Sir John Manduell dies at 89

The veteran English composer Sir John Manduell has died at the age of 89. He passed away suddenly at 9 am on October 25 probably from an aortic embolism.

Sir John was born in Johannesburg but of English parents. He had a long career at the BBC, moving swiftly up the ranks and was responsible for setting up the first all-day music radio service (now known as Radio 3). At 40, he left to enter academic life, becoming the founding Principal of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester in 1971. He composed relatively little, but most of his works are substantial and important contributions. His Double Concerto in its revised version for oboe and cor anglais, and his Flutes Concerto, were both recorded by the Manchester Sinfonia and issued along with Double Concertos by Gordon Crosse on the Métier Records album “Mixed Doubles” (MSV 77201).

Divine Art founder Stephen Sutton says “I was honoured to meet Sir John (already almost totally paralysed) at a CD launch about four years ago in Manchester. His legacy, though small in quantity, was very high in quality of inspiration and craftsmanship. He will be missed especially by the Manchester musical circle and the myriads of students and teachers who worked under his oversight at the RNCM.”