William Southgate

William Southgate

William Southgate

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See also William Wright Southgate.
Sir William Southgate <!--(birthdate &ndash;)--> is a New Zealand conductor and composer. He was the first New Zealand-based artist to be knighted (as a knight bachelor)(1994).


William Southgate grew up in Otago. He showed an interest in music early in life and at about the age of five, he discovered a pianola which encouraged him to learn the piano. At the age of nine, he recorded in his diary that he had decided to dedicate his life to music.

Southgate attended Otago Boys' High School from 1954 to 1959 and afterwards, the University of Otago. He graduated with first class honours in both M.A. and B.Mus. and also taught composition, instrumentation and fugue. Among his pupils was his future wife, Rosemary.

In 1967, Southgate left New Zealand for London. He studied advanced conducting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama having received post-graduate scholarships and graduated with the Ricordi Conductors' Prize. While working in London, he also had the opportunity to compose incidental music for a number of theatre productions including scores for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Southgate returned to New Zealand in 1974, where he was able to continue working as a composer, conductor, and arranger. During the 1980's, he was a regular broadcaster on Radio New Zealand, presenting programmes on many aspects of music and on diverse composers such as Stenhammar, Korngold and Khachaturian.

Southgate has had...
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