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Roger Marsh
Professor Emeritus



Roger Marsh is a composer. He studied at the University of York in the early seventies, where his PhD (1974) was supervised by Bernard Rands. He spent two years (1976-78) at the University of California, San Diego, on a Harkness Fellowship. From 1978 to 88 he lectured at the University of Keele, and was for three years Head of Department there, before returning to York. His music has been performed and broadcast widely. A work for piano and orchestra, Stepping Out, was premiered at the BBC Prom season in 1990. An orchestral piece Espace was premiered at the Huddersfield Festival in 1994. A work for percussion quartet, Sukeroku (2000), composed for 'Backbeat Percussion', has been extensively toured by them and was recorded in Japan along with a work for O-Tsuzumi and Percussion quartet, Atsumari (2004) (CD: NF61801). His setting of all of Albert Giraud's Pierrot Lunaire - 50 Rondels Bergamasques was released in 2007 on NMC records (NMC127), and a major article on Giraud was published in twentieth-century music (CUP) also in 2007. A setting of Dante, 'Il Cor Tristo', was premiered by the Hilliard Ensemble in Perugia, Italy, in September 2008, and recorded on ECM in 2013. He has composed for many leading ensembles including Lontano and the ensemble 'de ereprijs' who premiered his What Charlie did next in Arnhem, Holland, in October 2009. For several years Roger Marsh directed the ensemble Black Hair which specialised in the theatrical realisation of contemporary music. An extended music theatre piece, 'Rising', was premiered by the group in May 2010. Also in 2010, he composed music for a major BBC Radio 3 production of Goethe's Faust. Recent work includes Poor Yorick (2014), a setting of texts from Laurence Sterne’s ‘Tristram Shandy’, and Walking Away (2015) for soprano and marimba. Roger is also known for his abridgements and productions of all the novels of James Joyce for Naxos Audiobooks, including Joyce's 'Ulysses' - unabridged on 22 CDs (2004).



  • Composition
  • Music Theatre
  • Contemporary Music
  • Japanese Music


  • Music and Words: a continuing series of compositions exploring the musical setting of narrative text.
  • Gestural composition: a series of works which theatricalize instrumental performance; where a heightened sense of theatricality is embedded in the gestural content of the music, and sometimes also more explicitly through physical movement.


  • Learning and Teaching Projects Fund (2009) for 'Devising Tristram Shandy' (Practical Project 2009)
  • Innovation in Research Pump-priming Fund award (2005) for project to develop audio visual presentation of Pierrot Lunaire – 50 Rondels Bergamasques.
  • Teaching Innovation Development award (2004) to explore group composition teaching using smart-board technology
  • AHRB Small Grant in the Creative and Performing Arts (2004) to support project Interactive live composition using advanced real-time digital transformation processes


Full publications list

View Roger Marsh's full publications list at the York Research Database.

Professor Roger Marsh

Contact details

Roger Marsh
Department of Music
University of York
YO10 5DD

External links