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Ronald Senator

British composer Ronald Senator, born on 17 April 1926, studied at Oxford with Egon Wellesz (1944-7) and at London University with Arnold Cooke (1955-8).

He worked as a senior lecturer in music at London University, then (from 1981) was professor of composition at the Guildhall School of Music. He was also a visiting professor at universities in Australia, Canada and the USA.

His oratorio Holocaust Requiem was first performed at Canterbury Cathedral in 1986, and has since been performed many times, including in Czechoslovakia, Italy, Russia and the USA. Other works include six operas, musicals on texts by Anthony Burgess, Peter Porter and Ursula Vaughan Williams, and chamber works for colleagues such as Sybil Michelow, Jane Manning, Willard White, Rivka Golani, Stanley Drucker and his pianist wife Miriam Brickman.

Senator was also an innovator in musical education, writing The Gaia of Music and inventing a musical education system named Musicolor, developed in a programme at London University.

He was also a founding member of the Montserrat Composers’ Association for Sacred Music and the founding director of the National Association of Music Theatre in the UK.

Ronald Senator and his wife Miriam Brickman, who divided their time between New York and London, died tragically in a fire at their home in Yonkers, New York, USA on 30 April 2015. Senator was eighty-nine years old.

A selection of M&V articles about Ronald Senator

Evocative Canvases - A recital by Miriam Brickman, reviewed by Malcolm Miller

Ensemble. Music in Captivity - Malcolm Miller was at a lecture recital by Ronald Senator, with Teresa Gobel and Miriam Brickman

Ensemble. 'I wandered through Theresienstadt' - Malcolm Miller was at a Terezin concert on the eve of Holocaust Day 2006

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'Elgar and Chivalry' by Robert Anderson - available now from Elgar.org