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Peter Dickinson, regarded by many as one of the most original and versatile composers working in Britain today, was born in Lytham St. Anne's, Lancashire, in 1934. He went to Cambridge as an Organ Scholar of Queens' College, and then spent three formative years in the USA, initially as a graduate student at the Juilliard School of Music, New York. From that time onwards his music has been regularly commissioned in this country and abroad.
After returning from America, Dickinson spent some years teaching in London and Birmingham, and from 1974-84 he was the first Professor of Music at Keele University. At all periods he has been active as a pianist, notably in recitals, broadcasts and recordings with his sister Meriel Dickinson. He also broadcasts regularly on musical and literary subjects .
Dickinson's wide range of interests, and his specialized search into Erik Satie, Charles Ives, Lord Berners and writers such as W.H. Auden, James Joyce, e.e.cummings, and Stevie Smith, come into focus in his own music. Many of his own compositions demonstrate his affection for aspects of popular music and jazz. The Piano Concerto made a great impact both at a BBC Promenade Concert in 1986 and in the recording by Howard Shelley and the BBC Symphony Orchestra under David Atherton, the work being coupled with his Organ Concerto played by Jennifer Bate. The Violin Concerto which followed was a BBC commission, premiered by Ernst Kovacic and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra under Bryden Thompson.
In 1984, Dickinson moved back to London with his family to concentrate entirely on composition. In 1987 The South Bank Show (ITV) made a 50-minute documentary about his work, shown on 13 March 1988; and the Arts Council chose Songcycles, a new record of his songs with piano, for the first set in its series 20th-Century Classics, launched in February 1988.Information source: wikipedia