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English composer Derek Bourgeois was born in Kingston-upon-Thames on 16 October 1941. He studied at Magdalene College Cambridge and then at the Royal College of Music - composition with Herbert Howells and conducting with Adrian Boult.
He lectured in music at Bristol University (1971-1984), and was director of the National Youth Orchestra (1984-1993). From 1994 until 2002 he was Director of Music at St Paul's Girls School in London.
He also chaired the Composer's Guild of Great Britain, was artistic director of Bristol Philharmonic Orchestra and sat on the Music Advisory Panel of the Arts Council. He founded the National Youth Chamber Orchestra of Great Britain in 1988.
From 1980 until 1983 he conducted the Sun Life Band, which led to him composing fifteen extended works for brass bands and seven symphonies for symphonic wind orchestra. He also conducted various orchestras, and wrote a prolific amount of orchestral music, including 116 symphonies and seventeen concertos. He also wrote much music for television productions, and music for radio, stage and film, plus chamber, vocal and instrumental music.
Derek Bourgeois died from cancer in Poole, Dorset on 6 September 2017, aged seventy-five.