Cancer claims British composer, 47

Cancer claims British composer, 47


norman lebrecht

October 09, 2018

News has been released of the death of Alan Charlton, a British composer who lived in Brussels and was the favourite music teacher of the England cricketer, Alistair Cook.

Alan’s widow Nicola has posted on his Facebook page:

Sadly our brilliant, beautiful friend Alan – my beloved husband – died a month ago today.

He died here in Brussels, in hospital on 7 September 2018, two and a half years after being diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer, and 363 days after our wonderful wedding (photos

Huge thanks to all who have since visited and sent condolences.


  • Jonathan Dunsby says:

    I once heard the Advent motet “A solis ortus cardine” (From the hinge of the rising sun) which is a very fine work.


  • Rebecca Dawson says:

    Alan was a wonderfully gifted composer and musician, with a wicked and irreverent sense of humour. He was awarded Bristol University’s first ever PhD in composition, and then became the first ever composer-in-residence at Bedford School, where he taught composition not only to the fabulous clarinettist Alastair Cook (who I gather isn’t bad at cricket either), but also to Nick Martin (now a professional composer living in CPH) and Gareth Nellis, who was also an extremely talented composer, though chose instead to become an academic. Alan was loved and adored – rightly so – by so many of us, and he leaves a big hole in all our lives. I think I can safely say that ALL of us who loved Alan send our love to Nicola, their brilliant little daughter, and Alan’s sister and parents.

  • Sue says:

    Absolutely dreadful to die young or at the prime of life!! Terrible.

  • Tom Seligman says:

    Alan and Nicola were treasured members of Kensington Chamber Orchestra before moving back to Brussels, and have remained dear friends to us. We were proud to perform Alan’s thrilling orchestral piece The Tide of Time. Since being racked by illness, Alan has devoted a huge amount of energy to finishing crucial compositional projects and supervising the recording of a number of the works he was most proud of. Indeed, that concentrated and determined activity seems to have given him new energy, even when he was frail and in great pain. As a result, he leaves a wonderful musical legacy, on top of the great regard and love he inspired in many of those who knew him over the years.