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News > Passing of friends > John Rose (1945G)

John Rose (1945G)

The passing of an OD four years ago who was living in Scotland. He was a composer and lecturer.
5 Dec 2022
United Kingdom
Passing of friends

We were surprised to hear the news of an OD who passed away quietly four years ago.  John Rose (1945G) had been living in Glasgow and the news of his death did not reach us here in South Africa.

While in the UK, Dr Paul Murray, our OD Ambassador, discovered that John had died when he read an article online about his remarkable life. Having no recollection of an obituary in the OD Magazines, he asked us to ensure that we noted John's passing and that we included this lovely write-up that came from the article:

John Rose was born in London of Dutch parents. He was educated at the Diocesan College, Cape Town, where two of his works were performed by the C.T. Municipal Orchestra. Following this, he studied at the RAM, and at Oxford under Edmund Rubbra. His teaching career has been mainly in adult education, as founder of the St. Alban’s Chamber Choir, as lecturer in F.E., Glasgow, and at various times, as lecturer for extra-mural departments.

Formative experiences in Cape Town and at Oxford contributed to the subsequent composition of three substantial works on Latin texts, and two organ works. The organ works have their roots in the Netherlands North German tradition of organ music, and have been recorded by Kevin Bowyer.

Two string quartets followed, the first having links with the earlier Essay on DSCH for piano and the organ works. The quartets, with piano works, were issued on the Metier label in 2010 (Edinburgh Quartet and Robert Melling). A linear approach to composition is affirmed in the Two Preludes and Three Fugues for piano.

From 1996 song-writing marked a change of direction. This comprises, apart from Scots and English songs, settings of ancient Chinese poetry from the Book of Odes (1027-476 BC) and from poets of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), in particular Li Po (701-762).

Bishops certainly had an impact on many students' musical careers.  John Rose was married to Margaret, the sister of famous OD composer, John Joubert (1944O).  While at school, Joubert came under the guidance of the musical director Claude Brown, whose teaching he regarded as an indispensable foundation to his subsequent musical career.  He too participated in performances of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. Perhaps their shared musical beginnings had something to do with how Margaret and John got to know each other.

We are really grateful to have received this information about John and Margaret.  They certainly led an incredibly creative and interesting life. 

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