S.O.A.M. Music Publishing
(Publishing the Music of Julian Dawes)



Julian Dawes was born in 1942.  He began his musical training in Birmingham, continuing at the Royal College of Music in London. He has worked extensively as an accompanist and teacher, holding posts at Drama Centre London, Birmingham University, the The Arts Educational Schools in London, and The Oxford School of Drama.  He has directed the music for numerous theatre productions, and was for five years Musical Director of The Cherub Company London. 

 As a composer theatre credits include scores for productions for the Royal Court Theatre, Riverside Studios, Arts Theatre, The Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, Battersea Arts Centre, New End Theatre, Watermill Theatre in Newbury, Bristol Old Vic, The European Festival Antwerp, and the Edinburgh Festival.  His scores for Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle and Edward ll are both recognised scores for these plays held by the Brecht Estate in Berlin and have provided the music for many productions. His musical The Braddocks Time was a commission from the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool, where it was followed by a tour of the north of England.  The Sacrifice, a music drama based on a Japanese No play was initially premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, and in a revised version by The Acting Company at the New End Theatre. 

 In the concert hall he has written a Mandolin Concerto, a commission from the International Music Competition for professional Mandolin players in Schweinfurt, Germany.  He has written a large number of sonatas and suites for a variety of combinations of instruments, as well as thirteen song-cycles including ‘Songs of Ashes’, a setting of fifteen poems by the Polish poet, Jerzy Ficowski, about the Holocaust.  This work has been broadcast in Israel three times.  His output also includes a wide range of other vocal, choral and chamber music.  His cantata ‘The Death of Moses’ for Narrator, Chorus and Chamber Ensemble, and  his Oratorio ‘Ruth’, for Soloists Chorus and Chamber Ensemble were both first performed in London to high acclaim, as was also a recital featuring his chamber music at the Wigmore Hall.  In early 2012 a Sonata Album of his music was released on the Classics Omnibus Label and received critical acclaim.  He has recently completed a new commission from the Alyth Choral Society for a setting of Shirat Hayam (The Song Of The Sea), the biblical song sung by Moses and the Children of Israel as they fled from the Egyptians across the Red Sea (The sea of Reeds) which was premiered in December 2013. 

As a composer, my aim is to write music that has integrity, has relevance for the time in which we live, and is accessible.  I am doing nothing more or less than write that which pleases my own ear. I do not follow any particular school of thought. Rather, I aim to compose music which delights, comforts, moves, and inspires, and at the same time is thought provoking.

My background is centred in the English choral and song tradition, and my commitment to Judaism is reflected in the composition of oratorios and other choral and vocal settings of Jewish texts.  My composition is guided predominantly by a combination of personal experience and conscience.

Although by no means exclusively, I tend to write for specific occasions and to commission.  I have a reputation for writing ‘gratefully’ for instruments, and often for particular musicians.

The style of my music is versatile, neo-romantic, and with a modernistic flavour.   A significant number of my works are large scale in form, but at the same time tend to be smaller in terms of musical resources.  I have a distinctive tonal-modal idiom which encompasses an eclectic palate and a wide range of influences.

 Amongst his 20th century English influences are the pastoralism and extended tonality of Herbert Howells, the richness of Walton, the elegant delicacy of Berkeley and the jazzy impetus of Rodney Bennett; wider European influences include the caustic irony of Shostakovich and Kurt Weil and the rhythmic impetus of Prokofiev and Stravinsky. Yet Dawes welds from his influences an individual voice that is distinctive and refreshing, displaying assured craftsmanship and characterful invention. (Malcolm Miller 2008)

Julian’s work is now available on CD from Amazon.co.uk. Click the links below to go directly to the Amazon page:
Julian Dawes: Sonata Album

Tapestry – Duo Mandala
Tapestry – Contemporary Music for Mandolin and Harp.