John Hawkins Music

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


Another Orpheus

On January 15th MAS string orchestra will be performing my ‘Another Orpheus’. The title comes from Shelley’s ‘Hellas’, written to raise money for the Greek War of Independence (during which Byron famously perished!). From the poem I took the line ‘Another Orpheus sings again, and loves and weeps and dies’.Tickets are available from

Antique Love

My trio for flute, viola and harp Romantique gets its first performance on Friday 12th November played by the Aurora Trio at 7.30 at St Luke’s, Brighton. Also on the programme are trios by Arnold Bax, Malcolm Lipkin and members of New Music Brighton. It will be played again by the Trilogy Ensemble in the Late Music series in York in 2022.


Before and After

I have recently set two poems by Isaac Rosenberg, the artist, poet and reluctant soldier who was killed in WWI. The first is the idealistic ‘My Days’, written before the war, and the second is extracts from his long and savage ‘Dead Man’s Dump’ written in 1917 and bitter with experience. The settings are for baritone and piano and join my recent settings of three poems by Edward Thomas (‘Strange Bridge’), also for baritone and piano.

Night Music

On October 14th, Ellen Blackshaw (violin) and Yoko Ono (piano) performed my ‘Nocturne’ and ‘Cortège?’ at All Saints church, Hove. Both pieces are based on poems by the Spanish surrealist poet Federico García Lorca. The ‘Nocturne’ was written especially for this concert to contrast with the Nocturne and Cortège by Lili Boulanger.


Originally written for five flutes but now taking advantage of the wider spectrum offered by strings, these three miniatures for string quintet are in a nostalgically American mood: ‘Late Nights’, ‘Big Skies’ and ‘Train hopping’.

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.