I was born in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, but spent most of my childhood in Sittingbourne, Kent, where I attended Borden School. At school I sang in the choir, which under the direction of Leslie Olive - then Head of Music at Borden - performed a number of very ambitious major choral works, including Bach's St Matthew Passion, Verdi's Requiem, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Brahms' German Requiem and Elgar's The Kingdom. The musical highlight of my schooldays was perhaps The Master of Ashmore, a full-scale opera composed by Leslie Olive to a libretto by Jon Adams, which was written to celebrate the school's centenary in 1978.
After leaving school I went to St Peter's College, Oxford, where I read Modern Languages. I continued to be involved in choral music, singing in the college chapel choir and in a number of other groups large and small. During this time I spent a year in Salamanca, Spain.
After graduation I continued to live in Oxford for a few years, during which time I sang with the Oxford Bach Choir under Christopher Robinson. I then lived in London for a number of years before moving to Warnham in West Sussex, where I now live with my wife Jo and our son Adam.
Apart from an O-Level in music and Grade V piano - which gave me a good grounding in the basics of harmony, notation and so on - I have no formal musical qualifications. My education as a composer has been the long years of exposure to music, and participation in music, combined with a passion for it, a curiosity about how it works, and the great good fortune of knowing people who are kind enough to try out my compositions.
My other great passion is sailing. Most of my sailing has been done in home waters - the Solent, the East Coast, the Western Isles, Devon and Cornwall - or in the Med. In 2006 I did two legs of the Clipper round-the-world yacht race, aboard a 68-foot boat. This took me from Australia to Vancouver Island in Canada, via Singapore, the Philippines and Qingdao China. It was a fantastic time, and I made some really good friends with whom I have shared experiences most people are not lucky enough to have.