Tune in

Serenade for Small Orchestra

by John Gough

John Gough was born in 1903 in Launceston, Tasmania and died in London, United Kingdom (UK) in 1951.

After studying piano and cello at the Melbourne Conservatorium, Gough left Australia in 1928 to study composition in Paris, France. Afterwards, he travelled to London, UK, where he studied composition with Ralph Vaughan Williams at the Royal College of Music.

John Gough spent most of his working life as an employee of the BBC, in the era before television. He started as a tone and control officer, otherwise known as a balance engineer, before being appointed to the position of music director and later, features producer. The BBC featured many of his musical compositions on the radio, and several of his radio plays were broadcast by the BBC Home Service, Scotland.

Gough’s tone poem, The Wallaby Track, is possibly his most well-known work. Programmed in a Proms Concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 1943, the performance was also broadcast by the BBC. The Wallaby Track was premiered at the Bournemouth Music Festival in 1929, two years before Gough wrote the beautiful Serenade for Small Orchestra.

The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra extends its thanks to John Gough’s children, Christine and Thomas, for so generously sharing Serenade for Small Orchestra with us all.

Worksheet for Primary classrooms

Step 1. Watch the video to learn about the Bassoon

Step 2. Listen to the TSO recording of Serenade

Step 3. Answer 10 questions

Step 4. Download a Word Search

TSO logo
ABC Classic logo