Peter Wishart read music at Birmingham University, and went on to finish his education in post-war Paris, studying privately with Nadia Boulanger. A fluent and versatile artist who wrote with equal success for the stage, concert hall and radio, he combined composition, conducting and accompanying with a distinguished academic career as lecturer at the Birmingham School of Music, and at the Guildhall School of Music, before his appointment in 1977 as Professor at Reading University.
He married mezzo-soprano Maureen Lehane and they lived in Great Elm, Somerset. After Peter’s sudden death in 1984, Maureen started a festival, vocal competition and music education trust in his memory. The Great Elm Vocal Awards (now the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards) started in 1993 and require entrants to sing a song by Handel, a song by Peter Wishart and a third of their own choice. The final has been held in London’s Wigmore Hall since 2006. Read more on Peter’s Wikipedia page.
Peter’s vocal music is published both by Stainer & Bell and Jackdaws, with choral music published by Banks and Oxford University Press, and Piano music by Edition Peters/Hinrichsen.
Stainer & Bell’s book of Peter’s songs contains 12 favourites (first pages shown as example):
- The Jackdaw
- The Magpie
- Tune for Swans
- The Bedpost
- Henry and Mary
- Spring Sadness
- You are a Refuge
- My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?
- Cat Goddesses
- The Pessimist
- Quatre Petits Negres Blancs
If you want copies of these songs, you must buy the Stainer & Bell album.
For copies of the Two Shakespeare Songs, you must buy these from Banks Music Publications.
Jackdaws have digital copies of the following titles available (click to view first page):
- A Lover’s Lullaby HIGH
- A Lover’s Lullaby MED
- Bird of Paradise MED
- Complaint of a Hen-Pecked HIGH
- Feste’s Song HIGH
- Five Psalms BASS—Newly discovered (not including You are a Refuge)
- Merry Go Round HIGH
- Merry Go Round MED
- Mountebank’s Song HIGH
- Serenade HIGH
- Serenade MED
To obtain the full music to any of these titles please email email@example.com. Applicants to the Vocal Awards may request up to four titles. Stainer & Bell’s publication is available through their website.