Born Buckinghamshire, son of the late Watson Forbes. Sebastian studied in London and Cambridge and was a BBC producer before becoming a university lecturer, first at Bangor and since 1972 at Surrey, where he has been Professor of Music since 1981. His music first made its mark thorugh winning the McEwen Prize in 1962. Among Scottish commissions are his Piano Trio (McEwen Commission, 1964) and Symphony in Two Movements (Edinburgh Festival, 1972). His most recent works are String Quartet No.5 (2000) and Sonata for 15 (strings 5.4.3.2.1, 2001) both composed with the aid of an AHRB Award.