Orchestral / Instrumental Music by John Whittaker

a) ‘Through Bushes and Briars’ – A Suite of 6 short movements based on English Folk Songs collected by Vaughan Williams – for Violin and Small Orchestra. Duration approx. 15 minutes. It could be seen as a companion piece to the ‘Five Studies in Folk-Song’ for cello by RVW.)  It was performed by The Highland Chamber Orchestra, as a winning entry of their composer’s competition- Inverness, December 2016. There is a separate version for Violin and Piano.  Duration approx. 15 minutes.

Listen to movements 5 & 6 below in the version for piano and violin:

b)  ‘An Overture on Old English Carols’ for Full Orchestra. Duration approx. 8 minutes. First performances by The Crowthorne Symphony Orchestra (conductor Robert Roscoe).  Subsequent performances by the Folkstone Symphony Orchestra (conductor Rupert Bond). 

Performed by the Folkstone Symphony Orchestra under Rupert Bond, December 2018

c) Suite on Christmas Carols for Flute and Strings.  Three Movements  based on seven traditional English carols.  First performance Dec. 2015 by the Crowthorne Symphony Orchestra with Sally Ewins (flute). Duration 8 mins.


2nd Movement from a performance at the Grace Lutheran Church, Lancaster, USA. Dec. 2022

d)  Wedding Processional Piece – for Organ.  Includes the tune ‘Haste to The Wedding’. Duration 4 minutes. (Written for David and Emma, 2015)


e) Allegro For Strings  – A short lively movement influenced by and vaguely in the style of Holst’s St. Paul’s Suite.


f) Gavotte by Bach  – arranged for 2 cellos. An arrangement of the well-known gavotte from Bach’s Violin Partita in E major.   


g)  ‘A Modal March’ for 4 Violas. A short piece, selected as a winner of the Viola International Congress Composition Competition and performed in Rotterdam, November, 2018.

 To watch the video of the performance – played by the Zemtsov Viola Quartet,

          click on:    Modal March for 4 violas.


h) String Quartet  – ‘In Our Times’  Four Movements.  Duration approx. 25 mins.  This work includes the movement ‘Effigies’ inspired by the 14th century effigies ‘The Aldworth Giants’ of Aldworth Church. The work was given its premiere at Aldworth Church, Aldworth, Berkshire, UK in July 2022 by members of The Adderbury Ensemble. 

Read more information from the Newbury Times.


i) ‘Fanfare for A Special Occasion’  – a short fanfare scored for brass (3,4,4, 1) and timps. An extended version written for full orchestra (‘The New World Fanfare’) was performed by the Crowthorne Symphony Orchestra under conductor, Robert Roscoe, on 25th November, 2023.

Concert at Aldworth Church, July 2022