Glasgow born Edward (Eddie) McGuire studied with James Iliff (RAM 1966-70) and with Ingvar Lidholm in Stockholm. He received a British Composers Award (2003), Creative Scotland Award (2004) and has been featured composer at several international festivals.

What drew you to a career in music?

I trace becoming a composer to hearing – from age 4 to 12 – the male-voice choir in which my father sung bass rehearsing in our family house. My mother got me a guitar and piano age 9, starting me composing as a hobby; I gained experience playing flute in orchestral summer courses and my composition portfolio got me into the RAM age 18. My first commission – from James Durrant in 1972 – was a success and started my composing career.

How would you describe your work? 

I have always spoken in my own voice, returning to harmonies and rhythms that first thrilled me. Because of the family origins I mentioned, direct communication of emotions is paramount. 20th century discoveries, including minimalism, are important to me as is traditional folk music involvement.

What positive and negative aspects have you found lockdown has had on your work?

Current events led to cancellation of premieres of my Cello Concerto and Owen Murray recording my Accordion Concerto. A premiere of Nocturne and Sunrise (going against the tide with optimism!) for 5 guitars may still happen in July in Nuremberg. I’m catching up with backlogs of corrections and typing old scores.

Listen to an interview with Eddie on the SMC’s Exposed Melodies Podcast, recorded in 2012.

A selection of CDs featuring Eddie’s music are available to buy on the Delphian website.

Listen to some of Eddie’s work:



These, and many of Eddie’s other scores are available to buy on the SMC online shop.

Click the ‘View All’ link below.