John Hawkins Music

‘Hawkins writes in a sound-language which can be enjoyable and even compelling, ensuring communication at a first hearing’


Not so Simple

This new CD released on January 3rd, includes much of the music I’ve written for clarinet. Two large-scale pieces are with string orchestra, others are with chamber groups. The CD title comes from a highly dramatic piece for clarinet and strings prompted by the 17th-century novel ‘Simplicius Simplicissimus’. Also included is a setting of the whole of Edward Lear’s ‘The Dong with a Luminous Nose’.

‘Performances are uniformly excellent and the recording quality is exemplary.
Highly recommended’
– Musical Opinion
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Available to order on Amazon here

2 x 70

On Friday 6th December, two of my pieces will be performed in a 7.30pm concert at St Luke’s, Brighton as part of a joint 70th birthday celebration with fellow composer Barry Mills. They are ‘Lost in Translation’ for piano and ‘Cortège?’ for violin and piano. The performers will be Michiko Shimanuki, piano/composer and Ellie Blackshaw, violin. Barry Mills’s pieces are Winter Images for solo piano and Rondo for solo violin. Ellie will also be playing Flos Ferri for solo violin by Michiko and the concert includes pieces by Mozart, Ravel and Debussy.
There will be cake and wine!
NB: Barry Mills’ CD ‘Interbeing’ has just been released by Claudio Records.

Slow Release

Friday 15th November saw the first performance since 1973 of my ‘Romanza’ for ‘cello and piano! One of three pieces (Intrada, Romanza and Burlesca) which started life in my ‘Cello Sonata (the fourth movement did not survive!). The performance was at a tour de force concert by Ivana Peranic, cello and Rachel Fryer, piano at St Luke’s Brighton. They also played the Debussy sonata and pieces by no less than ten New Music Brighton composers.


On 9th November is the first performance of the orchestral version of my ‘Grounds’ for oboe and string orchestra, played by the Musicians of All Saints with Clare Worth, oboe. An abrupt concertino, each of the three short movements is spun from a repeating figure (the ground). Earlier this year the piano reduction was performed at the Royal College of Music by Izy Cheeseman as part of her final recital.

Zany violas?

On 19th October at 7.00pm at St Margaret, Rottingdean, my ‘At Two’ for two violas was played by the violists who commissioned it, Peter Mallinson and Matthias Wiesner – both members of the BBCSO. Reviewing their new CD, MusicWeb International said:
“One work stands at something of a remove; John Hawkins’ ‘At Two’ …. Taking its name from a laconic Woody Allen line – ‘I’m at two with nature’ – the two brief movements offer plentiful contrast, with an especially fast moving, even zany second movement to entertain the listener and stretch the performers.”
See the CD on Meridian Records

John Hawkins composer

John Hawkins studied composition with Malcolm Williamson and Elisabeth Lutyens. He has written a wide range of chamber, vocal, choral and orchestral pieces, which have been performed worldwide.