Contact me for scores and parts

See a complete list of John Hawkins’ music 

Threnody for string orchestra. One movement 5’30”
This intense single movement was rewritten in 2022 from the slow movement of my first string quartet.
Hear it on Soundcloud (ex Sibelius)

Another Orpheus (string orchestra, 1993, rewritten in 2014 and revised in 2021) One movement 8’30”
A dramatic single movement with obligato viola solos.
‘Another Orpheus sings again, and loves and weeps and dies’ – Shelley, ‘Hellas’
First performance in July 2017 with the Musicians of All Saints in Lewes, also performed by them in 2022 and also performed on the 200th anniversary of Shelley’s death by the Stane Street Sinfonietta in Horsham near his birthplace
Score and parts available from Comus Edition.
See the video of the opening played by the Stane Street Sinfonia

Urizen (viola and piano – also in versions with either string orchestra or chamber orchestra) c. 9′
Hear ‘Urizen’ played by Paul Silverthorne on YouTube
Performed and broadcast many time worldwide, ‘Urizen’ was recorded by Paul Silverthorne and John Constable on Black Box Classics.
‘Urizen’ was first published by Patricia McCarty’s Ashmont Music, then by Boosey & Hawkes and now by Comus Edition.

‘… a late-twentieth-century musical gem’ NOTES 2002

Fuzon (String quartet in two linked movements) c. 7’00”
Click to hear ‘Fuzon’ on Youtube
The first performance was in 2012 at the Royal Academy of Music, London by the Piatti Quartet who have since played ‘Fuzon’ many times. Other performances include Brighton Philharmonic Chamber series in 2016, Hampstead in November 2017 and Lewes (as part of the Nicholas Yonge Society 2022-23 concert series)
Parts and study score available from Comus Edition.

‘ ‘Fuzon’ is a brilliant work for any programme, 7 mins of very effective and effervescent music. Would urge any quartet to programme’ – Piatti Quartet on Twitter 2022
‘… certainly the most challenging, and probably the most satisfying, work on the programme for the players’ – LARK REVIEWS, August 2016
‘A welcome addition to the string quartet repertoire’ – TEMPO, April 2013.

Period Pieces (string trio) 2021 c. 6’30”
Originally written for keyboard, these four pieces are in the form of a baroque suite (Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Gigue)
The Sarabande can be heard in Soundcloud
Score(s) and parts are available from me.

BoBop (solo violin or viola) 2005, 4’30” a bebop-influenced show piece recorded by Thomas Gould 2014 for Champs Hill Records.
Published by Comus Edition
You can hear hear it played brilliantly by Thomas Gould on his CD ‘Bach to Parker’ in Spotify

‘… the breakneck work is demanding in its use of octaves, double stops and left- and right-hand pizzicatos. Nonetheless, Bobop lies well on the instrument.’ – Stringendo Magazine

At Two (2017, 2 movements, c. 8 mins)
Commissioned by Peter Mallinson and Matthias Wiesner and recorded on their 2017 CD ‘Music for Two Violas’ on the Meridian label. The title comes, of course, from Woody Allen’s ‘I am at two with nature’.
Published in 2019 by Comus Edition and the CD can be bought from Meridian records or downloaded from Presto Music

‘… the two brief movements offer plentiful contrast, with an especially fast moving, even zany second movement to entertain the listener and stretch the performers.’ – MusicWeb-International in June 2019

Nocturne for violin and piano (2021)
One movement c. 2’00”.
A companion piece for my ‘Cortège?’,  both prompted by poems by Lorca, in this case his ‘Nocturne, Brooklyn Bridge’.

Crossings for Viola and Guitar (2020)
One movement c. 5’30”

Canon and Toccata for Two Violins (2020)
Two linked movements c. 5’30”
Hear it on Soundcloud

Intrada, Romanza, Burlesca (three pieces for ‘cello and piano). These began life as movements in my ‘cello sonata (1973). The Romanza was performed in Brighton in 2019 by ‘cellist Ivana Peranic.

Tri (for six violas), 2007, three movements. c.10’00”. The first movement was premiered at the International Music Academy of Solsona in Spain in 2007 and later by the violas of the Helsinki Symphony Orchestra. All three movements were performed at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in 2008, at the Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and at the Guildhall School of Music in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Score and parts are available from Comus Edition.

Stranger, Lover, Dancer for solo ‘cello (2014, 3 movements c. 7 minutes overall)
Three self-explanatory short movements. First performance was at the Cheltenham Festival 2015 with Jessie Ann Richardson. Subsequently performed at the Presteigne Festival 2016 by Alice Neary.
Published in 2015 by Comus Edition.

Hawkins has a gift for creating miniatures which have a heft and resonance well beyond their modest duration, and so it proved here
… reached out to the audience in its direct emotionally charged music and Latin-inspired finale – a wonderful work.’ HEREFORD TIMES

Toccata for two violins (2019, 1 movement c. 5minutes)
A showpiece – sometimes lyrical, sometimes wild.







These Lovers (violin and ‘cello2016, 1 movement c.5′)
‘… these lovers, these people entering into illusion glittering eyed, must be danced round with mockery, decorated with garlands.’
– Virginia Woolf, ‘To the Lighthouse’.
Originally written for flute and ‘cello, now rewritten for violin and ‘cello.

Looking Back (violin and piano, 2014, 1 movement 5′ 30″)
A lyrical piece which looks at Orpheus, who yearns for Euridice and cannot resist the fatal backward look. Piano score and part are available, from Comus Edition. First performed by Siân Philipps and Per Rundberg in 2016 and recorded by them on Claudio Records CC6035-2 in 2024.

String Quartet (1976 in 3 movements 17′)
An early piece, but published in 2014 by Fountayne Editions
There is a complete performance on YouTube
‘This beautiful early quartet already displays the haunting lyricism of his later work.The complete mastery of his writing for strings was also there very early.’

Caged Moon (string quartet, 1 movement 7’00” 1984 – revised 2011) Published in 2014 by Fountayne Editions
This is a fast single movement quartet. The title comes from Whitney Chadwick’s commentary on Remedios Varo’s painting ‘Celestial Pablum’ in her book ‘Women Artists and the Surrealist Movement’ ‘… pale and exhausted, trapped alone in a tower room where she mechanically grinds up stars and feeds them to a caged moon.’

Seven into Eight (string quartet, 2009 one movement. c.5mins)
Commissioned by the Haworth family for their violist father’s eightieth birthday. A condition of the commission was that, in case of absent family members, the 2nd violin part should be idiomatically playable by a second cello!

‘Intrada, Romanza and Burlesca’ (‘cello and piano, 3 movements c. 11’)
Originally written as part of my ‘cello Sonata (1973), these three movements were revised in 2016 to make an effective suite.

Quietus (string trio, 1 movement 4’30”)  Published by Comus Edition

Worlds Apart (double-bass and piano) 1 movement, 9’30” Published by McTier Music

There are not that many substantial works for double bass and piano, so that Hawkins’s sizeable, often virtuosic ‘Worlds Apart’ is a most welcome, worthwhile addition to this instrument’s rather scant repertoire.

‘One of the finest pieces for double bass I’ve heard’

Gestures (two violas) 1 movement, 4’50” Published by Comus Edition

‘Gestures is a brilliant tour-de-force for two violas.… Hawkins invests the piece with a Bartókian vigor and drive from first note to last’

Waiting (Tango for viola and double-bass) 1 movement, 4’30” Published by Comus Edition

‘… hauntingly memorable’ – THE STRAD
‘It’s wonderfully expressive of a hot night and the feeling of expectancy, that someone is about to step out of the dark’ – CLASSICAL NET

Shadows (viola, double-bass and piano) 1 movement 3’20” Published by McTier Music
(Also available in a transcription with ‘cello instead of double-bass from Comus Edition)
his is an atmospheric waltz written in response to Ursula Vaughan Williams’ poem ‘Ainsi le bon temps regrettons’

Cortège? (violin and piano) 1 movt 5’30” Recorded on Meridian CDE 84513 by Siân Philipps and published by Comus Edition
Recorded by Siân Philipps and Sophia Rahman on Meridian CDE84513 and available to hear on Spotify:

Coronach (viola and harpsichord) One movement c. 3′
Originally for treble recorder and harpsichord now recomposed with viola. A coronach is a celtic lament, but this one becomes quite powerful and dramatic.

Americana (string quintet: 2 vln; 2 vla; 1 cello) c. 7 mins
Originally written for five flutes, now (2021) taking advantage of the wider sound world of the string quintet.

Take Two (two guitars, 2’30”) A short, sharp showpiece for two guitars written in 2018
Hear it on Soundcloud







Fauxsong (guitar, violin and ‘cello, 5’30”) A melancholy tune gets the treatment in increasingly energetic variations – ending peacefully. Also available for viola, cello and guitar. First performance (Paul Gregory – Guitar, Anthony Pleeth – cello, Manon Derome, violin) on 10th March 2020 at Chapel Royal, Brighton.

Parts are usually available from me

Ariadne 2024 (Bass Clarinet in B flat and piano) 1 movt 4’30” A short drama on the myth of Ariadne, Theseus and the Minotaur.

Adding Up 2022 (four scherzos for flute, B flat clarinet and piano) 4 movements 7′
Written for the Leto Ensemble. First performance as a trio on 18 November 2022. The parts for flute and clarinet may be played – without alteration – as a duo.

Mimes 2022 (B flat clarinet solo) 1 movement 5′
Written for virtuoso clarinettist Yulia Drukh and recorded by her on the CD ‘Poesie der Luft’ on the Genuin label [GEN 23831]

Contretemps 2021 (Bassoon solo) 1 movement 2’30”
A virtuoso piece for unaccompanied bassoon. Not jokey, but lyrical  and argumentative by turns.

Three Cafés 2021 (B flat clarinet and piano) Three not-too-serious movements c. 6.30″ – New York, Rio, Paris – suitable for students or concert performance.

Contra 2019 (Quintet for piano and wind instruments) 1 movement 6’30”
Oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn and piano
Dramatic contrasts between mysteriously lyrical and tempestuous episodes.

In Touch 2016 (Trio for clarinet, ‘cello and piano, 9’)
Three movements: ‘Touching In’, ‘Don’t Touch’ and ‘Touch and Go’.
Now recorded with Steve Dummer, Ivana Peranic (‘cello) and Yoko Ono (piano) on Claudio Records CD CC6045-2
“Cello and clarinet work together really well and Hawkins gives us some lovely as well as stimulating sounds. This is a little wonder of a piece.” MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL 2020)
Hear the first movement on Spotify

Grounds 2018 (Oboe and String Orchestra 3 movements c. 8 mins)
Each movement is created from a different repeating ground resulting in some passionate and virtuosic music.
The first performance of the piano reduction was at the Royal College of Music in 2019 with Izy Cheeseman, oboe and the first performance of the original version with string orchestra is by the MAS orchestra with Clare Worth, oboe, in November 2019.

Simplicius Simplicissimus 2018 (B flat clarinet with string orchestra or piano c. 6 mins)
A very dramatic piece based on the extraordinary Adventures of Simplicius Simplicissimus, the 17th-century story of a young boy travelling through a world ravaged by the Thirty Years’ War and the appalling things he both sees and does. Recorded in 2019 by Steve Dummer, clarinet and the Stane Street Sinfonietta on Claudio Records CD CC6045-2.

The Dong with a Luminous Nose 2018 (baritone and B flat clarinet, also an alternative version for soprano voice and soprano saxophone c. 15 mins)
The surprisingly lyrical, and ultimately sad, Edward Lear poem – much more than mere nonsense!
The clarinet version has been recorded – with Steve Dummer, clarinet and Aidan Smith, baritone – for Claudio Records released in 2019 on Claudio Records CD CC6045-2.





Sonata Serenata (flute and piano, 3 movements, 11’40”)
The first performance was in 2017 with Nancy Ruffer (flute) and Dominic Saunders (piano) at St John’s Hampstead.
Performances in 2019 included the Presteigne Festival (with Katherine Bryan, flute) and St Martin in the Fields, London (with Emma Halnan).
See and hear Emma Halnan’s performance here:

“This compact score conveyed worlds of meaning in a single gesture” – Musical Opinion
Score and parts are available from SheetMusicNow

Clarinet Sonata (clarinet and piano, 3 movements c. 10’00”)
Written in 1972, this sonata had its first performance nearly fifty years later, in 2016, at the Chapel Royal in Brighton with Steve Dummer (clarinet) and Yoko Ono (piano) and was repeated by them soon afterwards. Recorded by Steve Dummer and Yoko Ono on Claudio Records CD CC6045-2.
“The compact and gloriously melodic Sonata for Clarinet and Piano is a fine contribution to the genre” – MUSICAL OPINION January 2020
Hear the third movement in Soundcloud

Clarinet Concerto (clarinet and string orchestra, 3 movements,  c. 14′
First performed by Daphne Down in 1973. 2nd performance in 2018 by Steve Dummer and The Musicians of All Saints. Now recorded on Claudio Records CD CC6045-2.

Americana 2015 (for five flutes – 2 flutes, 2 alto flutes, 1 bass flute. 3 movements, c. 6′)
Three short pieces with an American feel. c. 7mins. First performance by Sussex Flutes, March 2016.
Published by Comus Edition
Now also in a version rewritten for string quintet.

Three brief, medium skill pieces for 2 clarinets (B flat or A)
Prelude, Tango and Ragtime
You can hear them  on Soundcloud

Coronach 2015 (treble recorder and harpsichord, 1 movement, c. 6’00”)
Composed in 2015 for the outstanding British recorder player, John Turner, who gave the premiere performance of ‘Coronach’ in September 2015. The title refers to the traditional improvised singing at a wake in the Highlands of Scotland and in Ireland.
Published by Comus Edition

Brief Encounters (flute and viola, 3 movements 5’30”)
Witty, perhaps, and tricky, ‘Brief Encounters’ is recorded on the ‘Voices from the Sea’ CD played by Nancy Ruffer and Paul Silverthorne.
Please contact me for score and parts.

The three Brief Encounters of flute and viola move from coquettish flirtation to friendly intercourse, and finally enthusiastic integration – GRAMOPHONE

Disturbed Nights (solo oboe or oboe plus string trio, 1 movement c. 5’00”)
Published by Elysian Edition in 2014 in the original solo oboe version and in a later version with added string trio (the oboe part remains the same) which has been performed by the Orchestra of St John’s chamber group. The solo version was recorded by Chris O’Neal on the ‘Voices from the Sea’ CD.

‘… a very fine piece indeed and devastatingly effective for a completely unaccompanied oboe.’

Read more:

Labyrinth (cor anglais and piano, 1 movement, c. 4′) 2017
A winding and unwinding single movement: atmospheric and dramatic. Score and parts from me.

Overture, Tragedy and Farce (wind ensemble, 3 movements c. 5′)
2 flute parts, 2 oboes, 4 clarinets, 1 bassoon, 2 horns. As many of each as available! Score and parts available from me.

Party Piece (clarinet and 2 violas, 1 movement c.4’30”)
One movement with a wild ‘klezmer’ slant. Revised in 2020 and performed by Cuatro Puntos with Alexander Kollias, clarinet in Glastonbury CT.

These Lovers (flute and ‘cello, c. 5’00”) – also rewritten for violin and ‘cello in 2016.

Tatiesque (flute, oboe and piano, 1 movement, 4′.00)
This is a quick, tuneful bonne-bouche tribute to the great French film maker, Jacques Tati. 2011 – first performed by the trio Trittico

Romcon (flute. clarinet and bassoon, 1 movement c. 3’30”) 2017
As its name implies, this is a light piece for woodwind trio rather in the Françaix style. The protagonists never quite agree on key or time signature but there is a happy ending. Score and parts from me.

Night Run (B flat clarinet and piano, 1 movement c. 2’00)
ABRSM selected piece (Clarinet 2008-2013)
Published in Faber Music’s very successful ‘Unbeaten Tracks’ series

In Touch 2016 (trio for clarinet, ‘cello and piano, 9’)
Three movements: ‘Touching In’, ‘Don’t Touch’ and ‘Touch and Go’.
Now recorded with Steve Dummer, Ivana Peranic (‘cello) and Yoko Ono (piano) on Claudio Records CD CC6045-2 
“Cello and clarinet work together really well and Hawkins gives us some lovely as well as stimulating sounds. This is a little wonder of a piece.” MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL 2020)

Party Piece 2003 (clarinet and two violas) 1 movement 5′.00 was written for a birthday party and is described by Cuatro Puntos who gave  it’s next performance in 2020 as “exactly as the name implies – an upbeat knee-slapper imbued with the spirit of traditional Klezmer.” [Parts available from me]

Contra 2019 (Quintet for piano and wind instruments) 1 movement 6’30”
Flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn and piano
Dramatic contrasts between mysteriously lyrical and tempestuous episodes.

Romantique 2017 (Flute, Viola, Piano) 1 movement 3’30”
Short, romantic and slightly antique. First performed by the Duruflé Trio in June 2018.
Now also in a completely new version for flute, viola and harp.






Miniataur 2017 (bass clarinet, ‘cello and 1 timp.) 1 movement 1’40”
Fast, furious and dramatic: this time Theseus does not escape …
First performance by The Riot Ensemble 28th October 2017.

In Touch 2016 (clarinet, ‘cello and piano). 10 minutes. Three movements: ‘Touching In’, Don’t Touch and ‘Touch and Go’
Recorded for Claudio Records for release in 2020 with Steve Dummer, clarinet, Ivana Peranic, cello and Yoko Ono, piano.
Until the CD is released, please hear this version from software:
[soundcloud url=”″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”400″ height=”300″ iframe=”true” /]

Palinode 2011 (flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano) 1 movt 6’00. Commisioned by, and first performed at, the Presteigne Festival 2011

‘Tautly-argued and endowed with sufficient incident to fuel a piece several times its length’
TEMPO Jan. 2012

Score and parts published in 2015 by Comus Edition.
Recording (from software) is here on Soundcloud

Shadows (viola, double-bass and piano) 1 movt 3’20” Published by McTier Music
Also available in a transcription with ‘cello instead of double-bass from Comus Edition

Silk Road 2013 (tenor voice, violin, viola, ‘cello and piano) c. 5mins.
See my vocal music.

Rintrah Roars 2016 (soprano with harp and piano) c. 1.5 mins. The words are taken from Blake’s ‘Marriage of Heaven and Hell’ and make for a short, dramatic, rhetorical piece. Now also recomposed in a version with piano only and included in the song cycle ‘Portions of Eternity


Sonus (2022) for tuba and piano is a dramatic and surprisingly lyrical piece for both instruments. 2’30” Score and parts available from me
Hear it on Soundcloud

A Walk with Ingres’ Wife (1995 revised 2018) for brass quintet (2 trumpets, horn, trombone and tuba). 9’00” Score and parts are available from Skellton Edition.
Hear it on Soundcloud
The title comes from an essay ‘On the Exploitation of Vulgarity’ by the artist Wyndham Lewis in which he quotes a story about the artist Ingres: “When an ugly or uncomely person appeared on the horizon of their daily promenade, Ingres’ careful wife would raise her shawl protectingly and he would be spared a sight that would have offended him. … Today the artist’s attention would be drawn, on the contrary, to anything particularly hideous or banal as a thing not to be missed.”
I imagine such a walk, with Mme Ingres’ poise broken by increasingly frantic evasions which are both ridiculous and perfectly serious.

This World for choir and two trumpets (words from the Book of Job, William Blake and Milton) broadcast by the BBC Singers with trumpets from Lontano. One dramatic movement c. 12 mins.


Mouth Piece for trumpet and pianoMouth Piece is a short (c. 3 min) showpiece for trumpet (C) and piano. Written in 2017 it moves between blues and toccata. First performance was by Fraser Tannock and Terence Allbright in September 2017.






Sortie (trumpet and organ) c. 5’00” is available on the CD ‘North Star’ on the Deux-Elles label (DXL 1097) played by Deborah Calland.

Samba-Cha (trumpet/flugelhorn and piano) published by Stainer and Bell has been chosen for the Trinity College exam syllabus 2019-22

Before and After 2021 (baritone and piano c. 7 mins) Two poems by poet and artist Isaac Rosenberg. The first was written before WWI, the second after his experience as a serving soldier before his death at the front in 1918. The sheet music, printed or PDF, is available from me.

Strange Bridge 2021 (voice and piano c.7 mins) is a cycle of three songs with words by Edward Thomas: ‘The Bridge’, Will you Come?’ and ‘For These’. ‘The Bridge’ begins ‘I have come a long way today: on a strange bridge alone …’. ‘For These’ was written in 1915 in the same month he enlisted. He was then killed by a shell, at Arras in 1917 , aged 39. The cycle was first performed by John Lofthouse on 5th March 2022 at the church in Steep where Edward Thomas lived before he enlisted for WW1. The concert also included my Edward Thomas cycle ‘The Unknown Bird’ with the Aurora flute, viola and harp trio.

Friulian Songs 2020 (mezzo soprano and piano c. 5 mins)
Two songs in the lovely Friulian language (closely related to Italian) which makes for delightful, bitter-sweet lyrics.

The Dong with a Luminous Nose 2018 (baritone and clarinet c. 15 mins)
A dramatic, poignant, and ultimately tragic, setting of the Edward Lear poem.
The clarinet version has been recorded with Steve Dummer, clarinet and Aidan Smith, baritone, on Claudio Records CC6045-2, released in 2020.
‘… as I listened I realised for the first time that Lear’s words are far from nonsensical if treated as a serious tale of loneliness and loss.’ [MUSIC WEB INTERNATIONAL 2020]
A magical performance, with the addition of a mime/dancer, was given as part of the Tête à Tête Opera festival in 2022.
See a video of that performance.

Voices from the Sea (song cycle for tenor with string orchestra) words by merchant seamen See recordings.
‘… a stunning song cycle’ – THE STRAD December 2003
First performed by Martyn Hill with the Divertimenti string orchestra at St John Smith Square and recorded on MeridianCDE 84496.
They are also available on Spotify and YouTube.

The Song of Three 2020 (baritone and piano c. 4 mins)
A recasting of settings of a Sussex folksong and Rudyard Kipling’s poem about his love of Sussex. Originally for choir and soloist.

Kiss Me on Wednesday 2017 (voice and keyboard c.12 mins)
Seven Songs for Grownups
With words by Alison Rutherford, these cabaret-style songs range from the sentimental to the downright frightened.
‘Kiss me on Wednesday, don’t kiss me now
Let me anticipate the where when and how …’

Portions of Eternity 2017 (mezzo voice and piano, c. 7 mins)
Three poems by William Blake

‘Rintrah Roars’  having been performed, (see below) I have rewritten it for voice and piano (without harp) and added two further songs on Blake texts  – ‘The Bard’ (from ‘Songs of Experience’) and ‘Thel’ – to complete the cycle.

Rintrah Roars 2016 (soprano with harp and piano c. 1½ mins)
The words are taken from Blake’s ‘Marriage of Heaven and Hell’ and make for a short, dramatic, rhetorical piece. First performed by April Fredrick and the Riot Ensemble in 2016.

Silk Road 2013 (Tenor with violin, viola, ‘cello and piano c. 5 mins)
An intriguing double commission for both Cecilia McDowall and myself to write settings of the same poem! The poem, by Sarah Pope, is powerfully atmospheric and was commissioned, like the music, by violist and music publisher John Harding in memory of his sister Pauline. John worked for many years in China for the BBC.

‘Riding the silk we invade islands,
Float on the air’s charm.
Samarkand to Aksu and Miran …’

Envoi (orchestral song cycle for high voice and strings, c. 12 mins)
Four poems about death, ending in calm, by Elizabethan poets – Quarles,Tichborne, Southwell and Shakespeare

Both Beauties (song cycle for high voice and piano, c. 10 mins)
Poems about music by various authors, including Herrick, Shakespeare, Tennyson and Marvell.

The Unknown Bird (song cycle for baritone with flute, viola and harp c. 10 mins)
Three poems by Edward Thomas:  Like the Touch of Rain, Out in the Dark and The Unknown Bird. There was a performance at the Petersfield Festival in 2017 as part of the commemoration of the centenary of Edward Thomas’ death. A performance by John Lofthouse (baritone) with the Aurora Trio was held on 5th March 2022 at the church in Steep where Edward Thomas lived before going to the war in France.

The Bed Bug (for soprano, 2 cl, vla, vcl, CB, c. 3 mins)
Words by Tony Harrison. Written for and first performed by The Composers Ensemble

Gospel and Collect (for Soprano and Organ: words from the Book of Common Prayer c.3 mins) First performed in the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music May 9th 2006

Kiss Me on Wednesday (six cabaret songs for voice and keyboard) words by Alison Rutherford


The Seafarer (cantata for tenor soloist with SATB choir and chamber orchestra (fl/ob/cl/bsn/hn/tpt/timp/strings) c. 30′
The libretto dramatically contrasts words from the Anglo-Saxon ‘The Seafarer’ and the short story ‘Letter Unsigned’ by Liverpool seaman, poet, actor and activist George Garrett. This, the final part of my Sea trilogy, is still looking for its first performance, but I have extracted one section [‘Fate is More Strong’] as an anthem for unaccompanied SATB choir, and this was first sung by the choir of Westminster Abbey. Score and parts available.

This World for Choir and 2 trumpets

This World

This World (for SATB choir, including two soprano soloists, with 2 trumpets) words from William Blake and the Book of Job c. 10 mins. Broadcast by the BBC Singers.
Score and parts available from me




Perhaps in Hope (anthem for Remembrance Day for SATB choir): words by Penny Britten. First performed by the choir of St Margaret’s Westminster.

Gospel and Collect (anthem for solo or unison high voices and organ) Words from the prayerbook: ‘Lord save us, We perish’ c. 3 mins

I Know What I Like (SATB choir) an imitative history of music in variations on Schubert’s ‘An die Musik’.

‘For These …’ (SATB choir) blends words from the Te Deum and war poet Edward Thomas. Commissioned and performed many times (including at Liverpool Cathedral) by the Manchester-based choir Alteri.

Another New Year (SATB choir) c. 3 mins First performed by the Petrus Singers 2004.

Sense and Nonsense (SATB) c. 7’30” Four poems by Mervyn Peake. Settings rewritten in 2020.
1. ‘O Love!, O Death!, O Ecstasy!’  2. ‘And I Thought You Beside Me’  3. ‘The Trouble with Geraniums’  4. ‘Out of the Chaos of my Doubt’.

Virtue, Denial, The Call and Doomsday (SATB) Poems by George Herbert)  c. 7 mins.
First Performed by Alteri 2004. Published by Fountayne Editions 2014.

The Song of Three (SATB choir, violin, flute and speaking/clapping chorus, 2017, c. 5 mins), uses a Sussex folk song ‘The Seasons of the Year’ [traditional words and tune]  together with a setting [by me] of  Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Song of Three’ – the three in question being the weald, the marsh and ‘the white chalk coast’. Some great Sussex words creep in – ‘tossicated’, ‘flittermouse’, ‘beazeled’ and ‘dumbledore’! First performed in Alfriston (Sussex) in 2017, immediately followed by performances in the (also Sussex) towns of Uckfield and Horsham.

Escape (piano solo) 2022 2’30”
Written for pianist Nancy Cooley to perform at a concert in aid of the charity Freedom from Torture
The short piece goes from peace to horror and back – in hope. The concert was a great success, raising more than £3,000 for the charity.

Period Pieces (piano solo) 2020 5’30”
Following the dance forms of a baroque suite, these four short movements (Allemande, Courante, Sarabande and Gigue) are not pastiche.
Recorded on YouTube by Yoko Ono.
Also available in a version for string trio written in 2021. 

Three Preludes (piano solo) 2019 5’00”

Marcel Morceaux (piano solo) 2016 6’30”
Three pieces for piano with a French attitude – ‘Arrière Pensée’, ‘Idées Fixes’ and ‘Aide-Mémoire’ – available from me.

Variations (piano solo) 1 movt 12’00”
‘a minor masterpiece in its own right’ MUSICWEB December ’03

Veiled Lightning (organ) a large-scale virtuoso organ piece in 1 movement 7’00”

Footnote (organ) 1 movt 3’00 was one of the eight winners (out of 98 submissions!) of the 2007 ‘Handel-Inspired’ competition. The piece was recorded by Paul Ayres and is available on CD from

Lost in Translation (piano solo) 1 movt 2’00 was written for the 2009 Presteigne Festival in celebration of Haydn’s 200th and John McCabe’s 70th birthdays performed by Huw Watkins.
‘A muscularly rigorous questioning of tonality.’  – Birmingham Post
‘This brief jeu is one I’d really like to hear twice … a rhythm of unstoppable brio against a darker palette in effect invokes the spirit of Haydn through its very contradiction.’ – Simon Jenner, Brighton Fringe Review
It was performed in 2019 by Michiko Shimanuki at the Square Mile series in London and also in Brighton.


Threnody for Strings (string orchestra) One movement 5’30”
This intense single movement was rewritten in 2022 from the slow movement of my first string quartet.
Hear it on Soundloud (ex Sibelius)

Grounds (2018) (Oboe and String Orchestra 3 movements c. 8 mins)
A short concertino. Each movement is created from a different repeating ground developing into some passionate and virtuosic music.

Time and Again – A Toccata for Orchestra (2018) (1 movement 4′ 30″)
The title comes from a fitful, fast, many-times-repeated melody which appears in contrasting instrumental guises throughout this dramatic piece. Double wind, brass, timpani (1 player) 1 harp, percussion and strings.
Hear it on Soundcloud

Sea Symphony (Orchestra 2 fl/2 ob/2 cl/2 bsn/4 hn/3 tpt/3 tbn/tuba/harp/1 perc/1 timp/strings) 3 movts 25′ 00″
‘… an endlessly fascinating stream of sounds’ – MUSIC AND MUSICIANS

The commission by The Marine Society required a 3-week trip to Australia on a container ship with an electric piano!
The first performances and a broadcast were by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. This was followed by a recording and two broadcasts by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.


Urizen (versions for solo viola with string orchestra or mixed chamber orchestra) published by Comus Edition.
The first performance of the version with string orchestra was by the Orpheus Chamber orchestra in the USA

‘… a late-twentieth-century musical gem … Immensely gratifying musically’
NOTES 2002

Another Orpheus for string Orchestra

Another Orpheus

Another Orpheus (string orchestra with obligato viola solo) 1 movement 8’00”. 1993, rewritten 2014.
First performance by The Musicians of All Saints 2017. Performed by the Stane Street Sinfonia in 2022.
Click to see a Youtube video of the opening



Laments and Scherzos (Chamber Orchestra 2 oboes, 2 horns and Strings) 2017 2 movts c. 10 mins



Concerto for Clarinet  and String Orchestra, 3 movements,  c. 14′
First performed by Daphne Down in 1975. The second performance was not until 2017 !. The Concerto is recorded, together with more clarinet music by John Hawkins, on the Claudio Records ‘Simplicius’ CD played by Steve Dummer with the Stane Street Sinfonia.
“… a thoroughly delightful piece, lucid and lyrical with an infectiously jazzy finale” – MUSICAL OPINION

Echoes a chamber opera for two sopranos, mezzo-soprano, tenor and chamber group (flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, trombone  and harp). Libretto by Anne Harris. c.25 minutes. Commissioned by and performed in Covent Garden’s ‘Garden Venture’ series at the Riverside Studios in 2009.
The singers in the first performances were Linda Hirst, Gillian Knight, Mary Wiegold and Kevin West.

‘. . . a wealth of opportunities, readily seized, for economical but effective musico-dramatic gestures … All make their evocative points in an instant’  THE OBSERVER
‘Echoes achieves a genuinely moving balance between bathos and emotion’  CITY LIMITS
Score and Libretto are now available from me

The Dong with a Luminous Nose sets the complete poem by Edward Lear and can be performed as a concert piece, but in 2022 a version with the addition of a mime/dancer was premiered at Tête à Tête Opera Festival in London. A video of the performance is available on Vimeo.

Zoo Tunes (Boosey & Hawkes)  for beginners . ‘Donkey Drive’ from this book has been chosen for Associated Board grade II ‘
Click to buy from Boosey & Hawkes

… cleverly composed and often unpredictable … Recommended.’

Tales from King Arthur (piano duet) – intermediate level duets
Contact me for printed copies.



Trumpet: Trickster and Trumpet Serenade (arrangement of Matthew Dubourg (both in B&H Practice Sessions series)

‘Samba-Cha’ and ‘Least said…’ for trumpet and piano written for publishers Stainer and Bell published in 2007.
See Stainer and Bell to buy the ‘Light Touch’ album 1
See Stainer and Bell to buy the ‘Light Touch’ album 2

‘The wide variety of compositional approaches is exemplified by John Hawkins’s minimalist writing. ‘Least Said’ is energetically purposeful … in contrast to his more carefree relaxed ‘Samba-Cha’.

‘Parades’ for trumpet and piano is published in Faber Music’s ‘Fingerprints’ series

Movie Spooks, Worksong and Nostalgia (all in the B&H Woodwind method series, edited by Peter Wastall, for flute, clarinet or saxophone)

Saxophone: Parisienne (B&H Practice Sessions series)

Clarinet: Brazilienne, Gossips, Habanera (B&H Practice Sessions),

Night Run Published in Faber Music Unbeaten Tracks series

Flute: Romance (B&H Practice Sessions)

Recorder: several pieces in Old Macdonald’s Recorder Book (Boosey & Hawkes)

‘Break Even’ for saxophone and piano was written for Faber Music’s ‘Fingerprints’ series (published in 2006).

The Circus Ghosts (a workshop opera, first used at the London Centre for Young Musicians). Words by Penny Britten

Snails’ Trails and Dragons Tails (choir and easy string orchestra). Words by Penny Britten

Autumn Serenade and Summer Serenade (in B&H ‘Session Time’ for Strings)

Observations five intermediate level (grade 6) pieces for violin and piano

St Christopher’s Suite: first-position pieces for string orchestra (commissioned by St Christopher’s School Hampstead)

Currently one of my favorite British composers, John Hawkins, a student of Lutyens and Malcolm Williamson, has built an impressive body of work and a solid reputation among British musicians … a roster of distinguished performers champion his work. CLASSICAL NET 2007

See a complete list of John Hawkins’ music 

This World for choir and two trumpets (extract)

by BBC Singers and Lontano

Sonata Serenata 1st movement

by Aoife ni Raghaill, flute and David Jones, piano