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Michael Lawson

Michael Lawson

Michael Lawson began his career as a composer and concert pianist in the early seventies, having studied with the great French teacher Nadia Boulanger at the Paris and Fontainebleau conservatoires, with the British composer Edmund Rubbra at the Guildhall School of Music, and at Sussex University with Donald Mitchell, the leading Britten and Mahler scholar. His piano professors were David Wilde and James Gibb.

Michael was born in Brighton in 1952. His father and mother both loved music, took him to concerts, and encouraged him to learn the piano. Michael’s earliest musical instinct was to compose and his first piece at the age of ten was a suite of Hungarian Dances. Those piano lessons soon followed, and he gave his first BBC recital broadcast when he was thirteen. At sixteen he went to study with Edmund Rubbra at the Guildhall and in the same year was awarded the Worshipful Company of Musicians Composition Scholarship, the Wainright Composition Scholarship, and was the youngest recipient of the prestigious Guildhall Composition Prize. The following year, he was further awarded a special Arts Council Scholarship to pursue his composition studies in France with Nadia Boulanger, whose deep and lasting influence on his musical development has never faded.

Parallel to his music career has been his involvement in ordained ministry, and broadcasting. For twenty years he was a writer and presenter of Pause for Thought on Radio 2, and has appeared in a range of current affairs, music and religious programmes for BBC radio, television and independents broadcasters. He has produced many orchestral recordings and has written books and articles covering his wide experience as a counsellor, as well as on theology and the arts.

Michael is the founder of Pipe Village Trust, a film-making human rights charity and has made seven full length broadcast documentaries, one on AIDS/HIV orphans in Mozambique, and the six most recent are on the plight of the Dalits (the Untouchables) in modern India.

After a twenty year pause in creative music, Michael is once more an active composer, and among his many compositions for orchestra and chamber ensembles he has written the music for his latest films. In February 2016, his complete chamber music cycle was performed at London's All Souls Langham Place, including first performances of his flute concerto, and three saxophone pieces.

Among other recent works, his Symphonic Movements has been heard at the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and at the Royal Wedding Celebration Concert at the Cadogan Hall in London, where his latest Symphonic work, The Seasons and his Royal Fanfare, "A Toast to Harry and Meghan", were also premiered.

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