T he Living Composers Project  

Wilkins, Margaret Lucy (b. November 13, 1939, Kingston-upon-Thames). British composer of stage, orchestral, chamber, choral, vocal, piano, organ, harpsichord, and electroacoustic works that have been performed throughout the world.

Dr. Wilkins began composing at age twelve and studied composition with Gladdys Puttick at the Trinity College of Music in London from 1952–57. She then studied at the University of Nottingham from 1957–60, where she earned her BMus with honors, and where she later studied composition with James Fulkerson from 1986–89 and earned her AMusD in 1995.

Among her honors are First Prize in the young composers competition of the New Cantata Orchestra of London (1970, for Concerto Grosso), the Scottish Arts Council Award for Composers (1970), the Cappiani Prize for Women Composers (1971, for The Silver Casket), and First Prize in the competition for teaching music in Halifax (1973, for Instrumental Interludes). In addition, she received two commissions from the Hinrichsen Foundation (1979, for A Dance to the Music of Time and Lest We Forget; 1990, for Musica Angelorum) and received the Arts Council of Great Britain Bursary for Composers (1981–82, for Aspects of Night, Deux ex Machina, Lest We Forget, and Gitanjali). Her recent awards include the Sandford Award for Heritage Education (1999, for Discover Oakwell) and the Miriam Gideon International Prize (2000, for Struwwelpeter). Her music has been performed in Brazil, Bulgaria, China, France, Italy, Latvia, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, the UK, and the USA, including twice at the ISCM World New Music Festival (1992, Warsaw; 2003, Ljubljana) and a portrait concert in Huddersfield (2000).

Dr. Wilkins is also active in other positions. She co-founded the Scottish Early Music Consort in 1969 and was active as a performer in the ensemble from 1969–76. She later founded the new-music ensemble Polyphonia in 1989 and served as its artistic director from 1989–93. In addition, she often conducted the New Music Ensemble of the University of Huddersfield and other ensembles in performances of her own music, as well as works by other composers. She was a member of the executive committee of the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters from 1972–78 and from 1986–92 and of the council of the Society for the Promotion of New Music from 1980–86, on whose council she has again served since 2003. Moreover, she served on the board of directors of the International Alliance of Women in Music from 1998–2002 and has been a member of the honor committee of the Fondazione Donne in Musica since 1998.

She taught music theory and piano privately in St. Andrews from 1964–76. She lectured on composition and women in music at the University of Huddersfield from 1976–2003, where she also served as chair of the composition department from 1990–2003 and as Principal Lecturer from 1999–2003. In addition, she taught as the Maude Clarke Visiting Professor at Queen's University in Belfast in 1995.


E-mail address: margaretlucywilkins@btinternet.com

Street address: Dr. Margaret Lucy Wilkins, 7 Lion Ln., Billericay, Essex CM12 9DL, UK

Telephone: + 4412 7762 5593


STAGE: KANAŁ (environmental event, texts by Pablo Neruda, Jorge Luis Borges, Bertolt Brecht, William Blake, John Milton), moving oboe, 4 ensembles (in different locations) (12 or more mixed voices, 6–12 actors, 2 French horns, trumpet; 8 trumpets/cornets/flügelhorns, 3 trombones, 4 tenor saxhorns/baritone saxhorns/euphoniums, 3 tubas; any number of actors, tape; any number of dancers, tenor drum, 3 tambourines, tape) (with 2 conductors), 1990; Stringsing (dance music, choreography by Julie Wilson), tape, 1992; L'Attente (dance music, choreography by Julie Wilson), tape, 1994

ORCHESTRAL: Concerto Grosso, 1970; Dance Variations, harpsichord, 18 strings, 1973; Hymn to Creation, 1973; Music of the Spheres, large orchestra (68 players), 1975; Epistola da San Marco, brass band, 1987; Symphony, large orchestra (86 players), 1989; Musica Angelorum, 12 strings, 1991; Rituelle, 2 timpani, tubular bells, 6 ensembles (4 French horns; 5 clarinets; 3 trombones; 3 B-flat trumpets; flute, clarinet, B-flat trumpet, trombone; 5 flutes), 1999

CHAMBER MUSIC: Orpheus, violin, piano, 1973; Burnt Sienna: Étude for String Trio, violin, viola, cello, 1974; Circus, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, French horn, trumpet, violin, double bass, percussion, 1975; Aspects of Night, alto recorder (+ bass recorder, Garkleinflötlein recorder, soprano recorder), guitar/harpsichord, 1981; Aries, soprano recorder, 1984; Pirouette, oboe, 1985; Pas de Quatre, 4 oboes, 1985; Circuit, bassoon, piano, 1986; 366", trombone, 1986; Rêve, Réveil, Révélation, Réverbérations, alto flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, harp, guitar, 4 violins, cello, double bass, synthesizer, vibraphone, marimba, 1988; The Cello in my Life, cello, piano, live electronics, 1989; A Baker's Dozen, soprano recorder, piano, 1994; Trompettes de Mort, French horn, 2 trumpets, trombone, tuba, piano, 2002

CHORAL: Lecture on Nothing (text by John Cage), 7 speakers, 1973; Three Skelmanthorpe Carols, 4 male voices, 1980; Gitanjali (text by Rabindranath Tagore), mixed chorus, 1981; Lest We Forget (texts from the names of Nazi concentration camps), mixed chorus, live electronics, 1982; Playtime (texts by school children), children's chorus, flute, clarinet, trumpet, violin, cello, double bass, piano, 1985 (also version for children's chorus, piano, 1985); Revelations of the Seven Angels (texts from the plainsong Benedicamus Domino, motet Candida, plainsong Flos filius, anonymous 15th-century British sources, motet Alleluia), 8 ensembles (2 French horns, 6 violins, 4 violas, 4 celli, 6 double basses; male chorus, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, bassoon; 2 flutes, 4 violins, celesta, vibraphone; soprano, string quartet; oboe, 6 violins, 2 violas, 2 celli; 2 soprano recorders, tuba, xylophone; female chorus, harp, guitar; 4 B-flat trumpets, 3 trombones), 1988; Ring Out, Wild Bells (text by Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson of Aldworth and Freshwater), mixed chorus, organ, 1997

VOCAL: Dieux est (texts from medieval sources), soprano, flute, harp, violin, percussion, 1970; The Silver Casket (text by Mary Stuart), soprano, harp, violin, viola, cello, 1971; Witch Music (texts from anonymous spells), mezzo-soprano (+ suspended finger cymbals), clarinet, trumpet, double bass, 1971; Struwwelpeter (text by Heinrich Hoffmann [anonymous translation]), soprano, 3 clarinets (any + E-flat clarinet, A-clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone), piano, percussion, 1973; Ave Maria, mezzo-soprano, flute, clarinet, harp, violin, viola, cello, piano, percussion, 1975; L'Allegro (text by John Milton), countertenor, sopranino recorder (+ soprano recorder, alto recorder, bass recorder), harpsichord, 1977; The Tree of Life (texts by John Donne, Thomas Traherne, Edwin Muir, George Herbert, Walter de la Mare, Cursor Mundi, Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson of Aldworth and Freshwater, Henry Vaughan, William Butler Yeats, Robert Southwell, anonymous sources, Dame Edith Sitwell), tenor, baritone, bass, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, percussion, 1979; Folkworks (texts from anonymous Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, British folksongs), countertenor/alto, cello, harpsichord, 1996; BallyMo (texts from anonymous Irish Gaelic sources), medium voice, bass recorder (+ soprano recorder), 1998

PIANO: Instrumental Interludes, 1973; Study in Black and White No. 1, 1983; Study in Black and White No. 2, 1992; Study in Black and White No. 3, 1995

ORGAN: Deus ex Machina, 1982; A Joyful Noise!, 1988

HARPSICHORD: A Dance to the Music of Time, 1980

ELECTROACOUSTIC: Music for an Exhibition (sound installation), 1970; Sci-Fi (sound installation), 1973; Discover Oakwell (sound installation), 1995; Fearful Apathy, 8-track tape, 1997


Deus ex Machina. Keith Jarvis, organ (Priory: PRC 239, 1988) (cassette)

Study in Black and White Nos. 12. Ananda Sukarlan, piano (Erasmus: WVH 139, 1994)

Struwwelpeter. Jane Manning, soprano; Matrix Ensemble (Music File, 1997) (cassette)

Musica Angelorum; Struwwelpeter; Burnt Sienna: Étude for String Trio; 366"; Symphony. Alison Wells, soprano; Barrie Webb, trombone; Firebird String Trio; Plamen Djurov/Sofia Soloists Chamber Ensemble; Barrie Webb/Firebird, Timişoara Symphony Orchestra (Vienna Modern Masters: VMM 3055, 2003)

(Last updated on September 28, 2004)

Margaret Lucy Wilkins, Margaret Wilkins, Margret Wilkins, Margret Lucy Wilkins, Margaret L. Wilkins, Margret L. Wilkins, M.L. Wilkins