Roger Marsh Composer



A series of blog articles on Words and Music (2015-18)

Words and Music 1  ‘Words Matter’

Words and Music 2 ‘James Joyce’

Words and Music 3 ‘Dum’

Words and Music 4 ‘Not a soul but ourselves’

Words and Music 5 ‘Silly Love Songs’

Words and Music 6 ‘Lamentations’

Words and Music 7 ‘The Song of Abigail’

Words and Music 8 Samson and Pasolini

Words and Music 9: Re-discovering Albert Giraud

Words and Music 10: Pierrot Lunaire – Voicing Albert Giraud

Words and Music 11: British Values and Joe Steele

Words and Music 12: What is a Song?

Words and Music 13 -Il Cor Tristo

Words and Music 14 – Music and Beckett (1)

Words and Music 15 – Music and Beckett (2)

Words and Music 16 – Music and Beckett (3)



A life in Practical Projects

The annual ‘Practical Project’ at the university of York has been a unique feature of the music course for nearly fifty years. I believe there is nothing quite like it in any music course anywhere in the world. Every year it presents first year students (the entire year-group), along with a number of 2/3 year students and post-graduates, with a different, always ambitious challenge, to realise a full scale music theatre show within the first five weeks of the academic year, culminating in three public performances.  Sometimes the show is an existing musical or opera, but often it is a devised project around a given theme.  I was fortunate to direct six of these projects during my forty years at York, and these were among the best experiences of my professional career. My approach was always to give students maximum freedom to input their own ideas and develop their many talents; they never let me down.  These projects are documented below.

About the Practical Project

The Big Bang 1989

Doing the Locomotion 1995

Kabuki 1998

Pierrot Lunaire 2002

Tristram Shandy 2009

A Portrait of the Artist 2016


Other Articles

Recording Finnegan’s Wake (Blog article for Naxos)

Message in a bottle (2018)

Barry Guy   (2017)

Charlottesville Blues (2017)

A new Lease of Life (A Little Snow) (2016)

‘A Multicoloured Alphabet’:Rediscovering Albert Giraud’s PierrotLunaire (2007)

Foxes and Vixens: An update on the Music of Vic Hoyland (1998)

Britten’s Church Parables (1997)

Almeida Words and Music (1990)

TLS review of Berio Un Re in Ascolto (1989)


English performing translation of Schoenberg Pierrot Lunaire op 21 (1997)