Born Aberdeen, Martin Dalby studied composition at the Royal College of Music, London, with Herbert Howells, and viola with Frederick Riddle. In 1963 a travelling scholarship enabled him to spend two years in Italy, where he played the viola in a small Italian chamber orchestra. He then worked for the BBC in London producing music programmes for Radio 3 and left in 1971 to become Cramb Research Fellow in composition at the University of Glasgow. Following this he returned to the BBC, this time as head of music in Glasgow until early retirement in 1993. His work includes a symphony, a viola concerto, various choral works, songs and song-cycles, but perhaps his chamber music is the most significant part of his output. Recent works include The White Maa for chamber orchestra, and a new work for the Yggdrasil Quartet of Aberdeen.