(b Göteborg, 11 Dec 1939). Swedish pianist, composer and conductor. She studied the piano with Gottfried Boon in Stockholm and with Ilona Kabos in London. In 1959 she made successful débuts in Stockholm, London and Berlin, and in New York in 1964; her subsequent career as a pianist included world-wide tours. In 1977 she founded the Nordic Music Conservatory and in 1980 the Nordic Chamber Opera. During the late 1970s she also began to compose and to conduct. Most of her compositions are vocal works; her music is lyrical, but with elements of expressionism and Swedish neo-romanticism, especially in the Rilke songs and the opera Den Fredlöse.
Stage: Junker Nils (family op, A. Lindgren), 1982; Den fredlöse [The Outlawed] (op, after A. Strindberg), 1985; Elddonet [The Tinderbox] (musical, after H.C. Andersen), 1990; Den brottslige modern [The Guilty Mother] (after P.-A. Beaumarchais), 1992; Näktergalen [The Nightingale] (after Andersen), 1993; Aladdin, 1995; Peter Pan, 1997
(b Pontefract, 18 July 1949). English composer. Encouraged to take up composition by Herbert Howells, Wilby graduated from Keble College, Oxford, in 1970. After a year as a professional violinist, he was invited by Alexander Goehr, then professor of music at Leeds University, to join his staff. He has been the senior tutor in composition there since 1984. For Wilby composing is an act of worship, and most of his major works are expressions of his Christian faith. He is happy to tailor his versatile technique to the very different demands of the skilled amateur in a brass or wind band, both in Britain and in the United States, to the church or cathedral choir or to the finest professional soloist or orchestra.
Wilby has developed a musical language characterized by directness and sincerity. He is attracted by opposites: on a musical level, combining music from the past with his own; on an expressive level, the interplay between light and dark, as in his Symphonia sacra ‘In Darkness Shine’ (1986), chaos and order, violence and tranquillity. Two of his larger sacred choral works, Cantiones sacrae (1987) and A Passion for our Times (1997), include a dance element. His reconstructions of two Mozart fragments have been widely performed. His evocative Second Symphony ‘Voyaging’, composed for the BBC Philharmonic in 1991, underpins a personal spiritual journey with music of energy and drive. Wilby has also composed two colourful symphonies for brass band, ‘Dance before the Lord’ (1994) and ‘Revelation’ (1995). These and other works of substance, like the Paganini Variations, a BBC commission from 1991, and Lowry Sketchbook (1992), have rejuvenated the repertory of the medium.
Brass band: The New Jerusalem, 1990; ‘Paganini’ Variations, 1991; Lowry Sketchbook, 1992; Masquerade, 1992; Shadow Songs, 1992; Sinfonia ‘Dance Before the Lord’, brass band, live elecs, 1994; Revelation (Symphony for Double Brass after Purcell), 1995; Conc., euphonium, brass band, 1996; ‘Jazz’ Symphonic Dances, 1996
Choral: The Temptations of Christ (Matthew, iv, 1–11), S, mixed vv, orch, elec, 1983; Cantiones sacrae, T, mixed vv, nar, dancer, perc, org, 1987; St Paul’s Service, treble vv, org, 1988; Trinity Service, mixed vv, org, 1992; Evening Liturgy, double choir, org, 1994; A Passion for our Times, celebrant, nar, mixed vv, org, wind orch, 1997; anthems and motets
Vocal: Winter Portrait in Grey and Gold (K. Smith), S, 3 insts, 1977–85; 10 Songs of Paul Verlaine, Bar, pf, 1983; To the Green Man (M. Jarman), S, pf, 1990; Unholy Sonnets (M. Jarman), high voice, pf/brass band, 1995
Chbr and solo inst: Roses for the Queen of Heaven, org/pf, 1982; The Night and all the Stars, hn, vn, 2 va, vc, 1985; Sonata sacra, cl, va, pf, 1986; 2 Concert Studies, vn, pf, 1987; Lifescape – Mountains, pf, 1987; Breakdance, rec, tape, 1988; Classic Images, brass qnt, 1988; Parables, va/vc, pf, 1988; Music for East Coker (Str Qt no.5), 1990
Reconstructions: Mozart: Concerto, D, ka56/315f, vn, pf, orch; Mozart: Sinfonia concertante, A, ka104/320e, vn, va, vc, orch
Principal publishers: Chester, Novello, Maecenas, Rosehill, R. Smith
M.S.McBride: A Study of the Compositional Presuppositions of Philip Wilby and Analysis of his Three Works for Wind Orchestra (diss., U. of Oklahoma, 1990)