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Edward  Cowie

Born: August 17th, 1943
Country of origin: United Kingdom

Edward Cowie was born in Birmingham, England in 1943. Most of his early life, however, was spent in rural countryside; Suffolk and the Cotswolds in particular.  These early years in quiet natural landscapes were major influences on a life that has always been deeply affected and influenced by the forces of Nature.  He studied the violin and piano whilst still at school and by the age of thirteen was already composing.  Even during his studies for a first degree in physics in London, he continued studies in composition and, in 1964 began serious studies with Alexander Goehr.  He also studied painting at the Slade as an external student.

By the late 1960’s, Cowie was working mainly as a composer, and some of his early works were finding their way onto professional platforms such as the Edinburgh Festival in 1969.  In 1971, he was awarded a Chopin Fellowship to study under Witold Lutoslawski in Poland, and also came under the influence of Sir Michael Tippett, the latter remaining a close friend and mentor.

Cowie’s career as a composer was firmly established with the premiere of his BBC Prom Commission, Leviathan, which was premiered by the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 1975. From then on his music began to appear in major festivals.  His early works, available on Hyperion and ASV recordings, are published by Chester and Schott London.  The Australian works are available through the Australian Music Centre and his music is now published exclusively by United Music Publishers.

In 1983 Cowie was awarded the first Granada Composer Fellowship with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. He remained with the orchestra for three years and worked with them both as composer and conductor. Since that time, he has worked as a conductor with several major orcheatras and ensembles in England and Australia (BBC Philharmonic, BBC Singers, symphony orchestras of Queensland, Adelaide, Sydney and Tasmania, The Australian Ensemble, The Seymour Group).  He is listed in all major music references.

Alongside his rise to prominence as a musician, Cowie has exhibited internationally as a painter, and his works are in public and private collections in over twelve countries.  He has also made several television films, including his acclaimed film on Leonardo of 1986.  In 1988 and 1989, he wrote and presented two major radio series commissioned by ABCFM, in Australia.

After spending twelve years in Australia he returned to England to live in 1995.  He was appointed the first Composer in Association with the BBC Singers, 2002-2006, and also created the first Artist in Residence with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, also for the period 2002-2006.

His music continues to be featured in festivals throughout the world and is regularly recorded and broadcast on BBC Radio3.  His recent work for the BBC Singers, National Portraits, was short-listed for the 2007 British Composer, Radio 3 Listeners’ Award.

Simultaneous with his composing career, Cowie has held major professorships in Australia, Germany, the USA and England. As a public speaker, he has always been in demand and has given The Ruskin Lecture at Oxford, The Gertrude Langer Memorial Lecture in Australia, and the Kate Springett Memorial Lecture (on birds as composers), in London in 2003.

His love of birds and passion for teaching inspired him to write wild-life books for children, and the first of these, Birds Talk was published in 2003. Others in the series are in preparation. He is currently preparing  books on the interconnection(s) between sound and image (Drawing on Music) and on a natural history of sound (The Voices of Gaia).

He now lives and works in both Devon and France, with his visual-artist wife, Heather Cowie. He holds a personal chair in research at Dartington College of Arts in Devon, where he continues to supervise postgraduates in music, the fine arts and arts/science.

Gallery

per page
  1. String Quartet No. 4

    String Quartet No. 4

    Download Edition
    Composer: Cowie, Edward
    Instrumentation: string quartet
    Edition: score and parts
    Order No.: ED 13391
    €44.99  *
  2. Leonardo

    Leonardo

    for 'classical' orchestra
    Download Edition
    Composer: Cowie, Edward
    Instrumentation: chamber orchestra
    Edition: study score
    Order No.: ED 13480
    €29.99  *
  3. String Quartet No. 3

    String Quartet No. 3

    “In Flight Music”
    Download Edition
    Composer: Cowie, Edward
    Instrumentation: string quartet
    Edition: score and parts
    Order No.: ED 13390
    €44.99  *
  4. Commedia Lazzi

    Commedia Lazzi

    for guitar
    Download Edition
    Composer: Cowie, Edward
    Instrumentation: guitar
    Order No.: ED 12080
    €16.99  *
  5. Commedia Lazzi

    Commedia Lazzi

    for guitar
    Composer: Cowie, Edward
    Instrumentation: guitar
    Order No.: ED 12080
    €21.50  *
  6. Kelly Variations

    Kelly Variations

    for piano
    Composer: Cowie, Edward
    Instrumentation: piano
    Order No.: ED 12129
    €12.00  *
  7. Kelly-Nolan-Kelly

    Kelly-Nolan-Kelly

    for clarinet in A
    Composer: Cowie, Edward
    Instrumentation: clarinet in A
    Order No.: ED 12130
    €12.00  *
  8. Kelly Choruses in preparation

    Kelly Choruses

    for SSATB choir and harp or piano
    Composer: Cowie, Edward
    Instrumentation: mixed choir (SSATB) and harp or piano
    Edition: choral score
    Language: English
    Order No.: ED 12097
    €8.95  *

    Out of stock

  9. Mount Keira Duets in preparation

    Mount Keira Duets

    for flute and guitar
    Composer: Cowie, Edward
    Instrumentation: flute, doubling alto flute and guitar
    Edition: score and part
    Order No.: ED 13385
    €19.95  *

    Out of stock

  10. String Quartet No. 3

    String Quartet No. 3

    “In Flight Music”
    Composer: Cowie, Edward
    Instrumentation: string quartet
    Edition: score and parts
    Order No.: ED 13390
    €56.00  *

per page
Profile

Edward Cowie was born in Birmingham, England in 1943. Most of his early life, however, was spent in rural countryside; Suffolk and the Cotswolds in particular.  These early years in quiet natural landscapes were major influences on a life that has always been deeply affected and influenced by the forces of Nature.  He studied the violin and piano whilst still at school and by the age of thirteen was already composing.  Even during his studies for a first degree in physics in London, he continued studies in composition and, in 1964 began serious studies with Alexander Goehr.  He also studied painting at the Slade as an external student.

By the late 1960’s, Cowie was working mainly as a composer, and some of his early works were finding their way onto professional platforms such as the Edinburgh Festival in 1969.  In 1971, he was awarded a Chopin Fellowship to study under Witold Lutoslawski in Poland, and also came under the influence of Sir Michael Tippett, the latter remaining a close friend and mentor.

Cowie’s career as a composer was firmly established with the premiere of his BBC Prom Commission, Leviathan, which was premiered by the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 1975. From then on his music began to appear in major festivals.  His early works, available on Hyperion and ASV recordings, are published by Chester and Schott London.  The Australian works are available through the Australian Music Centre and his music is now published exclusively by United Music Publishers.

In 1983 Cowie was awarded the first Granada Composer Fellowship with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. He remained with the orchestra for three years and worked with them both as composer and conductor. Since that time, he has worked as a conductor with several major orcheatras and ensembles in England and Australia (BBC Philharmonic, BBC Singers, symphony orchestras of Queensland, Adelaide, Sydney and Tasmania, The Australian Ensemble, The Seymour Group).  He is listed in all major music references.

Alongside his rise to prominence as a musician, Cowie has exhibited internationally as a painter, and his works are in public and private collections in over twelve countries.  He has also made several television films, including his acclaimed film on Leonardo of 1986.  In 1988 and 1989, he wrote and presented two major radio series commissioned by ABCFM, in Australia.

After spending twelve years in Australia he returned to England to live in 1995.  He was appointed the first Composer in Association with the BBC Singers, 2002-2006, and also created the first Artist in Residence with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, also for the period 2002-2006.

His music continues to be featured in festivals throughout the world and is regularly recorded and broadcast on BBC Radio3.  His recent work for the BBC Singers, National Portraits, was short-listed for the 2007 British Composer, Radio 3 Listeners’ Award.

Simultaneous with his composing career, Cowie has held major professorships in Australia, Germany, the USA and England. As a public speaker, he has always been in demand and has given The Ruskin Lecture at Oxford, The Gertrude Langer Memorial Lecture in Australia, and the Kate Springett Memorial Lecture (on birds as composers), in London in 2003.

His love of birds and passion for teaching inspired him to write wild-life books for children, and the first of these, Birds Talk was published in 2003. Others in the series are in preparation. He is currently preparing  books on the interconnection(s) between sound and image (Drawing on Music) and on a natural history of sound (The Voices of Gaia).

He now lives and works in both Devon and France, with his visual-artist wife, Heather Cowie. He holds a personal chair in research at Dartington College of Arts in Devon, where he continues to supervise postgraduates in music, the fine arts and arts/science.

Works
Gallery

Gallery

Products

per page
  1. String Quartet No. 4

    String Quartet No. 4

    Download Edition
    Composer: Cowie, Edward
    Instrumentation: string quartet
    Edition: score and parts
    Order No.: ED 13391
    €44.99  *
  2. Leonardo

    Leonardo

    for 'classical' orchestra
    Download Edition
    Composer: Cowie, Edward
    Instrumentation: chamber orchestra
    Edition: study score
    Order No.: ED 13480
    €29.99  *
  3. String Quartet No. 3

    String Quartet No. 3

    “In Flight Music”
    Download Edition
    Composer: Cowie, Edward
    Instrumentation: string quartet
    Edition: score and parts
    Order No.: ED 13390
    €44.99  *
  4. Commedia Lazzi

    Commedia Lazzi

    for guitar
    Download Edition
    Composer: Cowie, Edward
    Instrumentation: guitar
    Order No.: ED 12080
    €16.99  *
  5. Commedia Lazzi

    Commedia Lazzi

    for guitar
    Composer: Cowie, Edward
    Instrumentation: guitar
    Order No.: ED 12080
    €21.50  *
  6. Kelly Variations

    Kelly Variations

    for piano
    Composer: Cowie, Edward
    Instrumentation: piano
    Order No.: ED 12129
    €12.00  *
  7. Kelly-Nolan-Kelly

    Kelly-Nolan-Kelly

    for clarinet in A
    Composer: Cowie, Edward
    Instrumentation: clarinet in A
    Order No.: ED 12130
    €12.00  *
  8. Kelly Choruses in preparation

    Kelly Choruses

    for SSATB choir and harp or piano
    Composer: Cowie, Edward
    Instrumentation: mixed choir (SSATB) and harp or piano
    Edition: choral score
    Language: English
    Order No.: ED 12097
    €8.95  *

    Out of stock

  9. Mount Keira Duets in preparation

    Mount Keira Duets

    for flute and guitar
    Composer: Cowie, Edward
    Instrumentation: flute, doubling alto flute and guitar
    Edition: score and part
    Order No.: ED 13385
    €19.95  *

    Out of stock

  10. String Quartet No. 3

    String Quartet No. 3

    “In Flight Music”
    Composer: Cowie, Edward
    Instrumentation: string quartet
    Edition: score and parts
    Order No.: ED 13390
    €56.00  *

per page
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