Composers have been present in Oxford ever since the (obscure) beginnings of the University. The first Oxford degrees were awarded to composers, the earliest of which were the B.Mus. awarded to Robert Wydow in c.1499 and the D.Mus. to Robert Fayrfax in 1511. Today, the Faculty’s work in composition is led by Robert Saxton and Martyn Harry, whose own output is broad and varied, including operas for radio and children, string quartets, ensemble pieces, orchestral works, and works involving electronics.
Their compositions have been performed around the world and to great critical acclaim. A substantial body of graduates is to be found working in Oxford on all manner of compositional research projects for conventional instruments, for electronics and mixed media, and through improvisation.