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Wilfred Josephs

The British composer Wilfred Josephs was born in Newcastle on 24 July 1927. After early studies with Arthur Milner, he won a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music, studying with Alfred Nieman, and a Leverhulme Scholarship enabled him to learn in Paris with Max Deutsch.

Deutsch, a disciple of Schoenberg, introduced Josephs to the Second Viennese School - something of which was assimiliated into Josephs' fluent style. His critics muttered about the speed at which he worked, although his large, varied output was of high quality, and includes 22 concertos, twelve symphonies, several operas (including Rebecca, commissioned by Opera North) and music for film and TV, including much for the BBC.

The Requiem (1963) won major awards in Italy, and other honours include the Harriet Cohen Commonwealth Medal. His mature music combines a gift for melody and tonal harmony with aleatoric, neo-classical and other stylistic devices. Josephs died in London on 17 November 1997.

A selection of M&V articles about Wilfred Josephs

Record box. Clarinet colours - Wilfred Josephs and the clarinet, by Basil Ramsey

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