Jonathan Harvey (1939-2012) knew from the age of six that he wanted to be a composer. He was a chorister at St. Michaels Tenbury, attended Repton School and won a scholarship to St. Johns Cambridge to study music. He then moved to Glasgow with his wife Rosaleen to complete his PhD, where they lived in a caravan through the winter of 1963. Following the advice of Benjamin Britten he was tutored by Erwin Stein and Hans Keller.
In 1964 Harvey took up the post of lecturer at Southampton University, then won a Harkness fellowship to study at Princeton University, where he composed his first electronic piece Time Points, travelling around 24 states in one year.
In the early 1980s Harvey started working at Ircam in Paris where he could fully explore his passion for electronic music. This fruitful relationship lasted for many years and resulted in some of his best works. He then moved to Lewes in East Sussex, and held the post of Professor of Music at Sussex University. He took up Transcendental Meditation and became more interested in Buddhism and eastern religion.
Ten years later he accepted the post of Professor of Music at Stanford University. He was a member of Academia Europaea and held honorary doctorates at Southampton, Sussex, Bristol, Birmingham and Huddersfield Universities, as well as being an Honorary Fellow of St. John’s College Cambridge. He wrote three books, The Music of Stockhausen (1975) and Music and Inspiration and In Quest of Spirit (both 1999).