David Gow


Born in London in 1924, David studied at the Royal College of Music with Gordon Jacob and Frank Merrick. Whilst at the RCM he was awarded the Cobbett Prize and Alfred J. Clements Prize for his first full length chamber work, a Clarinet Quintet. Later as an external student of Durham University, he obtained his b. Mus and m. Mus.

After college he taught for the WEA and the Extra Mural Departments of Oxford and London until he obtained a full time teaching appointment in London in 1962. In 1970 he moved to Wiltshire on his appointment as Lecturer in Music at the Swindon College where he remained until his retirement in 1986. He was also closely involved with the Open University from its inception in 1969.


David continued to compose music in spite of heavy teaching commitments, but his most productive period followed his retirement when many of his finest pieces were written.

David's music has been broadcast and performed in London and throughout the UK, Europe, USA, Canada, Japan and Australia. He described his musical language as "serialism tempered by tonality" and this ongoing interest in tonality resulted in a style which pervaded most of his music during his last 20 years. His distinctive characteristic rhymic patterns and motifs and his great skill in orchestration, never making unreasonable demands on performers, all contribute to a very distinctive voice.