Rory Boyle


Chorister at St.George's Chapel, Windsor, and studied composition, piano, organ and conducting at the RSAMD (now RCS), before continuing studies privately with Lennox Berkeley in London. Whilst still a student he won the BBC Composer's Prize with his first orchestral score. Further important awards followed including 2 Philharmonic Prizes and the Zaiks Prize in the International competition set up in memory of Kazimierz Serocki, one of the leading figures of the Polish avant garde. In 2006 he won a Creative Scotland Award to write an opera on the nineteenth century German feral child, Kaspar Hauser with a libretto by the Edinburgh based poet and writer, Dilys Rose. The Opera, Kaspar Hauser, Child of Europe, was performed in Scotland and Germany to crtitical acclaim, and won for Boyle a British Composer Award in the stage work category in 2010 with the jury citation describing the work as 'a very accomplished score; a powerful and disturbing story told with theatrical flair, dramatic pacing and excellent characterisation'. Five years later he won a second British Composer Award for his powerful brass band score Muckle Flugga, and he has received two further nominations in these annual awards, for Burble (solo clarinet), and  Elegy For The Black Bitch (brass quintet). His list of works covers most genres and he has written for many international performers including the BBC Singers (Songs From the Marshes), Evelyn Glennie (Marimba Concerto), Nicholas Daniel (Oboe Concerto, 'Sorella'), Karen Cargill (Watching Over You), Michael Chance (Lord Lundy), David Hubbard (Bassoon Concerto 'That Blessed Wood'), Olga Kern (Six T{ok}ens), Garth Knox (et Voila), and Mark O'Keeffe (Ceremony After A Fire Raid).  He has also worked closely with several new generation artistes including the remarkably talented pianist James Willshire who recorded a CD of Boyle's piano music on the Delphian label, and the brilliant virtuoso clarinettist Fraser Langton, whose CD of Boyle's clarinet music spanning some 40 years was released in 2017 (again on Delphian), with Gramophone magazine reviewing the music as being 'of high organisation, clarity and expressive power'. His work in the educational sphere includes 4 operas for children, and in 1988 the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland's tour programme included his Capriccio which was performed at venues including the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, and the London Proms. He has also scored two documentary films by Murray Grigor (Ever To Excel, and Beatus, The Spanish Apocalypse).

Residence/Main Office Ayrshire
Year of birth 1951
Contact email


Title Year composed Instrumentation Genre
Cinderella 1990 Ensemble (with conductor)
Sorceries, Charms and Spells 1990 Ensemble (no conductor)
Four Ways to Play Reels 1997 Ensemble (no conductor)
Beastly Tales 2001 Ensemble (with conductor)
Phaethon's Dancing Lesson (Piano Trio No. 2) 2002 Ensemble (no conductor)
Elegy For The Black Bitch 2004 Ensemble (no conductor)
Fluting 2007 Ensemble (no conductor)
A Box Of Chatter 2009 Ensemble (no conductor)
Tallis' Light 2011 Ensemble (with conductor)
Three Faces In The Crowd (Piano Trio No 3) 2017 Ensemble (no conductor)
Trio Notturno 2017 Ensemble (no conductor)
String Quartet No 2 (Quartetto da Requiem) 2017 Ensemble (no conductor)
Auld Nick's Dance Tunes Volume 6 2008 Ensemble (with conductor)
Intrada 2015 Ensemble (with conductor)
5 Bagatelles 1990 Ensemble (no conductor)
Sonata for Cello and Piano 1991 Ensemble (no conductor)
Lament 1999 Ensemble (no conductor)
Lullabies For Daft Jamie 2003 Solo instrument
Touch 2008 Solo instrument
Corrente 2009 Solo instrument
Partita a Quattro 2011 Solo instrument
Such Sweet Sorrow 2009 Solo instrument
Sin-Eater 2011 Ensemble (no conductor)
Burble 2012 Solo instrument
Dramatis Personae 2012 Ensemble (no conductor)
Baloue (Lullaby) 2015 Solo instrument
Scarlattiana 2017 Solo instrument
Autumn Music 2018 Ensemble (no conductor)
Vigils 1971 Ensemble (no conductor)
Two Love Lyrics 1984 Vocal
Four Greek Love Songs 1985 Vocal
Behemoths 2006 Ensemble (with conductor)
Wild Nights 1989 Ensemble (with conductor)
Watching Over You 2014 Ensemble (with conductor)
Songs From The Marshes 2018 Ensemble (with conductor)
Two Pieces for solo violin (Baloue & Elagie) 2016 Solo instrument
5 2013 Solo instrument
Duelogue 2015 Other
Capriccio On The Anniversary of a Beloved Master 2000 Solo instrument
From Golden Morning to Blackets Night 2012 Vocal
O Sacrum Convivium 2015 Ensemble (with conductor)
Nobilis Humilis 2016 Ensemble (with conductor)
Two Nocturnes 2016 Ensemble (with conductor)
The Cross Over The Cradle 2017 Vocal
Moduli 1985 Solo instrument
Three Pieces for Organ 1987 Solo instrument
Sonata for Piano 1991 Solo instrument
Three Studies For the One In The Middle 1998 Solo instrument
Reeling 2001 Solo instrument
A Handful of Leaves 2008 Ensemble (no conductor)
Les Deux Adieux de Marie 2011 Vocal
Sorella 2002 Ensemble (with conductor)
Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra 1992 Ensemble (with conductor)
Capriccio 1995 Ensemble (with conductor)
Winter Music 1986 Ensemble (with conductor)
That Blessed Wood 2010 Ensemble (with conductor)
Kaspar Hauser Suite 2012 Ensemble (with conductor)
Muckle Flugga 2014 Ensemble (with conductor)
Pictures Of Mole 1976 Ensemble (with conductor)
Perchance To Dream 2019 Ensemble (with conductor)
Dancing With Dr William 1994 Ensemble (with conductor)
See the full list of works by Rory Boyle

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