John Middleton

Although I wrote songs for guitar in my teens and twenties, my career as a composer was interrupted by going to medical school, followed by 36 years service in the NHS.

I always had music in my head, but it began increasingly to demand attention in the 10 years before retirement. During that time, I wrote an opera Ivanhoe, an oratorio (see events 2013 - St John Passion) and a Bird Symphony . Since then, I have had time to revise and edit the opera in readiness for its performance in July 2011,

and also the oratorio for its performance in March 2013 .

The Bird Symphony was used as the theme for the Artspace exhibition, Birdsong also in 2011. I have since written six more symphonies. No 4 A Blackbird in Quorn was played in Quorn Village Hall on 28th October 2017. 

Further compositions are The Robin string quartet, the TH Sonata for flute and piano to mark the birth of my grandson, and Rothko by Moonlight which is a piano piece written for the private view of Erica's ceramics and paintings in February 2020.

My play, Margaret and Arthur, has been used in a workshop in London in November 2011, subsequently having a rehearsed reading at Leicester s Curve Theatre. I wrote it as a preliminary to a libretto for a chamber opera, which has been completed during lockdown. Also completed in 2020 was the song cycle A Poet's Journey 1914-17, setting 15 poems of Edward Thomas.

My second oratorio, The Word had its premier on March 17th 2018. It is based on John 1-10, which makes a prequel to my St John Passion, with which it shares some themes.

My other musical interests are singing (including Schaunard in La Boheme, Sharpless in Madam Butterfly for Charnwood Opera, and Masetto in Don Giovanni for Operahouse) and playing folk/blues guitar.





CCA's Composer of the Month, FEBRUARY 2013

CCA's Composer of the Month, February 2013, John Middleton has an interesting life in music which has run parallel to his other career in the medical profession. He has been selected as the third of...

What the performers said about the music

I asked the singers who had commented on the music, after taking part in the St John Passion performance, to write their reflections down for me.

The Bird Symphony and 'Bird Song' Art exhibition

The Bird Symphony was used as a theme for an exhibition of Art by the Loughborough based 'Artspace' group. This address was given by the composer at the private view.

Programme notes for the St John Passion performance

Premier performance on 23.3.13 at Trinity Methodist Centre, Loughborough

Ivanhoe and the St John Passion

Programmes for the premier performances of the opera and the oratorio

Sound production from computer notation software

Music is written on Personal Composer for Windows. MIDI file is transferred to Acid DAW for sculpting with orchestral patches, and finished as a wave file in Sound Forge. Vocal parts are added in...

Symphony No 4: A Blackbird in Quorn