We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Phillip Houghton. A true artist and composer who embodied the spirit of what is “Australian Music”.
Although we have known Phillip Houghton for years through his amazing compositions, a staple in any Australian guitarists repertoire, we feel fortunate to have had the pleasure to meet Phillip in person as he recently returned to Melbourne in 2017 after a long period living in Sydney for many years.
If you ask anyone about the characteristics of Phillip’s music, his use of “colour” (the ability to make the guitar sing with many different characters), attention to detail (at times a written paragraph on how to pluck one note!) and beautifully hand written scores are prominent and endearing features of what made Phillip’s musical voice so captivating and unique.
We were delighted to have Phillip’s composition “Dervish, Stele”, feature as the set piece for our 2017 International Concert Artist Competition semi-final round as part of our recent Guitar Festival.
Being the humble man he was, we recall his true surprise when we told him of our decision to include his piece in our festival.
Phillip was humble, gentle, generous (his famous guitar lessons which would regularly turn into 3, 4 or even 5 hour sessions!), and a musical genius (even the great John Williams who was dear friends with Phillip, would want to play for him and ask his musical advice).
Phillip’s music and personality touched so many lives and he will leave behind a great legacy.
The world has suddenly lost a vibrant energy in the person that was Phillip, but we are comforted by your musical energy which remains here with us.
May you Rest In Peace dear Phillip,
Michael MacManus and Evan Hopkins