Edward Harper

Scottish Music Centre

Edward Harper (1941 - 2009) - Full biography

Edward Harper

Edward Harper studied at Christ Church, Oxford and the Royal College of Music, London, where his teachers included Gordon Jacob. He has written music in most genres, but has a particular penchant for opera, of which he has written five, including Fanny Robin (1974) and Hedda Gabler (1985), both performed by Scottish Opera.

Other important works include two orchestral song cycles: Seven Poems by e.e. cummings, commissioned by the BBC in 1977 to mark the Queen’s Silver Jubilee and Homage to Thomas Hardy, a Cheltenham Festival commission in 1990.

He has completed two large-scale works involving school children, Music for King Arthur (2002) and The Voice of a City (2003). The latter included an adult community choir, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the new Usher Hall organ in Edinburgh and were both SCO commissions.

The Ballad for Piano was commissioned by the Scottish International Piano Competition 2004.

Harper is also active as a conductor and pianist. He was the Director of The New Music Group of Scotland and has recently formed a 'cello/piano duo with his wife, Louise Paterson.