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Gary Neil Cairney

Gary Neil Cairney

Gary Neil Cairney was born in Scotland in 1963 and died in London in 2020. He was a student at Trinity College London 1983-90 and studied singing first and then composition with Glenn Morgan and was awarded the John Halford Composition prize in 1991. He wrote several full musicals, and was semi-finalist three times in the Vivien Ellis prize and a finalist in 1991 with his musical adaptation of the Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Other musicals included Flattery and The Golden Key which was performed both at Edinburgh Fringe and in London in 1993. One of the Vivien Ellis judges of The Golden Key wrote, "The music is especially impressive just coming out at you from all angles. This is a great description of Gary's music and actually also of Gary himself".

He wrote arrangements of other works for various artists and composed many of his own songs and lyrics. In recent years he also developed as a pianist himself, and wrote some interesting piano music.

He wrote the piano pieces we have included as possibilities for the ABRSM exam syllabus.

He was not just a musician but an artist in the true sense of the word. He wrote Poetry, read widely and had a huge knowledge of and interest in theatre generally, visual arts, photography and all kinds of music.

Gary was a larger than life personality and he could light up any occasion. He will be hugely missed by friends and family who are planing a memorial concert at Trinity Laban, once full audience is possible, and a website celebrating his music. Any donations to the fund for this are welcome.

—Emma Dogliani
October 2020