Michael Gryspeerdt, Newnham-on-Severn c.1962Michael Gryspeerdt, who inherited his name from his Flemish grandfather, was born in London in 1927. He studied medicine at St.Thomas’s and after National Service, including a short spell in Egypt, was posted to Hereford and subsequently settled in Gloucesershire with his wife Colleen in 1959. They had four children and lived for over thirty years at the Leigh a few miles south of Tewkesbury.

Michael’s dedication to composition started at the age of nine, he also became a mainly self taught French horn player in his teens. He later had lessons in counterpoint from the late Dr Herbert Sumsion, the organist at Gloucester Cathedral, and took great pleasure in playing the horn with the Gloucestershire Symphony Orchestra (GSO) for forty years; informally he also played jazz trombone.

Following retirement from a busy life as a doctor in 1987 he fulfilled his ambition to write music full-time. His compositions range from pieces for solo instrument and chamber ensemble, to choral and full orchestral works. His music has been performed frequently in the Gloucestershire area – for example in the Three Choirs Festival, has been broadcast on Radio Three, and has also been played in Europe and America. Sadly Michael became seriously ill in early 2000. He retained his faculties just long enough to complete his first symphony which he had started work on around a year before and which had been commisioned by the GSO for its centenary. A tribute concert (which he attended in failing health) was given by the GSO in June 2000 when the symphony was given its first performance. He passed away two months later.