George MacIlwham was born in Glasgow. He has had a distinguished career as a soloist and orchestral flautist. In 1947, on completion of his studies at the Royal Academies of Glasgow and London, he joined the Scottish Orchestra (now the Royal Scottish National Orchestra). In 1954 he was appointed principal piccolo and flute with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Over the years he has appeared in concerts throughout Britain, Europe, the Far East and Canada both as flautist and piper. Having performed and recorded the solo bagpipe part of An Orkney Wedding with Sunrise, under the direction of the composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, he was well placed to repeat the performance at the Last Night of the Proms in 1992: the first time a piper had ever appeared at a Henry Wood Promenade Concert in the Royal Albert Hall, London. A member of the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters, the PRS and MCPS, and a founder member of several chamber ensembles, he is now kept busy as a freelance composer, arranger, and performer. Concerts for the Council for Music in Hospitals are a very important part of this. Many of his own compositions are performed and broadcast at home and abroad.