Thomas Brendan Wilson United States Scotland

Biography of Thomas Brendan Wilson

Tom Wilson, Scottish Composer of classical music, studied music at the University of Glasgow and was one of the first honours graduates in the subject. He graduated MA in 1951, BMus in 1954, and became a lecturer at the University in 1957.

He was appointed a Reader in 1971 and given a Personal Chair in 1977. Wilson was later awarded the honorary degree of DMus by the University of Glasgow in 1991.

Wilson was born in Trinidad, Colorado in 1927 to British parents. They moved to Scotland and he grew up in Glasgow where he stayed for the rest of his life. Before his university career, Wilson served with the RAF from 1945-1948.

Wilson was very active in the musical life of the UK and held positions in the Scottish Arts Council, the Society for the Promotion of New Music, the New Music Group of Scotland, and he was Chairman (1986-89) of the Composer’s Guild of Great Britain, now the British Association of Composers and Songwriters. He was also a founding member of the Scottish Society of Composers.

Tom Wilson’s work spans many forms of music and during his career he completed five symphonies.

He was awarded a CBE in 1990, was created a Fellow of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, now the Royal Conservatoire, and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

A collection of Tom Wilson's papers can be found in the University Library.


Thomas Brendan Wilson
Born 10 October 1927.
Died 12 June 2001.
GU Degrees: MA, 1951; BMus, 1954; DMus, 1991;
University Link: Student
Occupation categories: composers
Record last updated: 20th Jun 2013

Country Associations

United States United States, Colorado, Trinidad
Place of Birth

Scotland Scotland, Glasgow, Glasgow

University Connections

University Roles

  • Student