Mourning for an Australian composer, 86

Mourning for an Australian composer, 86


norman lebrecht

February 19, 2022

The death has been conveyed of the accomplished Australian composer and broadcaster Nigel Butterley.

Educated in Sydney and London, he staged one hilarious collaboration, First Day Covers, with Barrie Humphries in his Edna Everage role. He also wrote much else for Australian orchestras.

Image: Australian Music Centre: Bridget Elliot


  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    I used to work with him way back in the early 1970s at the Australian Broadcasting Commission (as it then was) Music Department. He once told a friend of mine whom he taught at the conservatorium that “Debussy wrote no melodies”.

  • Antony Walker says:

    Nigel was a tremendously talented composer, a wonderful man, and widely respected across the Australian music scene. Very soft spoken, supportive, knowledgable and kind in the 10 years that I knew him. I was privileged to have conducted various works by him in Australia, when I used to work there. His passing is a real loss and will be felt by many Australian music lovers of all ages.