William Alwyn, CBE, born William Alwyn Smith  (November 7, 1905 – September 11, 1985) was an English composer, conductor, and music teacher. William Alwyn was born in Northampton where he showed an early interest in music and began to learn to play the piccolo. At age 15 he entered the Royal Academy of Music in London where he studied flute and composition. He was a virtuoso flautist and for a time was the principal flautist of the London Symphony Orchestra. Alwyn served as professor of composition at the Royal Academy from 1926 to 1955.
Conlon Nancarrow (b. October 27, 1912, Texarkana - d. August 10, 1997, Mexico City) was an American-born composer who lived most of his life in Mexico. Nancarrow is remembered almost exclusively for the pieces he wrote for the player piano. He was one of the first composers to use musical instruments as mechanical machines, utilising their capacity to play complex polyrhythms at tempos far beyond human performance ability.
Friedrich Cerha (born February 17, 1926 in Vienna) is an Austrian composer and conductor. Cerha received his education at the Viennese Music Academy (violin, composition, musician drawing) and at the University of Vienna (music sciences, German culture and language, philosophy). In 1958 he, together with Kurt Schwertsik, created the ensemble "die reihe", which was an important instrument for the spreading of contemporary music in Austria.
Simon Bainbridge was born in London in 1952. He studied composition with John Lambert and Gunther Schuller and is now Head of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London. His breakthrough came in 1971 with Spirogyra performed at the Aldeburgh Festival and has since composed many works including Viola Concerto (1978), Fantasia for Double Orchestra (1983), Double Concerto (1990), Landscape and Memory (1995), Three Pieces for Orchestra (1998) and Ad Ora Incerta (1993) for which he won the 1997 Grawemeyer Award.
Alexander Goehr (born 10 August 1932 in Berlin) is an English composer and academic. He was born in Berlin, the son of Walter Goehr. He studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester (1952–55) where he met Peter Maxwell Davies, Harrison Birtwistle, John Ogdon and Elgar Howarth. Together they formed New Music Manchester, a group dedicated to performances of contemporary music. In 1956 he went to Paris to study with Olivier Messiaen at the Conservatoire, and the same year he went to Darmstadt where his Fantasia for orchestra received its first performance.
Augusta Read Thomas (born April 24, 1964) is an American composer. Augusta Read Thomas was born in Glen Cove, New York. She attended St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire, and then studied composition with Jacob Druckman at Yale University and at the Royal Academy of Music with Paul Patterson, as well as with Alan Stout and M. William Karlins at Northwestern University. She taught at the Eastman School of Music and received tenure there at the age of only 33, but left to teach at the Northwestern University School of Music.
Aldo Clementi (25 May, 1925 - 3 March, 2011) was the last survivor of the great generation of Italian postwar musical avant-gardists. He was also its quietest and most self-effacing member, both personally and musically. After a hesitant start, he developed a technique that allowed him to produce works as calmly consistent in sound and technique as a Renaissance motet, and some would say just as beautiful.