Philip Wilby

Born in Pontefract in 1949, Philip was educated at Leeds Grammar School and Keble College, Oxford. Philip attributes the awakening of his interest in composition to Herbert Howells, whose extra-curricular composition classes he attended while a violinist in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. A serious commitment to composition developed during the years at Oxford and, having gained his BMus in composition, Philip continued to write music even while working as a professional violinist (first at Covent Garden and later with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra). He returned to Yorkshire in 1972 and is Principal Lecturer in Composition at the University of Leeds. In recent years, Philip has established a very significant reputation in the field of brass band, wind band and choral music. 

Philip has given much time to writing for liturgical purposes and works include St Paul’s Service (1988) commissioned by St Paul’s Cathedral for John Scott and the Choir of St Paul’s Cathedral, and The Trinity Service (1992) commissioned by Norwich Cathedral for the 1992 Norwich Festival of Contemporary Church Music. 

In addition, Philip Wilby has written educational works and incidental music for television.