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Swayne is a cousin of Elizabeth Maconchy. He spent much of his childhood in Liverpool, and began composing at a young age. He was educated at Ampleforth College and at Cambridge University, where he worked with Raymond Leppard and Nicholas Maw before spending three years at the Royal Academy of Music as a student of Harrison Birtwistle, Alan Bush and, once again, Maw. During the years 1976 to 1977 he attended several of Olivier Messiaen's classes at the Paris Conservatoire and from 1981 to 1982 made a study visit to the Gambia and southern Senegal – a formative experience he put to creative use as composer-in-residence to the London borough of Hounslow, 1980–83. Together with his second wife, the Ghanaian, Naaotwa Codjoe, he lived in a village near Accra, Ghana, from 1990 to 1996; he has now settled in London.
Contains biography and complete worklist
List of works published by Novello & Co.
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