Tony Noakes was born in London in 1935.
An architect by profession, a composer by avocation, he studied harmony with Hugh Wood and composition with Jeremy Dale-Roberts at Morley College, and later had valuable advice from Alan Bush. His compositions include nearly 400 songs and choral and instrumental works. Two CDs of his songs were made in England in 2002.
Tony made his earliest attempts at composition at fourteen. A few years later, he realized that writing songs was what he was best at. Influences that he acknowledges include Vaughan Williams, Peter Warlock and Gerald Finzi. His parents were good amateur singers, and he grew up in a family where he heard a great variety of songs around the piano.
He eventually had singing lessons and joined some well-known choirs in London; choral singing continued when in 1998 he came to live in Perth. Early on he was drawn to the work of Thomas Hardy, and has now set twenty of his poems. He has also set many poems of contemporary writers, a number of whom, like Tony, are Quakers.