John S. Wilson

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Born: 1944


John S. Wilson was born and raised in Lincolnshire, England and he had a keen interest in music from an early age. By day he is a research mathematician and though officially retired he still teaches in Cambridge and Leipzig.

His musical education began at the age of seven in his local church choir. Since then he has been a member of many choirs and sung under the batons of distinguished conductors, including Benjamin Britten, Stephen and Nicholas Cleobury, Harry Christophers and John Rutter. In these choirs he has gained intimate knowledge of diverse musical styles from Josquin through Bach to Schoenberg and Macmillan, and observed how different composers succeed in communicating effectively with their listeners.

As a teenager he composed songs and choral music, and had some composition lessons with Luciano Berio. He studied the piano and organ, was organist in local churches, and was awarded the LRAM diploma (Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music), which would have entitled him to teach music in a high school. However he opted for a career in mathematics. For many years his principal musical activities were choral singing and accompanying his gifted instrumentalist children and other musicians in concerts. He would also insert new sections in fugues of Bach and challenge musicians to guess which parts were genuine Bach.

John Wilson returned to composition in 2014. He has written for four- and eight-part choir, for vocal soloist and piano (sometimes with additional obbligato instrument), and for small chamber ensembles. Recent compositions have received professional performances at concerts and in religious services in England and Germany.


Works are made freely available to download and perform. The composer simply asks to be told at the e-mail address below about performances of his works. Piano reductions for some a cappella works are also available free on request to the e-mail address below.


View the Wikipedia article on John S. Wilson.

List of choral works


Click here to search for this composer on CPDL


External links

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