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  • John McLeod

    John McLeod is one of the UK's busiest and most prolific composers and has been resident in Edinburgh since 1970.

  • Royal Academy of Music

    He studied composition at the Royal Academy of Music with Sir Lennox Berkeley winning several prizes for his work.

  • Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music

    In 1979 he won the coveted Guinness Prize for British composers and in 1989 was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.


Welcome to the website of Scottish composer 

John McLeod

John is passionate about life and about music and that is reflected in his colourful and  challenging orchestral, vocal and instrumental works which are now being commissioned, performed and recorded by leading orchestras and soloists throughout the world.

Recent highlights include

BBC Proms – Aldeburgh Festival – St Magnus Festival – an SCO premiere – a new Piano Sonata No.5
and a new  CD of his chamber music by the outstanding Red Note Ensemble on the Delphian label


Composer John McLeod awarded CBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Leading Scottish composer John McLeod has today been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List with a CBE for his services to music.

For over 40 years John has been at the forefront of contemporary Scottish music and is still one of the UK’s busiest and most prolific composers. In recent years his output and performances have increased dramatically and in 2014  Donald Runnicles and the BBC SSO gave the London premiere at the BBC Proms of his large-scale orchestral work The Sun Dances.

Born and educated in Aberdeen, John studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and has been resident in Edinburgh since 1970. His passion for life and music is reflected in his colourful and challenging orchestral, vocal and instrumental works which cover most musical genres; orchestral, choral works, church music, songs, instrumental and chamber music as well as scores for film and TV.

John said: “This award is a wonderful surprise and I’m delighted and deeply honoured. It must, however, be shared with my family,  friends, colleagues, performers and all the orchestras who have supported me and believed in my music over many years.”

In addition to his CBE, John has won a number of important awards for his work including the prestigious Guinness Prize for British composers. In 1989 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music and in 2005 and 2010 was nominated for a British Composer Award. Recently he was the recipient of the Gold Badge of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) for services to British music.

John’s music has been performed and recorded by leading orchestras and soloists throughout the world including the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Hallé Orchestra, the RSNO, the BBC SSO, SCO, NYOS and orchestras in Germany, Poland and the USA.  He has also worked with a number of outstanding soloists and conductors such as Evelyn Glennie, Colin Currie, Peter Donohoe, Raimund Gilvan, Neeme Järvi, Joseph Swensen and Donald Runnicles.

John  believes that his recent success is due to the continued development of his style and technique reaching out to wider audiences. Showing no signs of slowing down, he has a number of new commissions due out in 2016, 2017 and beyond.

Please take time to browse through the various sections of the website, perhaps starting with his Biography to discover more about his career to date and then find out where and when you can hear his music ‘live’ this year at Latest News and Performances.

In his extensive Catalogue you can see details of scoring and duration and perhaps listen to some of his music through SoundCloud.

John is always pleased to hear your comments and enquiries so don’t forget to use the Contact and Links section of the site.

Music being played:

A selection of CDs