Photo credit: Photographer: Jim Rolon

Nigel Butterley OAM, the Sydney composer, died recently, at the age of 86.

Having learned to play the piano at the age of 5, Butterley attended Sydney Grammar. In those days, Grammar had no music department, and the young musician had to turn to the Conservatorium for tuition. After a spell in London, studying under Ivy Priaulx Rainier, Butterley returned to Australia.

In 1963, he composed Laudes, a work for chamber ensemble, evoking the experience of visiting four churches during his European sojourn, which established him as a composer of consequence. Awards, commissions and a collaboration with Dame Edna Everidge followed.

Butterley’s music was strongly influenced by his response to poetry. He lectured at both Newcastle and Sydney Conservatoria, and in 1991 was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for services to Australian music.

On Friday 25 February Brian Drummond presented Nigel Butterley Remembered, a special one-hour tribute programmed by James Nightingale.

Stream now

Program items

Butterley, N. Flower in the crannied wall (1980).    Choir of Trinity College, Melbourne University/Michael Leighton Jones.
ABC 476 294-0 [03:55]

Butterley, N. Lawrence Hargrave flying alone (1981).    Stephanie McCallum, pf.
Tall Poppies TP037 [10:48]

Cage, J. Sonatas no 1-4 (1946-50).    Nigel Butterley, pf.
Tall Poppies TP025 [08:41]

Butterley, N. Meditations of Thomas Traherne (1968).    Melbourne SO/saiah Jackson.
ABC 446 478-2 [24:10]

Butterley, N. Richard’s prelude (2012).    Christine Draeger, fl; Jocelyn Fazzone, pf.
Fluteworthy Jul2013 [03:57]