Death of a reformed modernist

Death of a reformed modernist


norman lebrecht

August 18, 2015

The Manchester-born composer Roger Smalley, who has died in Sydney at 72, started out as Stockhausen’s assistant, an enthusiastic purveyor of all things electronic.

Then he moved to Australia, taught at Perth, and wrote a symphony and piano concerto.  His Variations on a Theme of Chopin is described as ‘a milestone in Australian repertoire for solo piano’. In 2011 Roger was appointed to the Order of Australia (AM).

May he rest in peace.

roger smalley


  • Ppellay says:

    Very sorry to read this. He did the Australian premiere of a work of mine back in 1991. His Symphony in 1 Movement and his Piano Concerto are marvellous works that need to be better known. RIP.

  • RW2013 says:

    What are the other Australian piano milestones?
    Just asking…

    • Jay says:

      are you genuinely interested, and are you familiar with Australian music?

      • RW2013 says:

        I’ve performed Sitsky, Sculthorpe, and love the Agnew sonatas.
        I’ll check out the Smalley/Chopin. Is it as good as the Mompou or Tintner Variations?

  • Margaret Jones says:

    I studied with Roger for many years. My blog has a page about those years: