Born near Chelmsford in 1947, Tim Torry was educated at Colchester Royal Grammar School (where he later became Head of Music), the University of York and the Royal Academy of Music, where his teachers included the baritones Derek Hammond Stroud and, crucially, Robert Bickerstaff. Among his earlier teachers had been Norman Tattersall and Anthony Rolfe Johnson, although the seeds were sown with voice lessons at York with the great Professor Wilfrid Mellers’ wife, the mezzo-soprano Pauline Lewis.
Severe M.E. symptoms cut short his teaching and solo singing careers in the early ’90s but, later in that decade, extended treatment for the mercury amalgam poisoning (from which it was discovered that he was suffering) eventually led to his full recovery. During that time he benefitted greatly – both as a composer and in general – from practising Buddhist meditation.
He was able slowly to re-start composing in the late 1990s and his Ah, Spring: A Seasonal Sequence for Female Voices (of which a version for soprano and ensemble was performed in 2002 at a C.N.M. concert) was accepted onto the S.P.N.M. Shortlist in 2003. Subsequently, songs from The Face of Grief (as well as some piano music) were ‘Highly Commended’ by the S.P.N.M..
His output includes music for chamber groups, choirs (mixed, female and children’s), orchestra, solo instruments and solo voice and has been performed by ensembles such as the Composers’ Ensemble and Gemini, and soloists such as Sarah Leonard (soprano), Robin Michael (cello), Philip Smith (piano) and Roderick Williams (baritone).
In 2007, he was himself finally able to resume work as a baritone soloist, both in recitals and with choral societies, largely in the East Anglian area.
See also CNM articles relating to Tim Torry.