Alan Ridout

Alan Ridout (9 December 1934 – 19 March 1996) was a British composer and teacher.


Born at West Wickham, Greater London, England, Alan Ridout studied briefly at the Guildhall School of Music before commencing four years of study at the Royal College of Music, London with Herbert Howells and Gordon Jacob. He was later taught by Michael Tippett, Peter Fricker and (under a Dutch government scholarship) Henk Badings.

He went on to teach at the Royal College of Music, the University of Birmingham, the University of Cambridge, the University of London, and at The King's School, Canterbury. He also broadcast musical talks on the radio.

His works include church, orchestral and chamber music, much of it for children. His style is mostly tonal, though in younger life he wrote some microtonal works.

Alan Ridout worked regularly with the Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra (LSSO). Ridout's Three Pictures of Picasso, originally written for the National Youth Orchestra, was performed by the LSSO at a De Montfort Hall concert conducted by Rudolf Schwarz in 1964 in the presence of the composer. Ridout then composed his second symphony for the LSSO and dedicated it to Michael Tippett to mark his 60th birthday (though Ridout did not hold Tippett in high regard). The symphony was first performed in 1965 and also featured in the television programme Overture with Beginners (see video link below). The 1967 Leicestershire Schools Music Festival included a number of LSSO commissions and in May that year Ridout's dance drama Funeral Games for a Greek Warrior made its debut at De Montfort Hall. In July 1967 the LSSO made its first commercial disc for the Pye Golden Guinea label and Ridout responded to a request for a short work for inclusion on the disc by composing a lively Concertante Music. The work's debut took place on a record rather than at a public concert. Concertante Music was then taken on the LSSO tour of Denmark and Germany in September 1967 (see external video link below).

Alan Ridout lived for much of his life in Canterbury. He died in Caen, France.

Selected worksEdit

Ridout was a prolific composer; his obituary in The Independent says that a complete list of his works runs to 100 pages.

  • On Christ's Nativity for choir SATB (1954)
  • St. John Passion for tenor, bass, chorus and organ (1962)
  • Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (St. John's service) for choir SATB and organ (1962)
  • O most merciful Redeemer for choir SATB (1965)
  • Sacred Songs for Treble Voices (1st set) for boys' choir and organ (1965)
  • The Beatitudes for 4-part treble voices (1966)
  • Let us with a gladsome mind for mixed choir and organ (1967)
  • Communion Service for choir and congregation (1968)
  • Sacred Songs for Treble Voices (3rd set) for boys' choir and organ (1969)
  • The History of the Flood to 6 voices and to a poem by John Heath-Stubbs (1971)
  • Songs of Advent for unison voices and organ (1987)
  • Through the Day for 2-part treble voices and organ (1989)
  • Samuel! Cantata for treble, baritone and bass soli, mixed choir and organ (1993)
  • Canticle of Joy for countertenor and tenor solo, mixed choir and orchestra (1994)
  • Whom time will not reprieve, four songs for countertenor and viola (1989)

For a ?complete list of his orchestral works, see [1]

  • Symphony No. 1 (1958)
  • Concerto for Orchestra (1959)
  • Three Pictures of Picasso (1962)
  • Symphony No. 2 (1964)
  • Symphony No. 3 (for wind, brass and percussion) (1965)
  • Funeral Games for a Greek Warrior for orchestra and children's choir (1966)
  • Concertante Music (1967)
  • Symphony No. 4 (for wind, brass and percussion) (1967)
  • Symphony No.5 Sinfonia da chiesa for women's voices and orchestra (1969)
  • Concerto for double bass and strings (1974)
  • Concertino for bassoon and strings (1975)
  • Concertino for trumpet and strings (1976)
  • Concertino for clarinet and strings (1976)
  • Concertino For flute and strings (1978)
  • Concertino for tuba and strings (1979)
  • Concertino for Alto Saxophone and Strings (1979)
  • Concerto for treble recorder, strings and percussion (1979)
  • Symphony No 6 for wind orchestra (1981)
  • Aubade for violin and orchestra (1982)
  • Pedro the Parrot, for National Youth Ballet (1983)
  • Symphony No.7 for trumpets, percussion, piano and strings (1983)
  • Cello Concerto No. 1 for cello, strings and percussion (1984)
  • Symphony No.8 for string orchestra (1984)
  • Ode (1986)
  • Cello Concerto No. 2 for cello and voices (1994)
  • Cello Concerto No. 3 The Prisoner for solo cello and 8 cellos (1995)
  • The Seven Last Words (1965)
  • Two Pictures of Graham Sutherland (1967)
  • Resurrection Dances (1969)
  • Three Nativity Dances (1971)
  • Processions (1974)
  • Six Studies (1976)
  • The Fourteen Stations of the Cross (1978)
  • Canticle of the Rose (1989)
  • Toccata (1989)
  • Messe d'orgue (1995)
  • Sonata for solo trombone (1975)
  • Eclogue for trombone and piano (1975)
  • Autumn Story for tuba and piano (1978)
  • Six Diversions for horn and piano (1989)
  • Light and Shade: six easy pieces for horn and piano (1991)
  • Sonatina for clarinet and piano (1967)
  • Pigs for four bassoons (1972)
  • Sonata for bassoon and piano (1972)
  • Concertante for woodwind quartet (1972)
  • Three nocturnes for flute and piano (1972)
  • Caliban and Ariel for solo bassoon (1974)
  • Suite for oboe and piano (1974)
  • The Emperor and the Bird of Paradise for narrator and solo flute (1974)
  • 6 Melodies for flute or oboe and piano (1976)
  • Epitaph for Michael for clarinet (1976)
  • Tarka, the water wanderer for three flutes (1987)
  • A Day in the Country: 12 easy pieces for recorder and piano (1990)
  • The Shippen for wind quintet (1990)
  • The Shepherd's Calendar for 4 bassoons (1991)
  • Farndale Dances for solo piccolo (1992)
  • Snow Scenes for saxophone in E and piano (1992)
  • To Autumn for flute and piano (1992)
  • Folies de Paris for contrabassoon and piano (1994)
  • Partita for cello solo (1959)
  • Bagatelles for cello and piano (1967)
  • Music for Three Violoncelli (1967)
  • Ferdinand for speaker and solo violin (1971)
  • Little Sad Sound, a melodrama for narrator and double bass (1974)
  • String Quartet No. 1 (1985)
  • String Quartet No. 2 (1987)
  • String Quartet No. 3 (1987)
  • Seascapes: six easy pieces for viola or cello and piano (1990)
  • Dance Preludes for double bass or cello and piano (1992)
  • String Quartet No. 4 "Malden" (1992)
  • String Quartet No. 5 "Stocklinch" (1993)
  • String Quartet No. 6 "The Vitréen" (1994)
  • Dance Bagatelles (1956)
  • Suite for clavichord or piano (1960)
  • Sonatina (1968)
  • Portraits: Eight pieces for piano (1973)
  • White Notes, Black Notes, Key Notes (1990)
  • Sonatina for timpani (1967)


  • Hardwick, Peter (1999). The organ music of Alan Ridout. The American Organist, March 1999.
  • Ridout, Alan (1995). A Composer's Life. London: Thames Publishing. ISBN 0-905210-54-9
  • Scott, Robert P. (1997). Alan Ridout, the Complete Catalogue. Ampleforth: Emerson Wind Publications. ISBN 0-9506209-5-5
  • Seymour, Claire (2018). Alan Ridout, String Quartets 1-6. Review of Omnibus Classics CD in MusicWeb International

External linksEdit