Nfld. & Labrador

Music composer Clifford Crawley dead at 85

One of Canada’s best known composers, and a key figure in Newfoundland and Labrador’s music community, has passed away in St. John’s.

One of Canada's best known composers, and a key figure in Newfoundland and Labrador's music community, has passed away in St. John's.

Musician Clifford Crawley died last week after a struggle with cancer. He was 85 years old.

Duo Concertante's Nancy Dahn and Tim Steeves speaks with the CBC's Francesca Swann on Musicraft back in 2010 about the CD "It Takes Two." Clifford arranged the 14 cuts on the CD especially for Nancy and Tim.

Born in England, Crawley was an associate of the Royal College of Music, and a principal lecturer in music at the British College of Education before he moved to Canada.

He taught at Queens University in Kingston, Ont. for more than 20 years before moving to St. John's with his wife Beverley Diamond in 2002.

In St. John's, he wasted no time making an impact on the local music scene, and was busy composing music until the very end.

Crawley has worked with colleagues at Memorial University, Newfoundland traditional musicians, and local school choirs.

At the time of his death, he had been in the middle of setting Christmas music for Duo Concertante to play on their next CD.

In his obituary, Crawley was celebrated for his "brilliant orchestration, his musical wit, and his conviction that humour and profundity can easily coexist."

Crawley is survived by his wife, his son and a daughter.

A memorial service will be announced at a later date.