MEIRION BOWEN - career profile cont.

Publications (I) Books

(i) Michael Tippett (Robson Books, Contemporary Composers Series, Robson Books, 1982; 2nd revised/updated edition, 1997)

"...a magnificent overview..." (Musical Times,1997)

"...On the music, Bowen is as insightful as only someone with such an intimate knowledge of its creation can be...As the first guide to survey Tippett's oeuvre in its entirety, Bowen's should...prove indispensable." (Gay Times, 1997)

"...Where Bowen scores most highly, as one would expect from such a distinguished (and much missed) daily critic, is in his handling of musical matters. He successfully integrates technical discussion into a broader aesthetic and philosophical framework and, while stretching the reader at times, provides the most generally approachable introduction to the composer and his music...No rival is so up-to-date." (Classic CD)

"...more of an examination of Tippett's music than a biography, though the opening section of the book is of considerable interest to non-musicians." (The Stage)

(ii) Editor, Music of the Angels: Essays & Sketchbooks of Michael Tippett (Eulenberg Books/Faber, 1980)

(iii) Editor, Tippett on Music (Oxford University Press, 1995); German edition, Tippett zur Musik (transl. Meinhard Saremba, 1998)


  1. Editor, Gerhard on Music (Ashgate Publishing, 2000).
  2. Editor, English edition of Joaquim Homs: Robert Gerhard (Anglo-Catalan Society/Biblioteca di Catalunya, 2000). Distributed by Pandora Arts

These are the first two books in English on the Catalan-born composer Roberto Gerhard, a pupil of Schoenberg (1923-28), who rose to prominence in Barcelona during the 1930s, and thereafter, in exile in Britain from 1939, established an international reputation as one of the leading composers of the twentieth century.

'Best known for his books on the late Sir Michael Tippett, Meirion Bowen now turns his attention to a subject who was certainly received much less adulation, yet may well be at least equally worthy - Roberto Gerhard. In the self-effacing role of editor and part-translator, Bowen has produced two contrasting but complementary publications: a short study by Gerhard's pupil and disciple Joaquim Homs, and a useful collection of the composer's own writings. The first of these...makes an excellent brief introduction, concise but not at all dry... Homs...brings an admirable precision of mind to both the biographical and musical detail; moreover, his own memories, unobtrusively presented, add a welcome personal touch... 'The [long letter to Schoenberg, published in one of the Appendices] is a most valuable document, being Gerhard's youthful testament, a veritable cri de coeur...a remarkably mature and perceptive diagnosis of his situation at that partia useful collection of the composer's own writings... '...[In Gerhard on Music] one admires his artistic integrity and severely disciplined intellect, with its judicious employment of philosophical ideas...the articles in "Schoenberg, 12-note music and serialism" are of exceptional interest... This is a serious and responsible book, and any younger readers with their very different preoccupations may well 'feel the air from another planet'. It certainly offers a moral challenge from a previous age to the players of the games which pass for so much contemporary music...'

(Andrew Thomson, Musical Times, Spring 2001)

"...This is a pricey book, but Meirion Bowen´s judicious arrangment and translating......and most of all Gerhard´s intellectual force, aesthetic sensitivity, eloquence and combination of humility and speculative excitement before the mysteries and contradictions of musical art make it more than worth the money. ...Gerhard on Music is one of the most rewarding books on modern music I´ve read."

American Record Guide, May/June 2001

For further information visit the official Roberto Gerhard website


(vi) Chapter on The Knot Garden in The Operas of Michael Tippett, ed. Nicholas John (Calder, 1985)

(vii) Chapter on The Mask of Time in Michael Tippett OM: A Celebration, . Geraint Lewis, (The Baton Press, 1985)

(viii) Chapter on Harrison Birtwistle in British Music Now, ed. Lewis Foreman (Paul Elek Books, 1975)

(iix) Chapter, Music of the Mind and Body in How does it feel?, ed Mick Czaky (Thames & Hudson, 1979)

(ix) Chapter, The Potential of Pop in How Music Works, ed. Keith Spence and Giles Swayne (Shuckburgh Reynolds, 1981)


For more information on these publications visit: Books about Sir Michael Tippett at the Official Web site of Sir Michael Tippett.