Patric Standford

Patric Standford (born Barnsley, England, 5 February 1939) was an award-winning composer, a teacher and lecturer of repute, a writer and music journalist, occasional broadcaster and a musician who has played a major role with many British musical organisations - he was the chairman of the Composers’ Guild and British Music Information Centre from 1977 to 1993.

He was perhaps best known as a composer.  His first Symphony gained the Premio Cittá di Trieste in 1972, and a large scale oratorio Christus Requiem earned him the Yugoslav Government’s Arts Award after performances in Skopje in 1976; his 3rd Symphony has the Ernest Ansermet Prize from Geneva, and he received the First International Composers’ Award in Budapest in 1997 for a choral masque The Prayer of St Francis.   He received awards from Spain, Finland and Belgium. The BBC commissioned his 5th Symphony in 1986. He worked as an arranger for West End shows in London, composing and directing light music recordings and an album for the jazz group Continuum, and ghost writing for Rod McKuen’s classical American recordings.

A regular visitor to Hungary and France as a jury member for choral competitions, he taught composition and orchestration at the Guildhall School of Music in London for fifteen years, moving to Yorkshire in 1980 to become Head of Music at the Leeds University college at Bretton Hall from which role he retired in 1995 to devote himself full time to composition and writing.  During the last few years of his life, Peters Edition London became Standford's principal publishers.

Patric Standford passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at his home in Suffolk on 23 April 2014, aged seventy-five.



Articles by Patric Standford

Eric Coates' commercial recordings. '... this collection has its own particular value ...'

Brahms from Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio. '... the authority and tenderness of fresh interpretations.'

Orchestral music by Marga Richter. '... sure craftsmanship ...'

British music for oboe and strings. '... a particularly valuable contribution to the catalogue.'

The third William Alwyn Festival

Choral music by Margaret Rizza. '... appealing choral textures ...'

Music by Emma Lou Diemer. '... some undoubted aptitude ...'

English recorder works played by Jill Kemp. '... a virtuoso performer ...'

Contemporary music for orchestra. 'The orchestration is neatly balanced by an expert hand ...'

Contemporary classical works for small ensemble. '... a splendidly recorded recital of small-scale pieces ...'

Music by Newton D Strandberg. '... well worth serious acquaintance.'

Weinberg's 'Polish Flowers' Symphony

Music by Joaquín Turina. '... superbly performed ...'

Unfamiliar delights from Trio Solis. '... a superb recording of very fine ensemble playing.'

A portrait of Antony Hopkins. '... a warm and generous tribute ...'

Symphonies by James Cohn. '... persuasive championship of new music ...'

Music for newly designed oboes. '... as fascinating and challenging as it is revelatory.'

Gergely Hubai's 'Torn Music: Rejected film scores, a selected history'

Orchestral music by José Elizondo and David Tanner. '... music for enjoyment ...'

Orchestral music by Meira Warshauer. '... too many ideas and too little development ...'

Music by Arlene Sierra. '... an impressive and valuable first volume introduction ...'

Music by Christopher Shultis. 'All very fascinating.'

Music by Hampson Sisler. '... the brooding is there, if not the power.'

Music by Jonathan Little. '... beautifully performed ...'

Music by David Del Tredici. '... hugely enjoyable ...'

Music by Alcides Lanza. '... superbly produced retrospective ...'

Recent Canadian music for string quartet. '... exciting drive to a stimulating ending.'

Bach, Messiaen and David Sherr. '... Sherr is very clever, and there is an appealing transparency ...'

A guitar recital by Stephen Reck. '... a competent and varied presentation ...'

Orchestral music by Michael S Horwood. '... attractive and enjoyable ...'

Choral music by Stephen Chatman. '... extremely well performed ...'

Songs by Havergal Brian. '... equal to the intimacy of the skilfully fashioned miniature.'

Christmas vocal pieces. '... lively readings ...'

Guitar music by Ponce and Tansman. '... a real pleasure ...'

Chamber music by John Veale and Robert Crawford. '... well managed ...'

Orchestral works by Paul Dukas. '... a fine performance ...'

Vocal music by Lassus. '... an impressive recording, beautifully sung ...'

Mesut Özgen plays contemporary guitar music. '... an impressive performer who selects a distinctive repertoire ...'

The American String Project, seen and. 'The performers are undoubtedly superb ...'

Moeran solo folksong arrangements. '... a delightful exploration of the sensitive and creative treatment of folksongs ...'

Arthur Friedheim plays Liszt, Chopin, Gottschalk and Henselt. '... a slightly improvisatory interpretation ...'

The Antioch Chamber Ensemble. '... most valuable.'

Arvo Pärt's Symphony No 4. '... calm, simple and strong.'

String quartets by Peter Garland. '... remote and apparently disengaged ...'

Songs by Moeran, Warlock and Geoffrey Stern. '... a well balanced programme and clean, clear studio performances ...'

The complete solo songs of E J Moeran. '... beautifully sung ...'

Havergal Brian on European and American music

Performances by Deborah Roberts and friends. '... a recording to be treasured ...'

Music by Justin Rubin. '... much attractive music ...'

Music by Alice Ping Yee Ho. '... musically and technically impressive ...'

Modern American orchestral music. '... highly imaginative elements ...'

Brahms and Strauss. '... a very fine performance by Joshua Pierce ...'

Music for cello and piano by Krzysztof Meyer. '... fine playing ...'

Music by Matthew Taylor. '... skill and personality in equal measures ...'

Table music by Biber. '... a superb and sensitive performance ...'

Song cycles and chamber music by Gareth Walters. '... deserves a firm place in the CD library.'

Michael Ludwig plays music by John Corigliano. '... should not fail to entertain ...'

Chamber music by Hugh Wood. '... taut stamina.'

Music by John Jeffreys. '... beautifully paced ...'

'Composing in Words: William Alwyn on his Art'

Piano music by John Pitts. 'The performances by Steven Kings are excellent ...'

Music by Babbitt and Feldman. '... fresh and striking ...'

Austin Moorhead's guitar recital. '... a programme to which it is well worth giving time.'

Music by Thomas Hewitt Jones. '... attractive but questionably appropriate ...'

Bartók's Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion. 'The video reveals Solti's benign authority ...'

Music by Carey Blyton. '... a delight for both performer and listener.'

Mozart's 'Idomeneo', treasured. '... beautifully paced and crafted ...'

Royal Opera's 'Hansel and Gretel'. '... a first class cast ...'

Vocal and choral music by Cecilia McDowall. '... attractive, lyrical and sometimes forceful ...'

Café music from Vienna

Jonathan Dove's 'Swanhunter'

Philippe Quint plays Korngold's Violin Concerto. '... his emotional command is convincing.'

Contemporary music for oboe and ensemble. '... a wide range of interest.'

The collected 78rpm recordings of Peter Warlock. '... some interesting and revealing performances.'

Chamber music by Steven R Gerber. '... impressive quality.'

Symphonies by Leif Kayser. '... his ingenious inventiveness continues to impress.'

Music by Philip Wilby. 'Nothing stands still for long ...'

Symphonies by Albéric Magnard impress Patric Standford. '... a notable symphonic architect.'

Music by Igor Krivokapic

Piano music by Benjamin Lees. '... a pleasant surprise ...'

Music by Jonathan Little

Symphonies by James Cohn

Chamber music by Brian Ferneyhough. '... strong and committed performances ...'

Orchestral music by Benjamin Britten

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra plays Stravinsky

Gerald Finzi's 'Dies natalis'

Violin concertos by Bohuslav Martinu

Choral music by Pawel Lukaszewski

Evgeni Mikhailov's Scriabin sonatas impress Patric Standford. '... commanding performances of powerful works ...'

Contemporary music from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

A recording by the National Youth Choir of Great Britain

Gergiev conducts Mahler

Ursula Oppens plays Elliott Carter

Music from The Phoenix Chorale

Judith Bingham's 'Shakespeare Requiem' receives its first performance

Oboe music by Edwin Roxburgh

Orchestral music by William Alwyn

Music by Messiaen

Songs by Oskar Merikanto

Symphonies by Harri Vuori

Piano music and songs by Robin Milford

Music for orchestra by Steven R Gerber

Orchestral music by Barbara Harbach

Music by Hampson Sisler

Stokowski conducts ballet music

Quarter-tone keyboard music played by Joshua Pierce

Microtonal music

Recordings of the Beethoven symphonies attract Patric Standford. '... an outstanding overall impression.'

Chamber music and songs by William Alwyn

Music by Veljo Tormis

Music by Isotaro Sugata

Works by Kosçak Yamada

The Labèque sisters play Stravinsky and Debussy. 'Altogether an impressive production with excellent performances.'

Music for string orchestra by Peteris Plakidis

Evgenia Rubinova plays Chopin with the Orchestra of Opera North in Huddersfield and Leeds

Sacred vocal music by Robert Parsons

Orchestral music by Charles Camilleri

Concertos for string instruments by Laurent Petitgirard

Orchestral music by Komei Abe

On Ronald Stevenson's eightieth birthday, Patric Standford reads Colin Scott-Sutherland's 'Ronald Stevenson: The Man and his Music'

Music for strings by Josef Myslivecek

Orchestral music by Julius Burger

Patric Standford listens to orchestral music by Ester Mägi

Music by Robert Hugill

Music by Igor Raykhelson

Music by Schubert and his circle

Jeffrey Fisher's 'Fairy Tales' disappoints Patric Standford

Music by Georg von Bertouch and from the Mestmacher Manuscript


'The Adventures of Pinocchio' by Jonathan Dove and Alasdair Middleton

Sara Botkin's Christmas collection

'Snowcarols' and other Christmas music by William Ferris

Festive music by Vaughan Williams

Christmas music from Germany

A Christmas selection from Chorus Angelicus and Gaudeamus


Marin Alsop conducts Brahms

Chamber music by Kerry Turner. '... accessible, neatly made, technically challenging ...'

Russian music from Stokowski. 'The recordings do not show half a century of wear ...'



J S Bach's Leipzig Chorales. '... the performances are exquisite.'

Music by Karol Szymanowski. '... a rewarding partnership ...'

Elgar's 'Dream of Gerontius' from Birmingham. '... a rich performance by both chorus and orchestra ...'

Music by Carson Cooman

Cuarteto Casals plays Ravel, Turina and Toldrá

Music commissioned and played by Richard Nunemaker

John Rutter's 'Mass of the Children'

Orchestral music by Dvorák. '... vigorous and vital ...'

Getting Physical

Elgar and England

Staatskapelle Berlin plays Mahler's Ninth. 'Barenboim and Mahler are fine partners.'

Keith Barnard replies to Patric Standford's latest article on intervals

'Rigoletto' at the Grand Theatre in Leeds, UK. Patric Standford at the revival of last autumn's sensational production

Dialogues with and about John Cage

'Les Noces' and 'Dido and Aeneas' at Opera North in Leeds. Patric Standford was at the first night on 5 May 2007

The structured improvisations of Alexandra Gardner

Music by Peter Dickinson





Patric Standford was at the first night of Opera North's 'The Magic Flute'

Paul Neebe plays American trumpet concertos

The 1751 version of Handel's 'Messiah'

Music by Teresa LeVelle

A worthy memorial to William Ferris

Seasonal music from Naxos

Poulenc's 'La voix humaine' at Opera North

Piano music from Cuba. '... undoubted technical command ...'

Opera North's 'Peter Grimes'

Music by Orlando Gibbons

Mahler's Symphony No 7 played by Staatskapelle Berlin

Joseph Gramley plays music for percussion

Music from Indiana University Southeast. '... a superb addition to any collection.'



Chamber music by Hummel

Chamber music by Chris Lastovicka

Music for piano and orchestra

Music by Karen Amrhein



Shining youth

School music

Handel Italian cantatas performed by Arcadia

What's in a name?


Choral music by William McClelland

Music by Guillaume Connesson

Michel Dalberto plays Mozart Piano Concertos

21st century Latvian symphonic music




Christmas music from the Mediterranean. '... an intriguing expansion to musical horizons ...'

British light music

Performances by the Corelli Consort and soloists

Kumiko Ida's British piano album

Class Acts


Key Question

Playing the listener

Lute solos and songs by Robert Johnson from Shakespeare's England

A 20th century recital by the Westminster Choir

Music by Victoria Jordanova

Music by James Kimo Williams

An orchestral spectacular from the Bruckner Orchestra Linz

Orchestral music by Meyer Kupferman. '... an extrovert, highly charged composer with a vivid sonic imagination and a sure skill in orchestration.'

Leif Segerstam conducts Sibelius

Music by Douglas Bruce Johnson

Singing. Includes reply essays from Malcolm Tattersall and Alistair Hinton

Music and vision

Chamber music by American composers. 'This is a most worthy undertaking ...'

Stokowski conducts Vivaldi and Handel. 'His approach was clearly monumental.'

The music of Joseph M Levin

Music for wind instruments by Karel Husa. '... delightful discoveries, highly recommended.'

Five orchestral works by Elliott Schwartz. '... fertile imagination and bright spirit.'

Music by Mark Emney

Orchestral music by Frank Bridge. '... a fine recording of music that has an outstanding place in English musical heritage.'

Contemporary music première recordings for oboe

Shostakovich's 2nd and 14th symphonies. '... a superb disc ...'


Waiting for a gift



The Talla Vocal Ensemble. '... guaranteed to delight listeners ...'

Music by Carson Cooman. '... an ecstatic all American sound ...'

Harnoncourt conducts Haydn

Emma Kirkby sings music by Cataldo Amodei. '... a CD of rare beauty ...'

Stokowski and the classic Columbias. '... a powerful performance ...'

Choral music by Cecilia McDowall. '... a composer who deserves to be heard as widely as possible.'

A historic organ recital by Virgil Fox

David Johnstone plays assorted music for solo cello

David Barela plays Liszt

A Daniel Rubinoff saxophone recital

Scientific music


Trade marks

School Orchestra

All-round musical greatness

A Philip Amalong piano recital

The music of Fred Jonny Berg. '... Berg will probably be an outrageous success!'


Blissful ignorance

Harmonious learning

Portuguese wind music played by the Galliard Ensemble. '... brilliantly played.'

Music played by Corey Jane Holt

Music by Henri Lazarof. '... a composer deserving an attentive ear.'

Chamber music by Peter Maxwell Davies. '... played with accomplished precision ...'

Heidi Lowy plays Ravel

Music by Carolyn Yarnell, presented

András Schiff plays Bach's 'Goldberg Variations'. '... impressive and enviable effortlessness ...'

Works by Luciano Berio and David Sherr. '... a great interpreter and technical artist.'

New music for orchestra. '... a hypnotically appealing experience.'

Tamami Honma plays music by John McCabe



Luiza Borac plays Enescu. '... a worthy ambassador for a genius ...'

Music by John Hawkins. 'The performers are of the best ...'

Music played by the Kandinsky Trio. '... one of the most attractive chamber music recordings ...'

The string quartets of David Arditti

Music by Joe Wiedemann

Todd Goodman's Symphony No 1

Magret Wolf's opera 'Kirisk'. 'The recording ... under the careful direction of the Israeli conductor Lior Shambadal, is excellent ...'

Patric Standford listens to recent music for solo flutes, played by Nancy Ruffer

Georg Katzer's 'Medea in Korinth'. '... vivid and clear spontaneity ...'

Patric Standford listens to the music of Elodie Lauten

The orchestral music of Meyer Kupferman, discovered. '... a sustained quality that is Kupferman's own, widely spread and generous, emotionally extrovert ...'

An anniversary CD by an English cathedral choir

Music by Gerard Schurmann. '... clear, direct, economical and excellently focussed ...'

Fading celebrity


the essential difference

Educating genius

Patric Standford listens to 'Classical Spirit'

Rosemary Tuck plays the Celtic Fantasies of Vincent Wallace. '... splendid performance ...'

Choral music by Bernhard Lewkovitch. '... superb advocates for a composer who well deserves far more of our attention.'

Topologies play music by Alwynne Pritchard. '... excellent playing ...'

A new recital from Flute Force. '... a major performer and inspiration for composers ...'

maturity and skill

in the ear of the listener

The Sinfonietta by Ernesto Halffter. '... an impressive job ...'


Chamber music from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. '... beautifully recorded and artistically stimulating.'

moods and music

no composers, thank you!

Kitty Brazelton's chamber music, given a keen ear. '... some attractive surface work ...'

The music of David Gaines. '... bright and clear ...'


The music of Richard Emsley. '... a more or less complete portrait of the composer's identity.'

clinical recording

Hans Rott's Symphony in E. '... outstanding recording.'

conducting ourselves

Patric Standford reports from the 2nd International Composers' Competition 'In memoriam Zoltán Kodály'


operatic folly

Beecham conducts Delius. '... a very worthy CD, remastered with due care ...'

The choral music of Bryan Kelly. '... an excellently produced CD, with a fine balance of sound ...'

orchestral players

Patric Standford appreciates Beecham's 1937 recording of Beethoven's 'Missa Solemnis'

neglected genius

Judge on the menu. Patric Standford attends the first night of Opera North's revival production of Sondheim's 'Sweeney Todd'

Rewarding discovery. Listening to symphonies by Alexander Moyzes. 'Technically this is a bright and clean recording with excellent wind playing ...'


complete performances

teaching composers

moments of weakness

Happy and profound. 'The National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, conducted by Robert Houlihan, have brought this fine work to life with a strong performance ...' The music of A J Potter

the piano

Bright vigour. '... strong clean performances ...' Kurt Atterberg's Symphonies Nos 7 and 8



The performer

The orchestra

Down to earth

Reflective modality. '... a notable collection of songs in beautifully controlled and devoted performances ...' Listening to a recital of music by Rubbra and Vaughan Williams

Russia's roots. '... generally this is a recording well worth having.' The colourful world of Rimsky-Korsakov and Russian folk music

'... "The World" and the six short Russian songs show Tavener at his best ...' The Vanbrugh Quartet plays John Tavener

Patric Standford attended the UK's National Young Musicians' Festival

Opera North's new production of the Shostakovitch musical at the Grand Theatre, Leeds, UK. Patric Standford was at the first night ...

Creating 'The Emperor's Orchestra'

Transparently colourful. '... chamber music for orchestra, beautifully made.' The Preludes for Sinfonietta of Vagn Holmboe

Poignant beauty. 'The performances are warm and sympathetic, making a good case for this composer's wider recognition.' The orchestral songs of Zemlinsky

The serious rival - Patric Standford examines music appealing to the listener with more time and patience

A dramatic musical imagination. Patric Standford listens to orchestral music by Javier Montsalvatge.

Patric Standford listens to music by Poul Ruders

The famous Valencian composer died on 6th July

An independent spirit - Patric Standford considers a new Chavez CD

Matthias Ronnefeld's I hear the Drummers strike the Sky

'Hidden Reflections' - Patric Standford listens to two new CDs from the USA

Janácek's Moravian folk poetry in Songs

Articles about Patric Standford

CD Spotlight. Real Worth - Orchestral music by Patric Standford stimulates Robert Anderson. 'All the music on this CD is logical, intelligible, and gripping.'

Elgar and Englishness - Alistair Hinton takes issue with Patric Standford's recent 'Provocative Thoughts'

Interval Talk - Alistair Hinton comments on Patric Standford's recent 'Provocative Thoughts'

Appropriate Temperament - Gordon Rumson replies to Patric Standford's article on keys and the decline of tonality

Class actions? - Alistair Hinton replies to Patric Standford's latest on 'Class acts'

Scientific music? - Alistair Hinton replies to Patric Standford's recent provocations

The same or not the same? - That is the question. Alistair Hinton responds to Patric Standford's recent provocative essay

The specious origins of originality - Alistair Hinton comments on Patric Standford's recent 'Provocative Thoughts'

How essential is the difference? - Composer and curator of the Sorabji Archive Alistair Hinton replies to Patric Standford's recent 'Provocative Thoughts'

Emotions and music - Some thoughts from composer Alistair Hinton

Creating 'The Emperor's Orchestra' - Patric Standford's diary for this recent commission (concluded from last week), including a chance to ask questions of Patric

Creating 'The Emperor's Orchestra' - Patric Standford's diary for this recent commission (continued from last week)

Creating 'The Emperor's Orchestra' - Patric Standford's diary for this recent commission