CD recording of Sherlaw Johnson's piano music, performed by the composer, is available on the Proudsound label.

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Anglorum Feriae
England's Holiday
Conductor's score and parts on hire
Robert Sherlaw Johnson
978-0-19-337171-2
21 July 1977
Available on Hire
Carmina Vernalia
Conductor's score and parts on hire
Robert Sherlaw Johnson
978-0-19-346708-8
07 December 1972
Available on Hire
Concerto for Clarinet and Bass Clarinet
Conductor's score and parts on hire
Robert Sherlaw Johnson
978-0-19-367636-7
03 December 1986
Available on Hire
Concerto for Piano
Conductor's score and parts on hire
Robert Sherlaw Johnson
978-0-19-367635-0
06 September 1990
Available on Hire
Encounters
Conductor's score and parts on hire
Robert Sherlaw Johnson
978-0-19-357338-3
06 September 1990
Available on Hire
Fanfares and Chorales
Conductor's score and parts on hire
Robert Sherlaw Johnson
978-0-19-357389-5
21 January 1993
Available on Hire
Hymn to the Seasons
Robert Sherlaw Johnson
978-0-19-345481-1
Paperback
06 November 1997
£11.00
Praise of Heaven and Earth
Conductor's score and parts on hire
Robert Sherlaw Johnson
978-0-19-346710-1
05 December 1969
Available on Hire
Projections
Conductor's score and parts on hire
Robert Sherlaw Johnson
978-0-19-357333-8
06 September 1990
Available on Hire
Quintet
Conductor's score and parts on hire
Robert Sherlaw Johnson
978-0-19-357334-5
02 October 1975
Available on Hire
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