Buxton Orr was born in Glasgow in 1924 and was a pupil of Benjamin Frankel at the Guildhall School of Music in London, where he served as a professor from 1965 until 1990. His interest in jazz was reflected in his work as conductor from 1970 to 1980 of the London Jazz Composers’ Orchestra and he was founder of the Contemporary Music Ensemble at the Guildhall. Best-known for his personal application of serial technique and for several virtuoso instrumental fantasies on well-known operatic themes, he was also active for a time in the film industry as well as being an energetic and influential teacher. His music includes works in all genres, including songs, chamber music, works for brass and wind band, orchestral music, opera and music theatre as well as film scores. In 1990 he gave up regular teaching to devote more time to composition, and lived in the Wye Valley until his death.