Reporter 459, 20 November 2000


Dr Robert Sherlaw Johnson died on 3 November 2000

The pianist and composer died suddenly at the age of 68. Dr Sherlaw Johnson was the first of so far only three people to obtain the degree of Doctor of Music at Leeds, other than as an honour; he submitted compositions and a thesis which, in its published form, is still the standard work on the composer Olivier Messiaen.

Sherlaw Johnsonís work includes an opera, a symphony, works for the Roman Catholic liturgy, songs, and works for his own instrument, the piano, which he played to a high standard of virtuosity.

He had recently retired from his lectureship at Oxford University. He died while engaging in another enthusiasm, bell-ringing, just as he was about to start on a Yorkshire Surprise Major.

Professor Julian Rushton

See also the text of the obituary featured in the Times

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