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The above-named is a UK renowned composer of some repute. He has composed four symphonies, one of which has been played at the BBC Proms, and all his work to date has published. He is now at the age of 90 but still composes avidly, and he gets a lot of pleasure from hearing how his former pupils are doing. I am one of his former one-to-one pupils from 1994, when I was completing my A'levels, just before I went to university.

Now when Arthur looks over his pupils' compositions, he is very economical with compliments. However, his critiques are invaluable in that if you abide by them, you will not fail to improve your technique, because he really has ''been there, seen that and got the t-shirt''.

Now last week, I sent him a score and recording of ''Spirit of the Stour'' (which most of you are aware of) and an audio recording of my first symphony, only just finished. He replied by return of post.

I'd like to share what he said about my work with you, not to brag about all the good things that he said about me, because he doesn't say a lot on that score. This is just to give you some idea of what you will be up against when you start to send scores off to various professional establishments.

cheers,

Simon

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What's most impressive to me is how a man of 90 can be so mentally astute. That's a lesson to all of us really.

It reminds me a bit of the clarinet player Benny Goodwin. I think he's almost 100 and still going strong and switched his attention to writing novels. We tend to accept a fate based on the modern stresses of daily life. These can be minimised if we make intelligent life choices and avoid being dragged head-first into the rat-race.

Are there any links for his music on the net ?
Sure there is. You'd have to google him and do a bit of rooting around for a while. Meanwhile, I'll give him a ring and ask him.

The other thing that is so valuable about his criticism is that he actually wrote out manuscript examples of how it should be done. He really is quite the musical genius, and I have a shit load of respect for him.
Simon I deleted the attachment. Please follow general rules of posting on the web and if you insist to post a personal letter to you from someone, in the least remove his personal contact info from it. Generally in these type of situations, we paraphrase or quote in text, and not publish the whole letter. While we try hard to keep CF only real active composers, anyone can initially join and so you are sharing private contact info with the internet at large
Sorry I meant to say Artie Shaw. Benny Goodman died in 1986 !
Normally Chris, I would agree with you, but I really do wish you'd have asked me first. To me, I feel that there is nothing wrong with sharing personal correspondence written to me by somebody who advertises his name and address on the internet and welcomes frequent enquiries. If you follow this link, you will see that Arthur Butterworth does give his name and address AND phone number quite freely on the net and he does encourage personal contact. I also know him personally, and he would be delighted to know that I am informing others of advice that he has given me.

http://www.musicweb-international.com/buttera/works.htm

Now after having read this, I would appreciate it if you would you allow me to reattach this letter. # #
why not just white out his info? Its just pretty cheeky in general to post someone else's info, even if it is on his website. Its his website there and he can change it or take it down. Here he has no power to do so. And its on a static document that can circulate in itself in this pdf format. I would personally prefer you white out the contact info and repost. If you dont, I wont delete it but Chris Merritt the boss, may (or may not). Its not specific to our rules but kind of 'internet borders' that shouldnt be crossed IMO

Simon Godden said:
Normally Chris, I would agree with you, but I really do wish you'd have asked me first. To me, I feel that there is nothing wrong with sharing personal correspondence written to me by somebody who advertises his name and address on the internet and welcomes frequent enquiries. If you follow this link, you will see that Arthur Butterworth does give his name and address AND phone number quite freely on the net and he does encourage personal contact. I also know him personally, and he would be delighted to know that I am informing others of advice that he has given me.

http://www.musicweb-international.com/buttera/works.htm

Now after having read this, I would appreciate it if you would you allow me to reattach this letter. # #
I read the website with interest. What intrigued me was his own very distinguished career in the North West - all places that I know. A recital at a library where I stacked shelves each Saturday, when I did my A-Levels. He's also written a concerto for my old guitar teacher.

The slightly depressing reminder in all this is that despite such achievements he probably has received very little recognition in his lifetime, so you're unlikely to make a great fortune sticking to your guns and writing classical music as he has done. I also discovered that he hates Mahler with a vengeance.

So how did he end up teaching you music - did you approach him or was he running a course ?
http://www.box.net/shared/bxb5r7im2k - amended copy of the letter in accordance with wishes of moderators
Hi Adrian,

Sorry I didn't reply earlier. I spilt coffee on my QWERTY keyboard for the upteenth time this year (occupational and expensive hazard) so I could only copy and paste letters on the screen at the time in dire emergencies.

I've spoken to Arthur since I last wrote, and his enthusiasm for my symphony has increased about 10-fold, or so he claims, after hearing the fourth movement and the whole symphony a few more times. He says its main strength is its harmonic content and motivic development. So he's going to sanction it to an impressario he knows in Canterbury with a view to getting it performed (WOW!).

I also found out that he is in fact 86, not 90, AND he has only just finished his 6th symphony that will be premiered in St Petersburg by the International Sibelius Society. He is not going to be there though. He says he's too old for the Russian winter. Personally, I would hitchhiked to Mars to witness the premiere of my symphony, but then, he really has seen and done it all.

Yes, he does not like Mahler. He's nothing against the man, and says that Mahler is one of the finest orchestrators to have ever lived, but his music leaves him cold. He's more from the Sibelius school.

Adrian Allan said:
I read the website with interest. What intrigued me was his own very distinguished career in the North West - all places that I know. A recital at a library where I stacked shelves each Saturday, when I did my A-Levels. He's also written a concerto for my old guitar teacher.

The slightly depressing reminder in all this is that despite such achievements he probably has received very little recognition in his lifetime, so you're unlikely to make a great fortune sticking to your guns and writing classical music as he has done. I also discovered that he hates Mahler with a vengeance.

So how did he end up teaching you music - did you approach him or was he running a course ?
Not as far as I know Jan, no.

Jan Civil said:
Any relation to Syrup Maven Mrs Butterworth?
F**k, I thought you were serious.

Jan Civil said:

Simon Godden said:
Not as far as I know Jan, no.

Jan Civil said:
Any relation to Syrup Maven Mrs Butterworth?
hahaha!

Simon Godden said:
F**k, I thought you were serious.

Jan Civil said:

Simon Godden said:
Not as far as I know Jan, no.

Jan Civil said:
Any relation to Syrup Maven Mrs Butterworth?

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