Born in London on April 17th, 1926, Ronald Senator was an English composer.

He studied at Oxford University with Wellesz (1944–7) and with Arnold Cooke (1957–60) at London University, where he became a senior lecturer (1960–81). From 1981 to 1984, Senator was Professor of Composition at the GSM, with several visiting professorships at universities in Australia, North America and Canada. Senator’s style shows the influence of both his teachers, the twin strands of Schoenberg and Hindemith, in its atonal harmony, angular lyricism, and often astringent, stark sonorities, with an eloquent simplicity to underpin the Impressionistic textures and formal designs.

His outstanding achievement is the Holocaust Requiem, a powerful oratorio based on children’s poems from Terezín (Theriesenstadt) for cantor, children’s choir, choir and orchestra, first performed at Canterbury Cathedral in 1986 under the joint auspices of the Bnai Brith Charity, the United Nations and the West German Government. Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize following its New York première in 1990 under Lukas Foss, it subsequently formed the centrepiece at the 1995 Terezín Fiftieth anniversary commemoration in the presence of the president of the Czech Parliament, with worldwide media coverage. A founder member of the Montserrat Composers’ Association of Sacred Music, Senator is also founding director of the National Association of Music Theatre (UK). He has composed six operas and musicals on texts by notable contemporary writers. Many of his chamber and vocal works were written for colleagues, the distinguished singers Sybil Michelow, Jane Manning and Willard White, the viola player Rivka Golani, the clarinettist Stanley Drucker and the pianist Miriam Brickman, to whom he is married.

[Biography from Oxford Music Online]


Ronald Senator

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