Butterworth, Arthur (1923-2014), composer, trumpeter

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Butterworth, Arthur (1923-2014), composer, trumpeter

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1923-2014

History

This collection was recatalogued by Heather Varley in late 2009. The separate MS accessions were amalgamated, with related pieces being united as indicated by new catalogue reference numbers in the form of ABW/1/1a, ABW/1/1b, etc. As the series maintained the original reference, ABW/1, previous catalogue numbers are indicated in the description field for individual items. Some new correspondence material has also been listed and added to the catalogue. Arthur Butterworth was born in Manchester on 4 Aug 1923. On leaving school he worked in a solicitor's office. He served in the army in the Royal Engineers 1942-1947 and the German influence is reflected in some of his earliest pieces. It was not until after war service that he was able to take up formal training at the Royal Manchester College of Music (RMCM) where he was a student between 1947-1949. He was a student of Richard Hall under whom he studied composition; he also studied the trumpet and conducting. As a student of Richard Hall he was inculcated with the ideals of the Second Viennese School but soon rejected this as not being what he wanted to say. After leaving the RMCM, Butterworth began his professional career as a trumpeter with the Scottish National Orchestra (SNO) (1949-1955) and then with the Halle Orchestra (1955-1962). In 1962 he was appointed associate conductor of the Huddersfield Philharmonic Society and in 1964 became permanent conductor, a post he found very much to his taste, leaving only in 1993. Since 1969 he has had a particularly happy association with the Settle Orchestra in the Yorkshire Dales. He also taught brass for the former West Riding Education Department for a few years until being appointed lecturer in composition at Huddersfield University Music Department, a post he came to loathe and finally gave up in 1980, leaving him free to compose and conduct. Butterworth's success in writing effective music for brass bands may be explained by the fact that he began his musical life as a brass player in early youth with Besses o' the Barn in Manchester. He took on the directorship of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain in 1975 but eventually handed over to Roy Newsome. His mature music has followed a rather different path, being profoundly influenced by the spacious surroundings of the Airedale Moors where he has made his home. His large scale orchestral scores have an expansive Nordic quality, almost unique in British music. He lists Elgar, Holst, Bliss, Ireland, Finzi and Bax (but not Delius) as composers from whose music he has received inspiration, quite apart from Vaughan Williams, but he feels real spiritual attachment to Sibelius and composers of the northern school. Despite all that he has achieved, Arthur Butterworth is little known outside his native North of England, except in the rather confined world of the brass band for which he has provided effective music. He has composed over 100 works and in 1995 was awarded the MBE for services to British music. http://www.musicweb.uk.net/buttera/

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